Tsunami Response By VRDP

A Disaster in the form of Tsunami had slammed the East coat of Tamil Nadu on the Boxing Day, the December 26, 2004, divesting the coastal villages. Many coastal districts – Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Pondicherry, Cuddalore, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, and Kanyakumari had to bear full scale wrath of the fury and the disaster had accounted for loss of precious lives and destruction of livelihood means and properties.

VRDP could not keep a Nelson’s eye and as an expression of its human concern for the affected, embarked on a programme to offer immediate relief to the victims of the disaster. Mustering all its strength, VRDP was able to organize its core staff and mobilize material for relief distribution and the mental health part by counseling in Karaikal region.

VRDP took up a tsunami relief project for with Trócaire support after the tsunami struck the Tamilnadu coast in December 2004. This project was concluded satisfactorily in June 2005. The rehab project was being implemented in 18 coastal villages (including 7 non-fisher Dalit villages) of Karaikal near Tamilnadu.

VRDP is implementing 3 tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction projects: with PLAN, USA, French Red Cross, Trócaire, Ireland and Care India. The project runs from July 2005 – June 2009. The projects involve the construction of 214 permanent houses for the tsunami-affected, Alternative skill training, Childcare and Activity centers, Livelihood restoration for women, CBO promotion and strengthening, Organic farming in tsunami affected fields and Community level disaster preparedness and mitigation process to the survivors of Tsunami.

Insure Lives and Livelihoods Program
VRDP has taken up a social security scheme “Insure Lives and Livelihoods program” as a part of Tsunami Response Program to help the poor and vulnerable communities to access inclusive financial services. Access to Insurance is widely considered as an effective risk management practices especially for low income households it becomes an indisputable means to manage and mitigate the impact of unforeseen risks. The low income households depend on informal economy to manage expenditure arise out of the risks and health care expenses, in the absence of indemnify facility they remain as vulnerable and there is an increased possibility to borrow at unfair conditions and terms thus they were trapped in debt. So to address this, micro insurance has been implemented in Tsunami affected areas with 6000 members.

Livelihood Strengthening for Tsunami Affected Women
For the most vulnerable women like single headed, widow, destitute, below poverty line family in 16 tsunami affected villages (both fisherman and Dalit), VRDP is support for its livelihood promotion and also capacitating their skills and talents through trainings and exposure and strengthening them as a strong women federation, linking them with line departments and networks for their sustainability.