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Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005

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Rebuilding lives

Sir, — Initial shock and disbelief at the havoc caused by the tsunami are giving way to a more constructive phase of trying to rebuild lives. This is a stupendous task that requires discipline, commitment, involvement and dedication. Hope such an important effort does not get dragged into political squabbles and ugly scenes. If necessary, the armed forces can be roped in for the work.

Subramaniam Shankar,
Palakkad, Kerala

* * *

Sir, — When a catastrophe occurs, we make a lot of noise but forget it after some time. Hope the tsunami kindles in us an awakening to put in our honest efforts to create a permanent disaster management mechanism, with full power to meet any contingency without waiting for the political bosses' clearance at every stage.

M. Rajaraman,
Pondicherry

* * *

Sir, — The Prime Minister has declined foreign aid for tsunami relief. Many projects across India are languishing for want of funds. This being the case, what is the need to refuse foreign aid?

N. Ramanathan,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The efforts being taken to provide food, clothes, medicines, etc., to the victims are laudable. But they will give only temporary relief. The Governments and the major private sector industries should come forward to provide jobs to the adult members of the affected families.

L.V. Subramanian,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The disaster has brought people together. Everyone seems to be doing his or her bit. Relief is pouring in from various quarters. The efforts of the local people in Nagapattinam, Karaikal and Cuddalore deserve appreciation. Now it is up to the governments concerned to monitor the distribution of relief and ensure that it reaches all the affected.

V. Srividya,
Karaikal

* * *

Sir, — It is unfair to expect any government to provide relief to the victims of such a colossal tragedy on its own. Let us all contribute generously to well-known NGOs in cash or kind. Let it not become a case of too little, too late. Let us not forget that in the aftermath of the Latur earthquake, relief material was reportedly sold in the market.

L.R. Moorthy,
Badlapur, Maharashtra

* * *

Sir, — Four women came to me asking for donation towards the tsunami relief fund. They showed me a request letter signed by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. But when they asked me not to mention the name of the person in whose favour the cheque was to be issued, I became suspicious. I found that the signature on the letter was forged. When I decided to alert the police, they escaped. The Government should take steps to crack down on such elements and the public should be vigilant.

S.A.P. Varadhan,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The people should be told to be careful while sending in their contributions.

R. Madhavan,
Salem, T.N.

* * *

Sir, — Media reports claim frequent VIP visits hinder relief operations. But they also carry huge reports and pictures of "leaders" visiting the grief-stricken.

If the media give minimum coverage to such visits, the leaders will automatically stop visiting the areas. A lack of reward will force them to stay out.

Nilakantan Rajaraman,
Clemson, South Carolina

* * *

Sir, — One section of the media portrays a picture of lethargy with respect to relief operations in the affected areas, while another claims there is immense progress. What are the people supposed to believe?

Quilon S. Krishnamurthy,
Chennai

* * *

Sir, — Many argue that if India had a tsunami warning system in place, the tragedy could have been mitigated. The best warning systems may fail at the crucial hour.

It is more important to create awareness on such forces of nature. People should be asked to use their discretion when nature throws up clues such as an under-sea earthquake.

Praveen Lazarado,
Pondicherry

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