Created history in the aftermath of tsunami
After the initial shock of the tsunami subsided, the question of livelihood arose for the fishing community. The prevailing opinion was that sustainable reconstruction would not be possible unless the fishermen went out to sea and resumed their regular business. Fear of a tsunami and lack of resources for fishing kept them away from the sea even after months of appeals from the government.
amiableAID persistently counseled and motivated 50 fishing families and procured boats, nets, and other equipment for them from various NGOs, resulting in the first group of 10 boats with 50 crew members going out to sea to fish. This was the first time such an operation took place in the Nagapattinam region after the tsunami. It was only after this event that fishing gradually resumed throughout the coastal belt.
Coordination of a Guinness World Record event
In memory of the South Asian tsunami victims, 254,464 saplings were planted by 300 people in Pushpavanam village in Nagapattinam district within 24 hours between 01 and 02 October 2005. The founder of amiableAID coordinated the programme, which was initiated by the Nagapattinam District Administration and sponsored by Bilai Institute of Technology. Later, this event was recognised by Guinness World Records Ltd. as the world record for “most trees planted by 300 people in 24 hours.” The reforestation programme, launched as a memorial to tsunami victims around the world, ended with a Guinness World Record.
Rebuilt tourist resort devastated by the tsunami
The tsunami had wreaked havoc on the proud beach of Nagapattinam, washing away all the buildings. At one time, amiableAID was instrumental in the creation of this pre-tsunami tourist resort, which preserved socio-culture in this region where heritage preservation initiatives, even in the best of times, are hampered by lack of funding and conflicts between ideological positions. The project was realised only with great difficulty. To rebuild it, amiableAID highlighted the need, requested permission from the government, raised funds from many agencies, and realised an auditorium, a restaurant, children’s playground equipment, a park, a tsunami memorial dome, and toilets on the beach.
Installation of a water desalination plant in government Hospital
On Boxing Day, tsunami water entered the Nagapattinam Government Hospital and salinated the groundwater. AmiableAID supported Periyar Maniyammai University of Technology, Thanjavur in its tsunami reconstruction programmes and with the support of college of Engineering, San Diego State University; with the materials of M/s Pure O Tech, Inc CA92029, a water purification plant with a capacity of 16,000 litres/day was installed in the government hospital.
amiableAID recovered, buried and cremated thousands of corpses from few minutes to 9 days after the tsunami disaster.
amiableAID renovated urban schools destroyed by the tsunami and provided emergency shelter to 50 tsunami-affected families.
AMIABLE AID’S TSUNAMI RESPONSE
The fast-moving wall of water that rolled in from the ocean on December 26, 2004, break with terrifying force over the once quiet and beautiful district of Nagappattinam with terrifying force.
The December tsunami acted with hazardous impartiality, wrecking fishing villages, killing tourists and subsistence level coastal farmers, flooding the sites of past colonial elites, and wading away relics.
Having extracted a toll of thousands of lives while leaving behind much more homeless, emotionally devastated survivors, reminded the people of the Indian Ocean of the rim road of the capricious natural forces against which all hopes for development are phrased.
Our Amiable Aid Foundation, volunteered/participated/organised/performed/sponsored in collaboration with relief organisations and government officials working in the aftermath of the disaster to address the larger death toll, the damage to settlements, the reorientation and rehabilitation of those who were spared, and the rebuilding of a sense of safety and community. Our area of operation was the coastal districts in the state of Tamilnadu, India.
The list of activities carried out since the first day of the tsunami is provided here to give an overview of the services provided.
- Establishment of special homes for orphaned adolescent girls between the ages of 14 and 18 and unmarried girls over the age of 18, providing them with clothing, social protection, and skill development activities that will lead to income-generating programmes and enable them to study.
- Re-chanellising surgical procedures to reproduce mothers who lost their siblings to the tsunami waves.
- Removal of debris, recovery of bodies, preparation for burial/cremation of the dead.
- Rescue of survivors, medical care for the injured, provision of clothing, food and water
- Construction of makeshift bridges and roads for access to coastal villages inundated by seawater.
- Housing survivors in safer places such as schools, wedding houses and public buildings, providing food and clothing.
- Setting up emergency shelters where each surviving family received a boot, kerosene, palm oil, salt, turmeric powder, tamarind, sugar, tea dust, powdered milk, and dry chilies.
- Free books and uniforms were distributed to affected children, duplicate school certificates were issued to those who had lost their original certificates in the tsunami disaster, and exemption from school, special and examination fees was organised for tsunami-affected students.
- A comprehensive counselling and support programme was initiated to restore confidence in the affected people.
- Men, women and children nursed back to a normal level of self-confidence after the trauma.
- Capacity building and implementation support in the form of planning, construction, monitoring, technical advice and phased disaster management.
- Approval of the relief package for families returning to Nagappattinam from the comparatively worst affected Andaman Nocobar Islands.
- The Tsunami Emergency Relief Programme accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction in tsunami-affected areas by supporting livelihood restoration, especially for the poor, and complementary rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged public infrastructure; restored livelihoods; improved transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and ports; and improved rural and municipal infrastructure such as water supply and sanitation.
- Emergency assistance for implementing agencies for partially damaged mechanised fishing boats and for the construction of new boats to replace fully damaged boats – approved.
- Assistance package for fishermen who lost their landing sites, ports and launching sites damaged by the tsunami – provided.
- Assistance package for owners of mobile/temporary stores and pukka stores – approved.
- Assistance for property damage to small business owners, such as owners of shrimp and crab farms, owners of fish farms, owners of marine materials transportation companies, ice cream manufacturers, etc., who lost their assets to the tsunami – appropriated
- Restoration of cross walls in salt pans damaged by the tsunami.
- Assistance to small businesses that were affected by the tsunami – provided
- Acquisition of land for construction of permanent houses, repair/reconstruction of damaged houses – arranged.
- Support for reclamation of tsunami-affected sand and salt marshes, assistance for loss of livestock and support for affected farmers – organised
- Construction of walls to prevent water from entering coastal villages, planting of organic areas.
- Construction of schools, day care centres, hospitals, primary health centres, community centres, vocational training centres, etc. in tsunami-affected areas. Establishment of special kindergartens in the tsunami-affected areas.
As is evident from the worldwide response to the tsunami emergencies which brought out best in human nature, compassion, determination and heroism come out on behalf of others.
The Amiable Aid Foundation’s immediate efforts and rehabilitation efforts have been recognised from many quarters around the world.