GREMALTES AT THE SERVICES OF THE TSUNAMI AFFECTED AREAS
26TH December 2004, the day after Christmas, was a black Sunday for thousands of people in South Asia. The coastal belt of Tamilnadu faced the rare fury of the sea which destroyed hundreds of villages. In addition to the loss of human lives, the livelihood of the people was also destroyed. The scale of devastation was immense and was mitigated by the show of empathy and support from all parts of the world. The help received from across the world were the rays of hope that were needed in the midst of the desolation.
GREMALTES got in touch woth the district authorities on the 27th and 28th December, 2004 and offered to participate in the relief measures. On 29th December, 2004, the Gremaltes medical And counselling team began it's operations to provide the required medical and emotional support to the people in the tsunami affected areas near Chennai. We were supported and encouraged by our partnerss, the German Leprosy and TB Relief Association (GLRA), RTL through (GLRA), Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM), Asha Nivas and Low Cost Health Care Centre. The areas in which we conducted tsunami relief work are Sreenivasapuram, Korakuppam, Oor Oor Kuppam, Alcat Kuppam, Tiruvanmiyur, Semmencherry, Kovalam, Nagooran Thottam and Royapuram. All these areas are in and around the outskirts of Chennai.
Several fishermen lost their boats when the tsunami hit the coast of Tamil Nadu. With their boats damaged, several people had lost their means of earning their livelihood. As part of the tsunami relief operations, GREMALTES provided boats to these fishermen. Each boat with a motorized engine cost around Rs. 1,00,000/-. This timely assistance helped the community get back on it's feet as they were assured of their earning potential, after the situation became normal. GREMALTES prides itself on providing this type of assistance which is self sustaining.
We at GREMALTES believe that children are the foundation of a healthy a society. With their parents struggling to cope with the atermath of the tsunami, the children were trying to come to terms with the devastation on their own. Many children were orphaned and were facing intense emotional trauma. We decided to provide them tuitions and lessons to focus their energy on school work. We also provided school kits, bags and uniforms to the children
As part of our tsunami relief operations, we provided training in computers and computer education to the older children in the villages that were affected. We were helped by our team of committed volunteers who worked hand in hand with the local community to make this venture a success.
Games & Sports
Games and sports activities were organised for the children in the tsunami affected villages. We provided the community center in the villages sports equipment, so that children who are interested in sports were able to pursure their interest. Due to the interest taken by GREMALTES in the welfare of children, they were able to follow up on their sporting interest.
Children were trained and made to understand the importance of cultural development. They were taught music and dance for a short period as part of this initiative. At the end of the program, the children gave a performance which was appreciated by all.
Yoga & Naturopathy
GREMALTES used this opportunity to teach children the benefits on Yoga and Naturopathy. With processed foods flooding the markets and the over all life style of people changing, we felt this was an opportunity which should not be missed. The children participated with great enthusiasm and benefited immensely from this program.
Health & Hygiene
We held workshops to educate the people in the villages about the importance of maintaining their surroundings in a hygienic manner. We impressed upon them the need to maintain the sanitation facilities provided and the direct impact that low standard of hygiene and sanitation have on their health.
GREMALTES built a fish market as part of the tsunami relief operations. This was then handed over to the community for their use. While building the fish market, we ensured that it would be easy to maintain the overall cleanliness level of the market. We also trained the villagers on how to maintain and manage the fish market on their own. This was part of our focus on livelihood rehabilitaion and reconstruction.
Community Center Building
GREMALTES helped build a community center building in one of the villages. This too was handed over for maintenance and operations to the local community. The community center is still being used for local activities like weddings, birthdays or for any other activity which involves a large group getting together. It has a capacity to hold about 200 people at a time.