Skip to main content

Botched Tsunami rehabilitation

Continuing with my experience with Tsunami affected people. I enquired with my friends whether the government has offered any new houses. They said the government did offer them house. However, their community decided not to take up the house offer. I was surprised and asked them why, because I have been to their houses and the living conditions are bad.

They said the rehabilitated houses are being built far away from the city and also far away from the shore. The livelihood of these people depends on fishing and it is practically not possible to have their houses far away from the shores.

Also, I was traveling with them to a place near Porur, some 20 kilometer from Besant Nagar where they live. To my surprise I found that none of the five ever seen Guindy or any place after that. For them, the life ended within the perimeter of where they lived. In their case, Besant Nagar and Adyar (an area of five square miles).

I have only heard from my known friends from one area. I don’t know the government side of the story. However, I feel that it is a basic logic when rehabilitating fisher folk one need to locate their houses near to the shore. I really don’t know how the government could miss this basic point when they are embarking on a large-scale rehabilitation project where major beneficiaries are fisher folk.


Popular posts from this blog

Being hopeless....

Three months back when my mom was visiting me, she experience heart palpitations for two consecutive nights. Worried I called my cardiologist friend who asked us to visit him in the government hospital on that day as it was a non-OPD (out patients day) duty for him. Apparently non-OPD days are less crowded. As we sat waiting, we saw many worried parents bringing their just born babies to treat serious heart problems. What struck me were the faces of these parents - a feeling of hopelessness. This was their last hope to treat their infants in a state-run hospital as they don't  have money to take them elsewhere.

Fortunately, the staff at this government hospital were treating patients sympathetically. I hoped the patients would have got the best of treatment available. In comparison, patients were treated as cattle herds at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India's premier hospital. To get an cardio OPD appointment, you will have stand in the line from 5 PM …

Happiness, street vendors, and negotiations......

Few days back I was watching a documentary series, "India's Frontier Trains". The three-part series was on trains connecting India with its neighbours - Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. Yes, there is a train connection between India and Nepal, and that train is the only functioning train for the whole of Nepal.

In the episode on the train between India and Bangladesh, the program documented a life of a chocolate seller inside the train. He boards the train in the Bangladesh side of the route. A sole bread winner for a family of four, he earns by selling chocolates in the train.

He faces a perennial problem: because of hot weather conditions, his chocolates melt. In those hot days, his earnings are meager. A basic cooling device like this costs seventeen pounds and he couldn't afford that.

What moved me was the insensitive nature of some passengers in haggling with this struggling chocolate seller. They would force down the price by 10 pence or more (which is more tha…

Be a democrat in US, but root for BJP in India

Before I say anything I would like to disclose my knowledge of political affairs in India. I had lot of assumptions and predictions for this just concluded elections, and none of them came true. So I am not going to talk politics and waste time. But this election season reminded me of a funny incident when I was a student in Arizona State University (ASU) in 2004.
As a thumb rule, I discuss politics only with close friends. So my flat mates in Phoenix had no idea about my political likes and dislikes. So on the day when BJP lost the elections, one of my flat mates – who used to hate George Bush and an active supporter of Democrats – saw me in that morning, and said, "What John, people have done this" in a disappointed tone.
He saw no contradiction whatsoever in supporting democrats in US and at the same time supporting BJP in India. It was after that I started noticing Indian students in US, and people who got their jobs in US recently, most of them exhibited this kind of du…