A delegation of Ta'awun Trust visited Andman & Nicobar and other affected places

A delegation of Ta'awun Trust visited Andman & Nicobar and other affected places

March 27, 2005
A team of people comprising of Mr. Ibne Saud and Mr. Nasir Hassan Arvi respecting Ta'awun Trust and Mr. Muniruddin Sharief, Advcate and Chairman, All India Milli Council Tsunami Relief, visited Port Blair (A&N) on the 19th March 2005, on a three day visit. Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed, an Architect from
Chennai was also visiting Port Blair on his own and joind the team of three at Port Blair.
Although, the maximum damage was done in the Car Nicobar Island, due to restrictions of permission for Non-Islanders, our team could not visit there. The other most affected areas like Hut BAY in Little Andman (125 Kms. from Port Blair), KATCHAL in Nancowry Group of Island and CAMPBELL BAY (Great Nicobar) could not be visited, because of paucity of time and the uncertainty about the availability of ship and the damaged jettis.

However, we visited the affected areas in and around Port Blair. We witnessed the visible damages to the agricultural land in South Andman, Coastal areas of Junglee Ghat, Bamboo Flat and the Paddy field at Kanyapuram, Steward Gunj, Chouldhari, Sippy Ghat which are still under saline water.

According to the experts' opinion , this land is unsuitable for cultivation for the next ten years. We also visited the camps, where the affected persons, who lost their houses and lands are living. Many from the Mopla Community of Malabar are among the most affected.

Government expert are assessing new alternative farming methods, for the future, Till such time, the families are living on the rations, given by the Government, as well as local NGOs. In the Bamboo Flat jetty area, more than 50 shops have been destroyed and damage assessed is worth more than Rs. 5 Crores. The smaller businessmen have been helped by Muslim NGOs. Fishing boats have been damaged in large numbers and the rehabilitation programme, for them involves large sums of money.

At this point of time of our visit, most of the immediate relief has been well looked after, by the local NGOs, as well as Muslim organizations from Port Blair.

Our observation, after getting a clear picture, from the local Muslim NGos, is that, education is the immediate need for the affected children. With such a large scale devastation of all man-made structures and the time factor involved for rehabilitation is a deterring factor, for construction of new school in the affected areas. Immediate relief can be given to the needy children by re-locating them in the established school of Port Blair, so that, they live in their own environment.

We visited the Crescent School at Wimberly Gunj, which is run on the CBSE syllabus and is sponsored by the Islamic Welfare Society. We found this is a good choice, for our proposal. But however, there are no hostel facilities available here.

Two possibilities available to implement this proposal are,

1. A hostel can be built on the second floor of the Crescent School and can be used as a temporary hostel. This can be done on a small budget of Rs. 8 Lakhs and can be completed in four months time.

2. The other proposal involves a full-fledged hostel, as Four acres of land is available nearly, which was allotted by the Government, to the Islamic Welfare Society. As the land is steep and sloping on all sides, the 1st Phase will necessarily involve an amount of Rs. 50 Lakhs.

The feasibility of this project is assessed, based on the information given by the local NGOs, which states that, the parents are willing to send their children to this area, for their uninterrupted studies, in the future.