(30 May '05)
30 May 2005
25 houses in the Alappuzha district are ready for habitation. The work on the 125 other houses is about 80 percent over. The ashram is building two types of houses here according to the two plans provided by the government – one for houses close to the sea and one for those that are further inland.
Construction of houses is progressing at a fast pace in the 1, 3, 4 and 5th wards of Alappad Panchayat. Within 15 days from the start of work the piling for a 100 houses is over and the work on the super-structure has started. At each stage of construction government officials have been inspecting the work and giving sanction for the next stage.
Tsunami housing construction in Alappad
The government has prohibited re-construction of houses which had been right on the sea coast. They have provided an alternate site in Kulashekharapuram across the backwaters for the displaced.The ashram has finished concreting work of the 16 houses allotted there.
There are over 1,200 people, including brahmachari’s, brahmacharini’s and volunteers working day in and out on the construction of houses.
The ashram conducted two five day camps for children of the tsunami affected areas of Alappad and Alappuzha in the ashram itself. There were classes on yoga, sanskrit, spoken english and character development. The children were lucky to have the opportunity to have direct interaction with Amma — they had question answer sessions, sang bhajans and performed for Her.
The children had an opportunity to express and enhance their creative abilities in special drawing and clay modeling The ashram looked after the accommodation and food for approximately five thousand children who participated in the camps. classes. The children were also given certificates of participation.
The reconstruction work in Pudukuppam, starting with reconstruction of houses was initiated by the ashram with Brahmachari Abhayamrita Chaitanya laying the foundation stone.
Under the auspices of the ashram 12 marriages have been solemnised so far in the coastal belt near the ashram, with the ashram providing gold ornaments, clothing and arranged for the marriage feast.
In Tamil Nadu the ashram salvaged 190 motor boat engines from under sand and debris, repaired them, provided new propeller shafts and handles and gave it back to the fishermen.
96 damaged boats were repaired and reconditioned with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and returned to the fishermen of Nagapattinam.
21 boats were repaired and reconditioned with Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and returned to the owners in Pudukuppam in Cuddalore district.
Ten fiber glass boats have been made by the ashram and are ready for allotment. The cost of one boat is about 2 to 2.5 lakh rupees. On an average a boat would be a means of livelihood for seven to ten fishermen families.
In Alappad, the district collector Shri. B. Srinivas laid the foundation stone flagging off the construction of houses in Alappad by the ashram.