The Gaja Cyclone has wreaked havoc in ten districts of Tamil Nadu, when it struck the coast of Nagapattinam on the 15th midnight. It has devastated the coastal areas of Nagapattinam district, shattering homes and destroying villages. About 2.5 lakh people are in temporary camps in these districts and more than 80,000 people in the district of Nagapattinam alone. Not a single tree could be seen standing, not to mention crops, fishing boats, and homes in several villages. Thatched roofs have been blown away making people homeless and the children have lost their school bags, books and notebooks. Power supply is still not up after five days and it might take many more days to be revived given that more than 30,000 electric posts being damaged in the state.
The Gaja cyclone took its landfall at Nagapattinam and we were in the eye of the storm on Thursday November 15. It was a scary natural event but thankfully Vanavil was rendered safe and we even housed villagers from the nearby village at the Vanavil school campus.
The destruction has cost us our very dear organic vegetable farm which we had raised with much love and labor. While the buildings were all safe some damages to the electrical wiring system and the cow shed have affected us badly. We also lost 95 trees in the school premises and the adjoining farm. Lot of trees around the school which had lent us a green cover have been uprooted.
Causing huge financial loss is the uprooting of the various trees like teak and rosewood which we were growing in the farm. Ten-year-old teak trees, rosewood trees have been uprooted. We are trying to save the 35-year-old mango tree which stands in the central courtyard of Vanavil School. It was half uprooted, and we’ve cut down branches so that the trunk can stay in and hopefully spring back to life.
We’ve incurred loss worth almost two lakhs and will require support to tide over this crisis.
Our immediate focus, however, is on relief work in the community. We are currently raising money on Letzchange to provide relief kits of food, bedding, roofing material, and school materials to the many families whose homes were destroyed or flooded during the storm.
Update Dec 7th: We reached to 5317 families 66 villages and hamlets and distributed the basic necessities like food, tarp, solar lamp etc with help of many supporters. At a time as dire as this every action like monetary support, volunteering time, material support counts. As the folks slowly trying to get back to normalcy, we want to help the kids get back to school. We would like collect money or material for a school kit. A typical school kit is a bag, pencil, erasers and notebooks. You can read more details here. Please join us in doing our little part to enable kids get back to school.