Tsunami affected kanyakumari
villages will be adopted
Germany Thursday extended a long arm of cooperation deep in the
heart of rural India by setting up a medical and social centre
"When we first came to this village, we had to trudge for miles
for water and our children had to travel very far to go to
school. Those facilities were given and the only thing missing
was a hospital. That has also been done," said a visibly happy
The German business community raised two million euros after the
tsunami for relief and rehabilitation work in India, where at
least 10,000 people were killed, mostly in Tamil Nadu.
Nagapattinam on India's east coast was the worst hit district
with nearly 7,000 people dying that morning.
In association with the Srinivasan Services Trust, an NGO set up
by the Indian industry house TVS group, Rs.8.5 million of this
fund was used to establish a medical and social centre in one of
the four villages adopted by German industry and the German
Besides Thenampattinam, Pudupattinam in Nagapattinam district
and Keelmanakudi and Alikal Pillaithopu villages in
district have also been adopted.Due to the December 26
disaster the tourism in kanyakumari was affected a little
Each adopted village will have a medical and social centre with
the first unit being completely imported from Germany.
Every unit will be equipped to take care of 1,500 families in
four-five villages. It will have a full time doctor, a nurse and
an aide and Rs.100,000 as funding every month.
The social centre accompanying the medical unit will be used as
a gathering point for villagers for training in new skills.
Alternative income-generating skills have become very important
to peoples' survival here, donors said today.
The German assistance has helped 319 women earn up to Rs.1,000
each through making woollen garments, decorations and everyday
use items. As many as 247 young people have been given
vocational training and 177 of them are now employed, earning up
Besides, 339 students have been given enhanced coaching and 103
in Thenampattinam have been imparted computer training. The
package also includes adult education and skills to maintain
kitchen gardens, water harvesting and compost farming.
The donors are also setting up windmills with each providing
electricity to a five-house cluster.
Said Director General of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce B.
Steinruecke: "This is a project with a great future. The people
need it and want it and it can continue to be a long-term
sustainable development effort."
The rehabilitation effort is being led by Siemens, ThyssenKrupp,
Bayer, Merck, Allianze, Apa, Duetsche Bank, Atlanta, Zodiac and
"We wanted to look at long term support and found the greatest
need in these rural areas is medical care," said Juergen
Schubert, managing director of Siemens India Ltd, as 500
villagers from the neighbourhood welcomed their benefactors on
the hot May afternoon Thursday with jasmine garlands and cool
"Our primary focus therefore in the rehabilitation project is on
construction of medical and social centres in the identified
villages. Over the next four-five years, our aim is to uplift 80
percent of these people in this neighbourhood above the poverty
line," he added.