Indian Catholic News

Church agency evaluates 10 years of Tsunami relief

A study conducted to mark the anniversary focused on what people actually feel and say about the relief work of Caritas India.

New Delhi: 

Marking the tenth anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami that killed an estimated 18,000 people India, Caritas India began a meeting Thursday in Puducherry helping survivors recall how the Church agency helped them rebuild their lives.

The March 5-4 meeting is scheduled to release a study authenticating the satisfaction of the beneficiaries across Tsunami affected states of peninsular India.

Over the last 10 years, the Catholic Church's social service wing built 13,472 houses in the affected states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The housing project "consumed seventy percent of Caritas’ Tsunami fund,” said Disaster Desk Team Leader Babita Alick.

Besides this, the community based disaster preparedness (CBDP) and Psychosocial support programs continued to provide assistants to the beneficiaries until it officially came to a close in 2012, Babita said.

The evaluation study conducted by Delhi based Research team from Indian Social Institute (ISI) includes elaborative findings from Orissa Super cyclone of 1999 and floods in 2001 and 2003, Gujarat Earthquake of 2001 and Bihar Floods of 2007 and 2008.

The study was focused on “what people actually feel and say and not what aid agencies want to hear” and the views were substantiated with critical scientific analysis of the impacts of different activities, Caritas officials said.

The study showed help for housing facilities gave highest satisfaction to beneficiaries followed by livelihood.

In general, 65.9 percent found dry ration was highly helpful, followed by clothes (14.4%), temporary shelter (10.1 %) and utensils (5.8%). Only 3.7 percent said water and healthcare were highly beneficial.

Out of the 27 disaster-prone states of India as per the government of India, at least eight have been crippled with flash floods during the period 2013-14.

“Caritas have marked high presence and delivery in all of them; starting from Assam to Hudhud alerts at Gujarat coast and from Kashmir to Andhra Pradesh," said Caritas Executive Director Fr. Frederick D’Souza.

The meeting aims to analyze the findings of the study report and it’s long term Impact along with the responses of each state.

Top Church leaders like Bishops conference president Cardinal Cleemis, Caritas India chairman Reverend Lumen Monteiro, Archbishop Antony Anandarayar of the Pondicherry and Cuddalore diocese are among those attending the meeting.

Source: Press release

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