Gaurav : Hiya, Mr. Bedi...I am a NRI based at Uni. of Cambridge, UK. Can you please highlight how effective the donations made would be?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : We are using the donations to take up mass cleaning of the villages using bulldozers and other machinery. We are also building small shops for the destitute like the widows and the handicapped using the donation amounts. We are also assisting the affected artisans and daily wagers in buying back their tools and implements using the donation amount.
Rajesh : Mr Bedi as far i read n heard you have done a exceptional job. i would like to take this oppurtunity to ask what were the limitation you had during the tsunami period & as of now as the rehabilitation process is in progress are there enough funds alloacted for it . what is your strategy and vision now?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Our limitations were lack of proper communication facilities to the remote villages, poor infrastructure in terms of bridges and good roads to some of the worst affected villages. We do require a lot of funds for putting up of sea-protection walls and break waters especially near the fishing harbours of the district.
Manojkumar : can you tell me how the students can participate in recovery action?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : You can log on to www.cuddalore.tn.nic.in and send your donations to my office at the address specified in the website. You can also be a part of NSS/NCC teams etc.and assist the administration in cleaning up villages, tree planting and other social service projects.
veejeys : What is the general status of relief work today, have people started moving back to work?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : We have built 2500 temporary houses, given monthly relief packages in terms of cash doles and clothes and also are in the process of giving cash relief for the damages to the boats and nets.
GaneshNadar : how many fishermen have taken the Bank loan to buy boats. where there is 35% subsidy. they initially wanted a grant not a loan.
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Subsidy is 60% for partly damaged boats and 35% for fully damaged mechnised ones. Fishermen have really not gone for bank loans in a big way as of now since banks insist upon securities beyond loans of Rs 50,000 and fishermen find it difficult to give the security after the heavy losses incurred during the Tsumani. I thought that direct cash assistance would have been a better alternative.
mohit : I UNDERSTAND THE WAYS YOU TOLD THE STUDENTS, BUT MY QUESTIONS IS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY ORGANISATION BUT READY TO PARTICIPATE
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : We are going to start building permanent houses next month onwards. You can contact me through email and be a part of the rebuilding process. I appreciate your enthusiasm.
prashbio : Dear Mr. Bedi, While appreciating and thanking your Vocation, may I ask you one question? If Iam asked to... Why do you think Indian Government refused to have a so-called greater help from elite countries. Did it really meant something for the Tsunami victims?? Was it something to do with a quick rehabilitation work or workforce...? Thank you in advance.
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Direct donations from other nations is not being taken by the government. At the sametime, assistance of organizations like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank is being sought by the government for the long term rehabilitation measures. Let me proudly tell you that the response from the Indians in India and abroad has been overwhelming. The real challenge for us has been to properly utilize the contribution from all of you in a proper manner. In nutshell I do agree that today India is not so poor as to depend purely on other nations contributions. Indians can help their brothers in distress in a full-fledged manner if they desire so.
kumar : ARE NGO'S DISCOURAGED FROM RENDERING THEIR SERVICE IN THE STATE OF T.N.
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : The NGO's have done a commendable work in the relief and rehabilitation work. I salute them for their excellent assistance. In my district the doors of collectorate are open for them and I am confident that they have got all possible cooperation from the district administration so far.
kamakshi : are the people being given proper food, water and shelter as sanitation is really essential for them to recover
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Government gave cooked food for two months through 38 relief centres to about 25,000 people in my district. Now we have given rice and other food material to about 20,000 affected families and will be continuing to do so till April 2005. For safe drinking water we have sunk in nearly 100 additional borewells in Tsunami affected villages. So food and water is available in good measure.However, sanitation facilities are still inadequate as the fishermen are not used to using toilets. We are in the process of teaching them to use them and also putting up temporary toilets simultaneously.
kumar : IS CORRUPTION A PART OF RELEIF OPERATIONS??
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : If we are not vigilant there may be some corruption at lower levels of relief operations. In Cuddalore, I had computerized the entire inventory of the relief materials that we had got and distributed. This enabled me to ensure a minimal level of corruption.
devi : Sir, Do u think All the funds raised from all over the world, reached at correct time and mainly at correct Place????
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : The donors should verify the credentials of the organization to whom they are donating money. Many organizations are doing a tremendous job, but some also use such opportunities to make a fast buck. You can always mail to the collector and check up about the utilisation of your money through the organization concerned.
delhiboy : Mr. Bedi, Kudos to you and your team for carrying out the relief work in tsunami affected areas.
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : While thanking you I must admit that in the state of Tamil Nadu, the district administration is given a free hand in handling disasters by the government. The level of adverse political interference is minimal and in fact the central and state ministers have only come to strengthen our hands at the time of disaster. Perhaps that is why the handling of the Tsunami disaster of Tamil Nadu has so far been one of the best handled disasters in the country in my opinion.
VENK : HOW IS FOOD FOR WORK PROGRAM COMING ALONG..IN HOW MANY VILLAGES HAS IT BEEN IMPLEMENTED?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : We are forming new roads and desilting the clogged channels in the Tsunami affected villages through food for work programmes.
sabeysherwani : SIR,IM VERY KEEN TO GO THE TSUNAMI HIT AREA 4 HELPING THE PEOPLE,BUT IM NOT SOUND FINANCIALLY,PLZ TELL ME NY PROCEDURE FRM THAT I CAN GO THERE THROUGH BY NY ORG OR NGO'S WHO NEEDS VOLUNTEER 4 WORKING THERE
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : You can email your address to me. I can recommend your name to an NGO to take you up as an honrary volunteer. There are many like you already in the field.
Bangalore : If Tsuami hits again then what is precaution measures given to the people???
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Tsunami will in all likelihood not hit our country in our lives again. In any case, I have trained the police, fire service and district machinery to communicate and evacuate people at the shortest notice. We have had a few drills also in this regard.
TCS : Sir, What kind of help does the people need now? Initially we had donated money, then clothes. But I think a lot of re-habilitation is still left. In what way can a common man help?
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : YOu can sponsor new nets and boats for the poor fishermen. There are many schools and anganwadis in Tsunami affected areas that require further class rooms and infrastructure. There are large number of indirectly affected people not exactly living in coastal villages who have been affected and who need help. For example, small fish vendors, ice manufacturers, etc. do require assistance from sponsors and donors. You can contact me and get further details as how to help all such people. My official email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Collector Cuddalore : Thank you. It was nice chatting with you. It is nice to realize that there are so many good samaritans wanting to help their brothers and sisters in distress. Good bye...