CARE India winds up tsunami relief programmes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CHENNAI - Non-governmental organisation (NGO) CARE India Tuesday formally wound up its three phased tsunami relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction programme for the victims of the 2004 calamity.

The organisation has helped around 20,000 families to rebuild their lives devastated by the tsunami that hit the coasts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry and Andaman and Nicobar islands.

We spent around $32 million during the past six years towards tsunami relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, said R.N. Mohanty, chief operating officer or CARE India.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of a function here Tuesday to celebrate the positive change CARE and its 19 other NGO partners brought into the lives of the tsunami affected, Mohanty said: We built 2,128 houses, including 1,828 in Tamil Nadu and 300 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and provided livelihood training to the victims.

He said CARE India will now start its work with small tea growers in Nilgiri district and help them to plug the gaps in the the skill sets.

We will study the entire value chain - farm to market- and help the growers in areas they lack expertise, he added.

Part of the programme is to have organic tea farming on a pilot basis.

Speaking about CARE India’s tsunami relief operations and its impact, Mohanty said: More than 6,000 households have reported a direct increase in economic activity through strengthened dairy, poulty, goat rearing, micro enterprise development and micro credit options.

He said almost all the households have leveraged support from government and bank schemes to the value of Rs.10 million.

New salt production methods for salt producers of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh has helped them to earn 33 percent more.

It has been a great learning experience for us in CARE India working in tsunami relief activities. We are winding up the tsunami related activities as people are ready to be on their own, said Muhammad Musa, CEO and country director.

Tsunami has given us many experiences and taught many lessons. God’s gift of inner strength came to the fore for many who were affected by the tsunami. If you empower women the whole family will be liberated, said Krishnammal Jagannathan, noted social service activist.

Lauding the tsunami survivors and the way they gathered their lives and moved ahead, the founder of Sankara Nethralaya, a famous eye hospital chain, said: India was a beautiful country but it lost its sheen. We have to bring it back. Change is what is need in every sphere of life as the moral fibre of the country has gone down.

–Indo Asian News Service

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