Indian Catholic News

Ockhi victims receive relief from Tamil Nadu government

100 widows from Kerala border Latin Catholic archdiocese reach Chennai.

Victims of cyclone Ockhi from border Vallavilai and seven other parishes under the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram travel to Chennai on Tuesday.

Tamil Nadu government distributed compensation to the cyclone Ockhi victims from eight parishes under the Latin Catholic Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram.

100 widows from Vallavilai and seven neighbouring parishes in Kanyakumari district received cheques of Rs 10 lakh each from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami at Fort St. George, the headquarters of TN government, on Mar 14. The remaining Rs 10 lakh can be availed only after six months though it will be deposited with immediate effect.

Cyclone Ockhi had claimed 144 lives from Vallavilai and seven neighbouring parishes. Only 12 bodies of fishermen belonging to Vallavilai, Neerodi, Marthandanthurai, Eraviputhanthurai, Chinnathurai, Thoothor, Poothurai and Erayumanthurai were recovered in the search and rescue mission.

Vallavilai is a fishing hamlet on the Kerala border, about 38 km from Vellayambalam Bishop House in Thiruvananthapuram.

Father Peter Darwin, parish priest at Vallavilai St. Mary’s Church, said that he and seven other neighbouring parish priests were asked by the Tamil Nadu fisheries department to reach Chennai on Wednesday to receive the compensation.

“We began our trip in four tourist buses late Monday evening. The 150 persons also include several affected families. There are several more widows who were expected to attend the programme, but couldn’t make it as they are cancer victims”, said Fr. Peter Darwin, who has been doing commendable service for affected families post Cyclone Ockhi.

The majority of the widows are yet to come to terms with losing their loved ones. Even now the survivors of Cyclone Ockhi are scared of venturing into the deep sea.

With the TN government and the Kerala government giving a warning to fishermen not to venture into the sea due to depression, they are facing financial difficulties. There are 182 big fishing boats in Vallavilai alone where a majority of the fishermen catch sharks and tuna from the deep sea as far as Oman, Diego Garcia and South Africa.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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