ICWOs intervention in the devastating disaster that struck Tamil Nadu

The disaster that struck our Tamil Nadu and the surrounding coastal areas has been - devastating, so sudden, so cruel and terrifying. Death rose from unknown depths and the long stretches of costal areas were wrecked by killer waves in minutes destroying everything and everyone in their path. The mild tremors that shook Chennai residents as it carried away men and material and those lucky watched helplessly in horror. Chennai was turned into an incredible scene of doom and desolation. The Tsunami may have lasted just a few minutes but the impact was much longer, characterized by the destruction it left behind.
Efforts of ICWO

The day after Tsunami, the staffs of ICWO was involved in visiting the areas hit by Tsunami. All the staffs were split into groups and interacted with the victims of Tsunami in the coastal areas of Chennai from Tondiarpet to Mamallapuram, Cudallur, Kanyakumari and Nagapatinam. The Staff deeply empathized with the victims, observed the areas after Tsunami, listened to the voices of victims and assessed their need.

Help Desk

The help desk rendered information about the area being covered that particular day, registration and distribution of coupons, play center, vaccination etc. Information was continuously been given regarding the distribution of provisions the following day. Help desk made sure of providing any kind of hospitality required to the Tsunami victims.
Registration Desk

A team of five staff were involved in registering the names of the Tsunami victims and gave away coupons to avail the relief materials provided by ICWO. The registration desk carefully registered all the victims in the areas that ICWO intended to give the relief materials. The team also took efforts to see to it that no duplication occurs.

Medical Desk

Medical assistance and vaccination for Typhoid was given to all people, who came from the fishermen community (both adults and children). Multivitamins, Calcium and iron tablets were given to all those who were in need. Tablets were also given to those who were suffering from general ailments. Tablets and tonics were provided to the needy that posed complaints and symptoms of Malaria and other diseases. The team comprised of two registration assistants, one doctor, two paramedical professionals and one clinic assistant.

During our interaction with the Tsunami victims, mental health and emotional assistance was observed to be the top priority need for them. Counseling was thus felt important and we deputed two counselors from ICWO aimed at relieving the emotional distress of the people and motivate them to restructure their lives after the tragic event. Counseling was provided to the members of the fishermen community. Fully trained counseling professionals, continued to render counseling. The basic issues that were addressed during counseling were-self employment, fear, anxiety, childcare, health and hygiene of the family and coping mechanism.

Play and entertainment for children

An attractive shelter was put up within the operational area for the children to entertain them, sweets and balloons were distributed to children below the age of ten years. Toys, balloons, balls were kept for them to play with.

While registering, keeping the children in play area helped the mothers to register without any distractions and to provide appropriate information to the registering officers.
Drawing sheets, crayons, sketch pens and other stationary items were distributed to the children who accompanied their mothers. This aimed to expand their creativity and have fun with colors. The mothers were thrilled seeing their children draw and color. Sweets, balloons, balls, dolls, teddy bears, carom board and other play items were made available for the entertainment of the children. The drawings of the children were displayed at the camp site.

Relief kit

ICWO distributed urgent need items that are useful to them. The kit consisted of Bed sheets, Mats, Sarees, Dhoties, Lungies, dresses and toys for children, educational materials, Kitchen items including stove, Dry provision for cooking, plastic buckets, Mugs and so on.

Supporting agencies

 • CARE - India
 • Life Help Centre, Chennai
 • Ceyrac Trust, Chennai
 • Indien Hilfswerk eV, Germany,
 • Ticino, Switzerland,
 • People from Switzerland
 • AWO International e.V, Germany
 • Global Fund for Women, USA
 • Mr.Henk Boar, Holland

Rehabilitation process

After the relief work, ICWO is realized that providing relief materials alone is not sufficient but the victims need support to rebuild and reconstruct their families. ICWO with its deep commitment to support the families that have been devastated by Tsunami is in the process of raising funds. A few families have been supported with funds to purchase Boatmarans. There is much more such requirement that need to be focused to restructure the victims of Tsunami.