Tsunami Relief Efforts, 2005

The tsunami of 2005 was one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, affecting and displacing millions of people living in the coastlines from Indonesia to India to Africa. This report details the activities of the Nandalala Mission, with its parent organization based in Chennai, India in relief efforts.A report from Pondicherry, India, from Anu Sundaresan, one of our directors.

Called one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, the tsunamis that swallowed coastlines from Indonesia to India to Africa have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and displaced a million more throughout the region.  And, unfortunately, nearly a third of the dead from the disaster were children, who were completely caught unaware and swept away by the strong tidal waves.

Tsunami Relief in Chennai Nandalala Mission, with it’s parent organization based in Chennai, India, dispatched volunteers over the last 48 hours to assess the damage in the coastal areas. What we saw was heart wrenching – fishing boats torn to shreds, collapsed houses, and families and parents trying to frantically search for those missing.  With no shelter, food, clean water, or clothing, thousands will have to rebuild their lives again.

The Nandalala Mission immediately launched relief effort to aid Tsunami victims. We are seeking your assistance, in the form of donations to implement our three phase relief effort.

The Plan…

Our Founder, Sri. Mathioli Saraswathy, called a meeting of the Nandalala volunteers in India, that was well represented by all the chapters of the Nandalala Organization, in India, and US.

Nandalala will implement a three phase effort to rehabilitate the victims of the disaster.

Phase 1 — distribute cooking utensils, rice, dal, to the most needy

Phase 2 — buy those things that are essential to the villagers getting back to their livelihood, e.g. fishing nets and boats were two items specifically mentioned

Phase 3 — building of new homes/shelters that will house the homeless. 

Three groups of Nandalala volunteers, consisting of 6 per group, are being sent to Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Pondicherry in South India, for distribution of the above items to the needy. A coordinator for each group has been nominated. The coordinator will take care of the logistics relating to transportation of the volunteers and the above items from Chennai to the points of distribution. Local contact at each place of distribution has been established.

Volunteers will be innoculated with proper preventive medicines by local Nandalala doctors prior to departe.

So Far…………

  1. Clothes collected by our Dubai chapter has arrived in Chennai and is being distributed now. A Nandalala volunteer has offered his Kalyana Mandapam (Large Marriage Hall) for storage and distribution thereof.
  2. People flown in from the Andamans are being served meals at the shelter where they are being housed. Nandalala Volunteers serving meals to those flown in from the Andamans after the Tsunami disaster.
  3. Distribution of Material for Tsunami Victims at a village named Reddiarpet 30 Km away from Cuddalore.
  4. A team consisisting of M.Srinivasan, H.Prasanna, T.M.Ramanathan, V.Ganesan and Srinivasan left Chennai on 19 th of January and distributed following relief material to 180 families in a village called Reddiarpet. Bedsheets, Sarees, Buckets, Serving spoons, Tea Spoons, Vessels, Grocery packets, Plates, Glasses, and Medicines. We were assisted in our work by the local representatitives, Area Commander Homeguards etc. The team returned same day at night. Another effort for college hostel inmates of ground floor who lost everything in flood is being arranged. . They need Plate, Glass, Bedsheet and Mat each, for total of 75 boys.

May the New Year bring peace and happiness to you and your families.

Jai Nandalala!