Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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TamilS  - a nation without a state


Tsunami & an Outpouring of Poems - Kavithaikal - சுனாமி கவிதைகள் "The healing power of poetry - the Truth that lives within each and every one of us; the Truth that always liberates and never dies..."
பிறந்த பின் நினைத்த ஆயிரம் ஆசைகள்,
ஆறிவு தெளிந்த பின் ஆர்த்தம் அற்றுப் போகலாம்,
ஆறிவு மழுங்கி ஆடை இன்றி
மண்ணில் மறையும் நாள்,
ஆசைகள் ஆர்த்தம் கேட்ட கேள்விகள் ஆர்தமாய் தோண்றலாம்
வாழ்வின் ஆர்த்தம் ஏதில் தான் இருக்கிறது
ஆன்னயின் பாசத்திலா, இயற்கையின் சீற்றத்திலா

இல்லை வாழ்க்கை முடியும்
நொடிகளில் தோண்றும் செயலற்ற பீதியிலே
ஆர்தம் அற்ற மனிதனாய் வாழ்வதை விட
ஆர்த்தம் தேடி ஆலையும் ஆன்மாவாய் இருப்பதெ ஊயர்வொ?
After the Tsunami - ending torn lives in Tamil Nadu
Interim Report on the Tsunami devastation in Tamil Nadu, 2 January 2005 "Sewa Bharati Tamilnadu in association with the volunteers immediately entered the affected areas within hours of the Tsunami striking in the coastal areas. In fact in some areas the volunteers plunged into relief work even as the tidal waves were still devastating the people and their homes. Some of the daily reports of Sewa Bharati on the initial relief work undertaken are attached to this Interim Report.

The purpose of this Interim Report is to summarise the work done by Sewa Bharati and the work presently on and also the preliminary estimate of the devastation. This is to invite the attention of the Authorities, donors and well wishers to the immediate task of providing temporary housing by way of tented accommodation if the relief and restructuring is to proceed further."... more

Tamil Nadu Tsunami Relief Initiative - A Network of Civil Society Organisations
Urgent Relief Needed for Tamil Nadu Tsunami and Earthquake Victims - Appeal by Bhaktivedanta Ashram " In response to the recent tsunami, the Bhaktivedanta Ashram is arranging a team of volunteers in Tamil Nadu to begin relief work to help the victims. Relief activities are expected to begin on Thursday, December 30th. .... Due to the long term effects of this disaster, the Bhaktivedanta Ashram plans to open a permanent relief center in Chennai so that relief activities can continue even after the immediate media attention dies down. ..In such a situation with millions of displaced people suffering in need of food and clothing it seems an impossible task, but we should not let this discourage us. Let every one of us help in whatever little way we can.We humbly request all those with sufficient means to donate towards the tsunami relief work in Tamil Nadu."

Tsunami Destruction Pictorial Record
Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation Committee (TTRRC)

Tsunami Disaster &  Tamil Nadu

[see also Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam ]

Tamil Nadu suffered a loss of Rs.47 billion, accounting for two thirds  of the total losses suffered in south India, followed by Kerala (Rs.13 billion), Pondicherry (Rs.5 billion) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs.3.4 billion). (Indian Govt. Release. New Delhi,7 January 2005)

"...The wave was one huge wall, strong, dark and menacing, casting its own shadows. Frothing and fuming, it was advancing towards the shore at very high speed....Chennai-based film-maker, R. V. Ramani, lived to pen the tale"

16 February 2005

Tsunami and the Ugly Relic of the Varna System - V.B.Rawat

"...What perturbs me most is that there were allegedly 6 community kitchens opened by the Swami in this area. As usual we were being informed that it is just the fishing community who is the victim of Tsunami while it is blatant lie. When some of the fishermen saw Dalits eating in the community kitchen they became so violent that Swami has to intervene. He was forced to start a separate kitchen for Dalits. Even in such a situation, we did not have the courage to challenge the status quo. More then 52 people died in this village and yet such racism has not died from the minds of the people.... Unfortunately, this Tsunami, on whose destruction we all are crying, have not been able to demolish the most powerful and destructive system of caste in India. Perhaps, we need a stronger Tsunami to destroy the ugly relic of caste system and racial discrimination from our society. " more

7 January 2005 Even Govt divides survivors on caste, says it�s practical - Grim Reality of Tamil Nadu's Caste Divisions

"Doors are being slammed in the face of Dalit survivors here�and the Government is quietly doing some of the slamming. Yesterday, The Indian Express reported how Dalits from 63 affected villages are facing the brunt of the powerful Meenavar fishermen (a Most Backward Class): being thrown out of relief camps, pushed to the rear of food and water lines, not being allowed to take water from UNICEF facilities and in some cases not even being allowed to use the toilet. Now it�s been learnt that the Government, instead of ensuring justice, was reinforcing this divide�both caste and communal. In fact, a day after the killer waves struck and thousands began pouring into these camps, revenue officials were asked to quietly go about dividing the victims and report to their superiors. They were asked to see that the numerically powerful and politically significant Meenavars had their ��exclusive�� relief camps. The equally battered Muslims, Dalits, Nadars, Pillais, Devars and other lower castes� mostly non-fishermen� were shunted into camps of their own. This has since been accomplished in most parts of this district. When asked how the Government could endorse this discrimination, Nagapattinam Sub Collector Dr Umanath said that this was a conscious decision and a practical one. ��There are the real divisions and distrust among the communities,�� he told The Indian Express today, ��a crisis like this is no time to experiment with casteist and religious amity.�� The Government, Umanath said, just could not risk putting them up all together. When asked what the risk was, Umanath declined to comment..." more

6 Januray 2005 India's "untouchables" gather dead � by Terry Friel

"They are the "untouchables"; the lowest of the low in India's ancient caste system. No job is too dirty or too nasty, and they are the ones cleaning up the rotting corpses from last week's killer tsunami.The overwhelming majority of the 1,000 or so men sweating away in the tropical heat to clear the poor south Indian fishing town of Nagapattinam, which bore the brunt of the giant wave, are lower caste dalits from neighboring villages.Locals too afraid of disease and too sickened by the smell refuse to join the grim task of digging friends and neighbors out of the sand and debris. They just stand and watch the dalits work."

6 January 2005 Tamil Nadu: A way of life at stake - By Charles Haviland, BBC, India

On Tamil Nadu's Coromandel coast, fishing has been a way of life for thousands of years. But the tsunami has caused such devastation and trauma that many fear their beloved industry will never truly recover.

6 January 2005 and now, a wave of compassion...

"Students, lawyers, doctors, slum-dwellers, IT professionals... help is pouring in from all quarters for post-tsunami relief works.... Chennai has never seen anything quite like this before. Lawyers, doctors, IT professionals and chartered accountants are taking one and two months of leave to clamber on trucks piled high with relief material and head to remote tsunami-struck villages to help volunteers find, lift and bury rapidly decomposing bodies. Young people are packing knapsacks and hitching lifts to the coast to offer both brains and brawn in an attempt to help devastated villagers. Students from city schools and colleges are sitting up late, sifting through and meticulously cataloguing the never-ending flood of food, vessels, clothes and money, coming from all over the world, everyday. The most amazing part of the story is, perhaps, the fact that, in this current time of trouble, everybody is pitching in. "The city has risen up magnificently to face this tragedy," says one volunteer, just back from Nagapattinam. "All along the coast, in all the villages I visited, there was an overflow of aid. Stacks and stacks of clothes, more-than-enough cooked food, volunteers on call... All class, caste, religious, social and economic barriers have simply faded away as people stand shoulder to shoulder helping put villages back on their feet."

6 January 2005 Description of the Emergency situation - Tamil Nadu

As southern India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands struggled to recover from Sunday's tsunami strike, armed forces and civilian agencies took up massive rescue and relief operations, looking for survivors along the coastline and rushing food, clothes and medicines to the tens of thousands displaced.  The toll has gone up to 7000. Hundreds of bodies were found buried in the sand. As the seawater receded, rescue teams gained access to the badly battered areas.

3 January 2005 Donations pour in for Tamil Nadu tsunami victims

"Funds for relief and rehabilitation work have started pouring in with Haryana government, some companies and industrialists contributing Rs 12.98 crore for the tsunami-affected people of Tamil Nadu, an official release said here today.The donations were given to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and handed over personally to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by Haryana Finance Minister Sampath Singh and other representatives of corporates.On behalf of Haryana government, Singh handed over a Rs three crore cheque.Hyundai contributed Rs two crore, Susan Energy Ltd. Rs 1.11 crore, Wheels India Rs 1.02 crore, Larsen and Toubro Rs one crore, Coca Cola India Rs 50 lakh and Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Cooperatives donated Rs 30 lakh, the release said."

3 January 2005 Tamil Nadu tsunami toll rises to 7,814

"The toll in the Tsunami that struck Tamil Nadu on December 26 has been officially put at 7814, with Nagapattinam topping the list with 5,925 deaths.A total of 3,324 people were injured, according to figures provided by the official website of the disaster management and mitigation department on Monday. Nagapattinam district reported 1,922 injured, while Kanniyakumari district reported 817 deaths and 329 injured. Cuddalore district had 603 deaths and 214 injured."

2 January 2005 'All the children look so blank' 

"Tamil Nadu was the worst-hit state on the Indian mainland, with almost 7,000 people killed...'It is very difficult to find the words to describe the situation here. On the seashore, there are many mothers and fathers still sitting on the sand, in the only clothes they own. Some of them look kind of mentally disturbed. They are repeating over and over again the name of their lost sons and daughters. They say, "My daughter, I'm waiting for you. Come soon. Please, come soon." 'Some of them cannot cry any more. They say they have exhausted all their tears. It is a very sad experience. What can you say to console these people? There is nothing. They need aid urgently. But I know that no matter how much help they get, it will never be enough to compensate for their loss..."

2 January 2005 A week after, tsunami tragedy still unfolding

"A week after the sea's fury brought unprecedented death and destruction along India's coastal region, the enormity of the tragedy is still unfolding.The country has already counted 8,955 dead - by official estimates - in the deadly waves that battered the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and thousands are still missing, mostly in the Andaman archipelago..."

2 January 2005 Relief Effort along Tamil Nadu Coast

"The biggest challenge now in the tsunami-devastated areas is to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation to millions of people rendered homeless by last Sunday's tragedy."

1 January 2005 30,000 families affected in Kanyakumari: Official

"A total of 30,000 families and 33 out of the 44 fishermen villages in Kanyakumari district had been affected by the deadly Tsunami. Stating this, District Collector Ramesh Chand Meena told reporters in Nagercoil on Saturday that ten villages, including Colachel, Kotilpaud, Melamanakudy, Keezhamanakudy and Alikal, were the worst-hit.Putting the toll in the district at 817, Meena said 499 of the deaths had occurred in Colachel and Kotilpaud areas."

1 January 2005 Tamil Nadu tourism industry estimates loss of Rs five Crore

"The estimated damage incurred by the Tamil Nadu tourism department due to the tsunami was around Rs five crore... Mamallapuram and Kanyakumari were the two major tourist destinations affected by tsunami. Though there were minor damages in other tourist spots, no other major destination was affected... both in Kanyakumari and Mamallapuram the monuments were not affected, only the structures were damaged. In Kanyakumari, which reported heavy losses of life, the Vivekananda rock and the Thiruvalluvar statue were not at all affected..."

31 December 2004 Action Aid UK: Five days after the tsunami struck the Indian coastline, survivors� lives are now threatened by lack of clean water and sanitation.

"Worst affected along the 700km coast of Tamil Nadu are 600 communities of up to 700,000 fisher folks, where over 7,000 people have been confirmed dead. Giant walls of water struck the coastline killing women and children in large numbers. Action Aid has 30 full-time staff and nearly 300 partners and volunteers working in the area providing safe drinking water and sanitation, essential medicines and food supplies to families. A mobile team of doctors is in place and ActionAid is also counselling traumatized survivors using experts from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Science. ActionAid is working with local fisher folks groups and the Dalit Collective in Tamil Nadu to start the process of recovery so that they can overcome their fear of the sea and start to rebuild their lives...About 100,000 people have lost their primary source of living from fishing and selling. Survivors are so traumatised by the tsunami waves that for the first time in history local communities now have a fear of the sea. They are in a complete state of shock."

31 December 2004 Situation limping back to normal in Tamil Nadu; toll 6,238

"Situation in several parts of Tamil Nadu's Tsunami-hit coastal areas is slowly limping back to normal five days after disaster struck claiming 6,238 lives in the state and the administration and the civic authorities are now busy undertaking restoration and relief works."

31 December 2004

Rescue and Relief Operations in full swing in Tamil Nadu

31 December 2004 Indian Prime Minister  sanctions Rs 250 crore relief for Tamil Nadu

After his tour of the tsunami-hit areas, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sanctioned Rs 250 crore to Tamil Nadu for taking up relief work.

at Chennai, Marina Beach

  Tamil Nadu Government Information Cell

The devastating tidal waves that lashed several coastal districts of Tamil Nadu  (Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari)  on Sunday  around 9.00 am have left at least 6238 dead and rendered many people homeless.

29 December 2004 How You can Help Tsunami Victims - Rediffusion.com
29 December 2004 Tsunami toll over 7,000 in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry

"Three days after the tsunami disaster hit coastal areas of the country, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry are still counting their dead with the toll mounting to a staggering 7,000 today amidst stepped up efforts to prevent any break out of epidemic and speed up rehabilitation work..."

27 December 2004 Over 6,500 killed by tsunami in south India

"Sunday's deadly tsunami waves have now claimed almost 6,500 lives on India's southeastern coast. In India, Tamil Nadu is one of the worst affected states where 3,000 people are reported dead. In Andaman & Nicobar Islands as well, 3,000 people have been killed. In Pondicherry, 337 people have died and hundreds of fishermen are still missing. 97 casualties have been reported from Andhra Pradesh, while the toll in Kerala has touched 150... More than 300 people have died in Cuddalore too while the death toll in the state capital Chennai is 200...."




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