Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Communication gap

It takes a tsunami to let the world know about the numerous good samaritans that it harbours. The aftermath of the tidal tragedy has left many dejected and directionless. But amidst this mayhem, is a group of people who have managed to recover themselves from the tragedy and extend a helping hand to the victims. Numerous voluntary and non-governmental organisations have sprung into action to provide succour to those bereft of the basic needs - food, clothes and shelter.
But a major problem that many of them seem to be facing is the lack of communication. Most of them are ready to help but do not know where to begin and how to go about it. The State Government, undoubtedly, is now burdened with a mammoth task of saving all these people and is quite busy with this task. But, surely it can provide some sort of guidance and information to all these voluntary groups who are share its burden. The lack of communication has left most of these groups in a soup and many are dejected with the government's callous attitude towards their ardent feelings.
There was an instance in Chennai when a group on its own had taken up the task of supplying food to all those fisherfolk who have been rendered homeless. But while they reached the spot with the supplies, they found that the people had just been fed by another such organisation. The victims in the Chennai city are by far better placed in terms of the number of people ready to help them immediately. Its only those who are in the interior region who are stuck in the stench of decaying bodies for want of food and water.
Will the State government machinery wake up to this gross contrast and provide direction to all these good samaritans?
The dead are already gone but let's atleast save those who are alive.


Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

The Tsunami is being used by many a country and even many more a politician for personal gains.
The recent international gaming bid for Tsunami relief is one example. Japan and U.S. kept increasing the relief amount just to oust each other in taking the top spot of helpers. Where is all this money going to go?
Has anyone observed that there is not too much mention about relief to Indian victims on news channels like CNN? Is it because Chennai and Nagapattinam are not so tourist-friendly as Phuket? Does this make them less worthy of relief? Is the step-motherly ear to Indian victims a consequence of there being no reported foreigner casualties in India? So what if the Marina is not so scenic as the Thailand beaches? Is tourism turnover a metric to measure the value of a human life? Indian volunteers in the U.S. are finding it difficult to channel the legitimate aid to India, the reason being the excessive media focus on these other countries.
All this leaves these helpless people who have faced the wrath of Mother Nature in the hands of the merciless bureaucracy of their own motherland. Here is the moment when the cable networks can do some humanitarian coverage and report the pitfalls in relief work. Politicians owe the relief to every victim, reachable or not... we should make sure they do.

3:17 AM  

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