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Indian Ocean Tsunami - Kerala & Tamil Nadu, 2004

$46 million aid package for tsunami survivors

The relief and rehabilitation work conducted by Mata Amritanandamayi Math in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami stands today as one of the most multi-faceted, comprehensive and sustained disaster-relief projects ever undertaken by a nongovernmental organization. What made our work unique was its holistic nature – every aspect of the tsunami survivors’ lives was considered and improved. In the end, many survivors stated that in terms of their quality of life and economic independence, they were better off after the tragedy than they had been before.

By the end of 2006, after two years of relief effort, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math spent ₹200 crore (US $46 million)* on tsunami relief. As part of this effort, Amma’s organization:

  • Built 6,296 homes for tsunami victims
  • Provided 700 fishing boats, engines and nets
  • Built evacuation bridge—all paid for and constructed by MAM
  • Conducted children’s camps that taught yoga, English and Sanskrit to children from tsunami-effected areas. More than 10,000 girls and boys attended. They were also given swimming lessons
  • Distributed financial aid to families in Kerala.
  • Distributed 15,000 saris and dhotis in Sri Lanka to victims
  • Provided medical aid and clothing for 9,500 refugees in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu
  • Established seven relief camps, with shelter for 100 families in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu
  • Provided free education and vocational training to 2,500 young people, including 800 nursing assistants trained at AIMS, and 1,000 automobile drivers and security guards and 700 women trained in tailoring and handicrafts
  • Fed 15,000 people in 12 government shelters for weeks
  • Served 10,000 meals three times a day at relief camps and at 18 food counters in the villages near Amritapuri for months
  • Provided intensive care to villages and relief camps via 11 ambulances with teams of doctors and nurses
  • Assisted with cremations
  • Provided counseling through teams of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers
  • Constructed nine temporary shelters on MAM land—with electricity, ceiling fans and separate bathrooms
  • Provided long-term relief shelter for 550 families
  • Connected the relief shelters with Amrita Hospital, Kochi via telemedicine satellite link
  • Provided free fallopian tube recanalisation for women who had lost their children in the disaster but had previously undergone tubal ligation as a form of permanent contraception. Six women underwent the procedure—all six have since given birth—three had twins.

* Currency conversion based on currency values current at the time of expenditure

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