01/26/2005, 00.00
INDIA

New boats for fishermen who survived the tsunami

Anthony Thota

PIME priest speaks about the PIME relief campaign he is coordinating in Tamil Nadu. A month after the tragedy rebuilding has started.

Chennai (AsiaNews) – I have just come back from visiting some villages around Chennai along with some sisters from St. Joseph of Cluny and some young volunteers from my parish, Risen Christ Church of Chennai.

In the emergency phase we divided up the work: the nuns who are also nurses were in charge of medical care; the young gave out rice and water and another group helped people overcome their still unending fear of sea.

With the first batch of money we got—about US$ 15,000— we bought rice, lentils, water, cooking oil, vegetables and cookies which distributed in the different villages. We also gave people pots and pans, mats and blankets as well as medicines against malaria typhus and cholera.

Now we the 20,000 dollars we just got, we want to continue our action in a second phase.

After talking with locals we bought three motor boats for people in the villages of Sadrangapatnam and Angalammankuppam who so far had received precious little.

We'll also buy enough fishing nets that every family has one.

In Sadrangapatnam the homes of 110 families were completely lost and those of another 85 will have to be torn down because they were damaged beyond repair.

The village also lost 24 motor boats and 21 row boats, not too mention all the nets.

Angalammankuppam is a very poor village of 400 people. Here one in three residents is literally homeless: their home is gone. The entire community also lost 20 big motor boats, nets as well 16 other smaller crafts.

If you consider that a boat costs about 75,000 rupees (1744 dollars), a net, 85,000 rupees (1976 dollars), and a motor boat , 44,000 (1024 dollars) and add the three up it comes out to 204,000 rupees or 4767 dollars.

With the 20,000 dollars we got we bought and equipped three boats and we'll use what is left over to help the displaced, to move and feed them.

We'll hand over the boats, motors and nets on February 3.

We want to thank the donors for their generosity towards the tsunami victims but so many other villages need your help.

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