Life goes on - response to the Indian Ocean tsunami: India
One of 791 new boats distributed by The Salvation Army
For many people the India Ocean tsunami of December 2004 is a distant memory, but the enormity of it was and continues to be experienced in many ways. It is estimated that 228,000 people across 14 countries lost their lives and 1.7 million were displaced. In many communities, The Salvation Army was the first organization in, and will be the last to leave.
$60 million was donated to The Salvation Army for tsunami relief and rehabilitation. It was the largest response to the Army's disaster relief work in its 140-year history. Here are a few examples of the Army's work, which has helped people recover from the devastation.
New Boats for Six Fishermen
The Indian fishing village of Kovallam was hit by two waves taking the lives of six people and extensively damaging the homes of 30 families. Local fishermen lost their boats, motors and nets, and the community was in a terrible state of despair. But just six months later, on the shores of Kovallam, the fishermen were celebrating on the occasion of receiving fishing materials for their livelihood, and renewed hope for a bright future.
Children play on Salvation Army-provided boat in Kadiapattinam, India
Chandrasekaran is a member of the fishing community in Chandrapadi village, India. He was just 14 years old when his father left home with another women. As the eldest son of the family, he became the main wage-earner, working as a labourer for other boat owners. The income was meagre and the family could barely survive.
The tsunami took a bad situation and made it worse. His only sister, divorced from her husband, died in the tsunami leaving her son, Praveen. As Praveen had no one to look after him, Chandrasekaran took his nephew in and gave him shelter.
The Salvation Army has provided 791 boats, transforming the lives of many families and communities. Chandrasekaren was provided with a fibre boat, an engine and fishing equipment. Today the family is able to generate an income of about 15,000 rupees (US$350) a month, and the family is better off than it has ever been.
Mr Anjappan's Story
Mr Anjappan, a mason by profession, lives in Uzhavar Nagar, India one of the villages worst-hit by the tsunami. For 37-year-old Mr Anjappan, the tsunami took away more than his house - it also washed away his tools and equipment, leaving him homeless and unable to work.
New Homes being built using local labour
When The Salvation Army started undertaking emergency relief in the area, the Anjappan family - parents and two children - was assessed to be one of the most deserving cases for assistance. The Salvation Army provided the family with household essentials and also replaced Mr Anjappans's tools and equipment so he could carry on with his masonry work.
The Salvation Army also provided housing and now House No 21 is home to Mr Anjappan and his family. The modern, well constructed house is very different from the small hut thatched with coconut leaves they were used to. They told Salvation Army officers they could never have imagined that they would ever live in such a house.
Salvation Army officers handing over the boats to local fisherman