Divine Word Missionaries

Tsunami in South-East Asia

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From: SVD-INH, Hyderabad
Cc: SVD Generalate 2
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2004 7:18 AM
Subject: SOS Emergency Relief Fund for Tidal Waves in INH Province

Fr. Lazar svd
(Provincial Superior)
Arnold Bhavan
H.No. 1-8-11/1/A Ravindra Nagar Colony,
Street No. 8 Habsiguda, Hyderabad- 500 007
A. P. India
Ph: 040 -27154785
Fax: 040- 27154860

E-mails: svdinh@sancharnet.in



TO: Very Rev. Fr. Antonio Pernia SVD
Curia Generalizia
Cas. Post. 5080
Via dei Verbiti – 1
00154 Roma

SUB :- Request For The Emergency Relief Fund For The Victims Affected By The Tsunami Waves In Tamil Nadu – Andhra Pradesh of Hyderabad Province – A Rescue And Rehabilitation Programme.

Dear and Very Rev. Fr. Antonio Pernia,

Greetings from Rev. Fr. Gnanaprakasam Lazar SVD.

The SVD India Hyderabad Province (INH) comprises of two states namely Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Since 1963 we also have taken up various activities in Tamil Nadu such as pastoral, social, educational and retreat and counseling ministries. Currently we are working in the dioceses of Madurai, Trichy, Chennai, Palayamkotai and Tutucorin of Southern India.

Based on the charism of the society of the Divine Word, We, the SVDs landed in Andhra Pradesh mission field in the year 1972. The first batch of pioneers chose the remote rural areas where the people were left as sheeps without the shepherds. Thus with the good response and collaboration of the local people, the Government and the diocesan authorities, we branched out to many rural villages, reaching out the Marginalized. As we look back our meaningful presence and achievements in Andhra Pradesh, we are more and more encouraged to stoop down to the gross-root level, catering to the spiritual and material needs of the less fortuned. The young and energetic SVD confreres too gladly volunteer to spread the Word of God to the unknown areas in and through spiritual and socio-economical activities to uplift the rural mass. Currently we are working in the diocese of Hyderabad, Nalgonda, Warangal, Guntur and Khammam.

Thus as a missionary congregation we have felt the pulse of the people of our mission and are working in the 9 places in Tamil Nadu and 32 places in Andhra Pradesh. Indeed it is marvelous to note that the SVD fathers are involved in pastoral, mission, biblical, educational, medical, social, communication and youth ministries.

Situation which led to the Presenting of the Petition:

Nature’s Wrath in the State of Tamil Nadu:

The world’s most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive waves of water that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across Southern and South-East Asia on Sunday, 26th December 2004, killing more than 27,000 people in nine countries. People, tourists, fishermen, homes and care were swept away by walls of water up to 20 feet high that swept across the Bay of Bengal, unleashed by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake centred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Monstrous Tsunami tidal waves hit India for the first time which left a trail of death and destruction in the South killing over 7200 in Tamil nadu. Chennai the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Caddalore, Nagapattinam, Kanniyakumari and Kanchipuram are the worst hit places which recorded highest number of people who lost their lives, bore the burnt of the waves that rose 30 to 40 feet. The death toll is expected to rise dratistically with hundreds reported missing and communications cut off. Hundreds of bodies were found on various beaches and villages in the state of Tamil nadu and Andhra Pradesh of our Province, and more were expected to be washed in by the sea. Most villages situated near by the sea shore have been submerged. Nagapattanam was worst hit accounting for 4000 deaths. Guntur and Prakasham have more than 150 villages and around 50,000 people live in them. A good number of these villages are located within 500 meters of waterfront. Several of these got inundated when the waves struck on Sunday morning. The toll of the disaster which is still to be tallied fully is stupefying over 20,000 dead in South Asia, including 15,000 in India of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Joy of Christmas did not lose for a day for the people living in Tamil Nadu. Now it has worn deserted look and the affected places turned to be open air mortuary. The cry for help and for the braved has not ended and it will take months to provide shelter for these homeless.

The Divine Word Missionaries working in the state of Tamil Nadu are gearing up to begin the rescue and rehabilitation work in Tamil Nadu. We Would like to do it two phases. In the first phase we would like to provide food packets, water packets, cloths, bed sheets and medicines and in the second phase we would like to identify a few people who could be brought to our missions in Tamil Nadu.

We will be forming different teams consisting our own SVD confreres working in Tamil Nadu and the Director of Divine Word Social Service Society (INH) will be coordinating this rescue and revalidation work.

Kindly consider this sympathetically and grant the needed fund for these victims.

1. Food packets 10,000 x Rs 20/- Rs 2,00,000 – 00
2. Water packets 20,000 x Rs 5/- Rs 1,00,000 – 00
3. Clothes for 1000 people x Rs 200 Rs 2,00,000 – 00
4. Bed sheets 1000 people x Rs 100/- Rs 1,00,000 – 00
5. Medicines Rs 1,00,000 – 00
Amount requested …(Indian currency) Rs 7,00,000 – 00
In US Dollars =(17000 – US $)

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,

Rev. Fr. Gnanaprakasam Lazar. SVD
Provincial Superior – INH Province.

(Photographs enclosed)