Staff Reporter

To act as interface between people, NGOs and Government agencies It will provide a vital link and serve as an interface between the people at grassroot level in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts and various NGOs and government agencies

The centre will also cover coastal areas of Tuticorin districtA seven-member core committee to strengthen ongoing exercise

TIRUNELVELI: To provide a vital link and serve as an interface between the people at grass root-level in tsunami-hit villages of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts and various non-governmental organisations and Government agencies involved in rehabilitation of tsunami victims and ensure development of coastal communities, a Tsunami Resource Centre for the two districts will be established here.

The establishment of the centre is being supported and facilitated by the Tamil Nadu Tsunami Resource Centre (TNTRC), Chennai, for resource creation, facilitation, capacity building, coordination, promotion of participation and networking of knowledge to support the coastal communities affected by natural calamity on `Black Sunday 2004.'

The TNTRC is a State-level resource centre, initiated by the United Nations Development Programme, Oxfam, Save the Children, Plan International, World Vision, Caritas India, Catholic Relief Services and Christian Aid. The proposed organisation would create a platform to discuss and debate various important issues and alternative options and encourage the best practices for their advancement. It would strive to organise an integrated disaster management network.

"To begin with, an extensive database on the 32 affected coastal hamlets - 9 in Tirunelveli and 23 in Tuticorin districts - would be created with the assistance of administration in both districts, all NGOs involved in rehabilitation exercise in these villages, civil society groups and government agencies such as Department of Fisheries and Ministry of Social Defence to evolve an effective strategy for the overall development of affected villages."

"Besides avoiding duplication in the rehabilitation measures and strengthening the ongoing exercise by establishing a seven-member core committee, the proposed organisation would concentrate on welfare of children, health issues, sanitary conditions, literacy, awareness of various welfare programmes being implemented by the government and other agencies," M.A. Britto, rights activist and co-ordinator of Tsunami Resource Centre for Tirunelveli and Tuticorin said.

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