First and foremost – we would like take this time to thank all those who generously donated to our relief efforts towards the Tamil Nadu Floods. We would like to share with our followers how we accomplished our initiative right here from Montreal to Ayyampettai. In December 2015, we watched the situation in Southern India especially in the state of Tamil Nadu deteriorate as a result of heavy rain fall from the North East Monsoon, cities and villages were submerged by water which resulted in displacing approximately 2 million people, killing about 500 civilians and resulting in an estimated property damage of $7.5 billion USD.
This natural disaster received very little coverage in international media. We watched our Tamil brethren stand on roof-tops, days without proper access to food, water or sanitation. Vehicles, gas stations, roads, airports, and bridges were submerged in water, while disrupting the economy, halting businesses, educational, and health institutions.
One of our team members (Sajela) mentioned the importance of raising awareness and the possibility of organizing a fundraiser. We had all agreed that it was important to show our solidarity and unity. The most challenging part for us was finding an organization to work with. We scrambled and reached out to Tamil organizations and community activists. Derick – another individual from our team had kept in touch with Fr. Antony Kanagaraj from Heralds Good News of Social Service – he came to Quebec a few years ago and provided services to a catholic parish in Saint-Lazare & Saint-Hyacinthe for 3 years. While having direct contact with Fr. Antony in Tiruchirappali, we were made aware of how relief efforts had not reached certain villages. These coastal villages were beyond the reach of NGO’s and governmental assisted aid. We decided to focus on the village of Ayempettai in Cuddalore district.
Our efforts in Montreal began with an idea as simple as a bake sale with the help of Anbarassi and the rest of our friends at CUTAM. The bake sale was hosted by Kishok and Geerthikha with special help from Thusy (SE Boyz) and Karthiha Somasundaram the rest of our members who made this fundraiser possible. In addition, we asked our friends and families to contribute, setup an online fundraising page as well as a movie night with the help of Vithu. We were able to collect $1541.00 CAD – we waived off the Paypal and transfer fees. Fr. Antony personally contributed 500$ to total up the fund to $2,041.00 CAD – which is equivalent to $99,150.00 INR. Relief materials were handed on January 30th, 2016 by Fr. Anthony and Heralds Good News of Social Service. Necessities delivered included straw mats, portable beds, plastic pots, and food essentials which were able to help about 15-35 families.
We would like to thank everyone who made this initiative a success and to continue showing your support in our future endeavours as well.
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