Saturday, April 02, 2005
THE NEED CONTINUES
The Boxing Day tsunami, for those of us living outside the area affected, has faded to a memory -- but to victims and those unfortunate enough have worked or resided in the affected areas, its effects still colour our lives.
The mobile hospital continues to work in the state of Tamil Nadu, the area hit hardest, and we have identified five villages heavily affected. In these a total of 27 children have been orphaned and there are 175 homeless women. The effort now is to organise vocational training and shelter for these people where they can live as a family. In due course, with training and rehabilitation, we hope they can lead normal lives independently.
Some one hundred million pounds sterling has been raised by the larger charity organisations in the UK, including the Red Cross, but our pleas for funding to help continue our mobile hospital service have , so far, fallen on deaf ears. This may cause us to gradually withdraw these services, although we do not wish to do so as the job is not yet done. But our funds can only stretch so far.
We enjoyed the services of psychiatrist Dr. Page Tench from Houston USA in March, including his workshops on 'How to Deal with Psychic Trauma and Grief' and 'Dynamics of Child Abuse'. We have also been fortunate to have a visiting UN volunteer, Ms Annalize Vitzoen working on a documentary film about our work. It will be used for publicity and to spread the news of our work, our needs and our ongoing efforts on behalf of the poor, the needy and sick of India.
Although the world's attention has moved elsewhere, the need in Tamil Nadu continues.