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Tsunami-hit villagers receive boats

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, MARCH 2. Life for 500 families in Pudupattinam and Oyyalikuppam in Kalpakkam is back on track two months after the tsunami washed away people and homes.

Villagers welcomed the family of Andrew J. Krieger, founder of the `Save the Family' programme, and Mark Templer, chief executive officer of Hope Foundation, with dance and music programmes.

Mr. Krieger launched a tsunami relief organisation, International Management Group East's Emergency Relief Fund. He is also the co-chair of Microcredit Summit Council of Banks and Commercial Financial Institutions.

The U.S.-based non-government organisations, which gave 40 lifesaver packs to the fisherfolk, are planning to adopt a village in Nagapattinam. Fibre boats, motors and nets were provided. The two hamlets now have 60 boats. Later, the villagers made their first trip into the sea after the tsunami and caught a dozen sharks.

The Ramakrishna Mission has provided two boats and three more are expected. In the next phase, damaged boats would be repaired. Vocational training has been planned for the women and youth.

The villagers hoped the Government would provide them houses with basic amenities, a hospital and organise vocational training courses for women.

The villagers want support systems for their children. There are about 485 children who go to the Kalpakkam Government School. A school fund has been initiated to support long-term village education programmes.

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