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From the Field
Relief Workers' Report

UNITED SIKHS, an international non-profit human development NGO, is currently working to provide humanitarian aid to victims of the Asian tsunami disaster. Current UNITED SIKHS projects include relief efforts in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nicobar Islands, South India, and Aceh, Indonesia.

Update from Esher Singh (UNITED SIKHS Project Leader)

On 15th Feb, Home Minister Shivraj Patil arrived and visited various camps. We had a small gathering at the Assistant Commissioner's office grounds. At the gathering people stated that they refuse to remain at Campbell Bay and requested that they be sent back to their respective states as there is nothing left in Gt Nicobar for their resettlement and rehabilitation.

The Minister tried to calm the people of Gt Nicobar who want to leave the island by giving them promises that his administration will try to settle them and asked them to register their names with the administration. He also said it may not be possible to re-settle them outside Gt Nicobar because the government of their state of origin doesn't have any land to allocate for their re-settlement.

He said his administration will be building 10,000 temporary houses in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. There are lakhs of people to be settled. He said permanent house would be built after 2 years. People shouted back stating that if the people here have to continue practising agriculture, their houses should also be constructed in their respective lands because it would be very difficult to travel the distance from the hilly area to the agricultural land especially during rainy season. But, he did not respond to this request. He met a number of people and left Campbell Bay after 21/2 hours.

In the evening , I had a talk with SGPC President ,Jagir kaur. She said that former Panjab Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal, is not coming to Campbell Bay. Only Bibi Jagir kaur will travel to Campbell Bay and will be here until 4th March. I had also talked to her about getting some more funds for tin sheets which are required for 70 houses. Cost per sheet is Rs 500 approx. About 50 sheets should be given to every household.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh.

Esher Singh

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