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NRIs pool resources to restore village in Tamil Nadu

Rituparna Bhowmik in Cuddalore | January 11, 2005 16:15 IST

Indians living in the United States have come together to form a fund to help restore the livelihood of fishermen in a village in Cuddalore district.

A team of seven volunteers from the Washington-based NGO Asian Development Fund has taken over the work of repair of boats and fishing equipments at Akkarai Ghori village, where tsunamis destroyed 400 houses.

"We might have migrated abroad many years ago, but we have not forgotten our homeland. When we read about the disaster on December 26, we gathered our resources and came here with the aim of supporting at least one village. Some contributions have come from our American colleagues too," a team member, who did not want to be identified, said.

"Most NGOs have ignored Akkarai Ghori village, which is about 7km from the nearest town, since no loss of life was reported. But the fishing hamlet, with a population of over 2,500, has undergone severe damage. It has about 700 huts, 400 of which have been destroyed. We decided to take up the restoration of fishing equipment like boats and nets and stay here until they go back to sea to fish," he said.

Fearing the army personnel, who are carrying out relief work in the region, might take some time to reach the obscure village, "We have undertaken repair work on around 150 boats," he said.

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