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This Community Voice may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-04-10-2006-00.htm

Community Voice

Wednesday, 04 October 2006

20th Assu, Nanakshahi 538

Tamil Nadu Tsunami Survivors Move into New Homes Built by the Sikh Community & Others

Permanent Housing built in the True Spirit of Sarbat da Bhalla

CUDDALORE, Tamil Nadu, India: Guru Nanak Sarbat Sikh Sangat (GNSSS), a coalition comprising of UNITED SIKHS and eleven other Sikh organizations delivered the keys of newly built permanent houses to the survivors of the 2004 Tsunami in the village of Muzhukuthurai in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu on September 28th 2006.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala praised the efforts and dedication of the NGOs in helping rehabilitate the victims of the Tsunami. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, the District Collector of Cuddalore and the person in charge of handling natural disasters also addressed those at the inaugural function recollecting the destruction caused by the Tsunami and applauding the building efforts of the NGOs. A total of 161 new homes were built by GNSSS and other non-Sikh NGOs.

RIGHT: Governor S.S. Barnala and District Collector, Gagandeep Singh at the Inaugural ceremony

The twelve NGOS took up the project to construct houses for the villagers rendered roofless by tsunami and aside from the permanent houses, have provided a primary school, a community hall, a primary health centre, a fish market area, roads, electrification, rainwater harvesting structures and drainage systems.

Permanent Housing Site of Muzhukuthurai
Tsunami Memorial at Muzhukuthurai

Rajinder Singh of Guru Nanak Sarbat Sikh Sangat said “I believe anything that starts under Guru Nanak’s name completes successfully. I am motivated by the initiative of all member organizations.”

Dimple Kaur, UNITED SIKHS Project Coordinator, said Tsunami-ravaged South Asia had required prompt response from all involved. The efforts of UNITED SIKHS were led by sewadars such as Bhai Esher Singh, Lakhvinder Kaur and Navneet Singh who along with the rest of the GHANAIA (Giving Humanitarian Aid Necessities and Assistance Impartially to All) team provided relief to affected people in areas including Campbell Bay and Cuddalore. The team had to use innovative ways to reach the Tsunami victims to provide emergency supply including food and clothes.

Dimple Kaur continued, “UNITED SIKHS joined GNSSS on the Tsunami permanent housing and infrastructure project making it a high priority task, gathering funds and disbursing them to its team on the ground. We have other permanent rehabilitation projects running in Campbell Bay, Poonch in Kashmir and other parts of the world where natural calamities have struck. We are grateful to all our other partners in this venture are special thanks to district collector Gagandeep Singh for his support”.

LEFT: Dimple Kaur presenting A plaque to the Panchayat (Village Council) President

Other members of the coalition present at the inauguration event included Harbhajan Singh of Nishkam Sikh Welfare Society, Kulwant Singh of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, President Sri Guru Singh Sabha Mumbai, Jaspal Singh of Gurmat Charitable Trust, Harbans Singh Anand of Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha, Surjit Singh, Mata Harnam Kaur of Guru Granth Sahib Study Centre.

For more details visit http://www.unitedsikhs.org/ghanaia/gallery/

To read a previous community voice on UNITED SIKHS projects for Tsunami survivors please click  http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-17-02-2006-00.htm

Issued by:
Kuldip Singh

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