Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land:
Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Make our world an Eden
Like the Heaven above.
December 26th 2004 was one of the worst day in our history with over a 1,50,000 people confirmed dead in Asia. According to the U.S. Geological Survey the Tsunami is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.
A tsunami (pronounced tsoo-nah-mee) is a wave train, or series of waves, generated in a body of water by an impulsive disturbance that vertically displaces the water column. Earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, and even the impact of cosmic bodies, such as meteorites, can generate tsunamis. Tsunamis can savagely attack coastlines, causing devastating property damage and loss of life.
The Tsunami did affect our state also. The damage around the world was massive and we at Poornam were not sure how to react. We know whatever we do would be too little. However, we decided to do our bit cause we know that every grain is important in such situations. This blog is just some mails and posts in our inhouse forum. Seeing the way all Poornamites reacted I feel very proud and happy to be part of such a wonderful team…
You all might be aware that Sangeetha ,Jemshad and Samjad had a short visit to
the relief camps of the ‘tsunami’ affected areas of Vypin.
We visited three of the relief camps in Vypin, of which two of them were
undertaken by the Rotary Club of Cochin and a Cooperative society. The third
one was maintained by one of the political parties.
All the three camps were well maintained, even though there were scarcity for
certain items. We bought them bed sheets ( 64 nos. ) and some steel plates
and glasses. They were using disposable ones , which ate up majority of the
funds they received. The government fund has still not reached them and are
depending on various societies to meet the ends.
There are about 400 people in each camps and all the three camps looked neat.
But the tense atmosphere with the fear of another ‘tsunami’ strike existed
among the people , and they were reluctant to go back to their homes.
This is the situation that existed in Cochin and the situation might be worse
in the areas of alappey and kollam. And of course not to forget the coastal
lines of the east including Tamil Nadu.
This is a situation where we must do something to help the needy people of
the country to overcome this national emergency. The least we can do is
donate to the PMRF with what we can and some of the poornam employees
suggested donating their one day salary to the fund. It would be better if
all of us could raise a large amount of money to help the affected people
Here is a report on what we have done till now.
1) 114 bed sheets for around 100 families. We gave in 2 batches cos the initial 64 bed sheets were not enough.
2) 50 steel plates and 50 steel tumblers.
These have been given to the camp at St. Peters school in Vypin.
We are thinking of continuing to support the relief camps for a few more days, and then shift focus to the long term relief measures. Because paying for the camp expenses itself is not enough. The families have lost houses and livelihood (because fishing nets were lost) , kids have lost books which leads them to drop out of school. What we need to do is identify these aspects and address them instead of just short term relief measures though equally important will fade away in time.
I thank all of you for the support extended, and hope more will be able to join the ranks of helping others.
The relief camps at Edavanakkad (Vypin) which we were supporting is going to close now because of the school starting. Most of the camps have already closed.
So now is the time to focus on long term relief.
It has come to our knowledge that there are many children whose school going is in a precarious state because they have lost their books, uniforms, even their bags and chappals.
According to a survey conducted by Don Bosco in combination with Corporation of Cochin, there are many schools on the coast who have almost 20-50 children who have lost most of their study materials. The problem is that a lot of relief is going to TN and Andamans and not much is coming to Kerala.
From what we understand, Govt will be providing affected school children with Books and uniforms. Many other schools and school children are joining in to donate pens, pencils and other small value items.
Now in this scenario there are still things to be done. Like school bags and chappals. Not many donations in kind come for these, because they are slightly higher value.
Thats where Poornam hopes to make a difference. We will be providing a “school kit” which will have school bag, chappals, pencil/rubber and maybe even a water bottle. I am not really sure. This can change accord to requirement.
I am hoping we can adopt one or more such schools, where all affected children (around 20-50 each) can be provided school kits by Poornam.
Thanks to all the kind donations and the money from the canceled New year party, this may be very much possible. The more donations we get, we will be able to adopt more schools.
Here is an update on what has happened .
Yesterday Tobby went and gave order for school kits for 107 affected children.
Each school kit has the following
1) 1 school bag.
2) 1 pencil box
3) 2 pencils
4) 1 eraser
5) 1 sharpner
6) 1 ball pen
7) 1 steel tiffin box
8) 1 good quality instrument box (for children in 4th std and above)
9) 1 pack of coloring pencils (for children in 3rd std. and below)
We will be getting this stuff by today evening.
The schools we are taking care of are.
1) SMHS School, Cherai – 37 children
2) RVUH School, Cherai – 19 children
3) SBLPS Nayarambalam – 50 children
We are intending to give the school kits tomorrow on 13th morning during the school assembly. Generally the assembly is between 9 to 10 am.
Now we need people to go present the kits to the school children. We need at least 2 people per school . So that means around 6 people will go to that area as the 3 assemblies is at almost the same time. All these schools are quite close to each other. Transport will be arranged and we think it should leave by 8 am tomorrow morning (13th)
I would like to personally thank Tobby Davasia and Samjad for all the running around they have done so far.
Samjad has been instrumental in finding about the bag and getting samples.
Tobby went to Broadway after an exhausting day at office to find the material and place the order.
I would like to thank all those who donated to make this possible. List is at http://inhouse.net.
And finally some pictures which were taken when we went to the schools.