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1 July 2005, Parvathipuram, Nagarcoil, Kanyakumari

Following the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia on 26 December 2004, BAPS provided widespread emergency aid to the many victims.

The extensive damage caused much disruption to people’s lives. To help them to return to normalcy, BAPS has initiated a Sustainable Livelihood Project.

To help the tsunami victims earn their own living, three projects have been implemented with the support of the CHARDEP agency in Nagarcoil – gaudhan program, coir rope making equipment supply program and rubber slipper making program. After appropriate screening, families in need of such aid were identified and given appropriate aid.

The details of the three programs are as follows:
1. Gaudhan
• Total of 250 milch cows to be presented.
• 50 cows presented to beneficiaries in the first phase.
• Two months cattle feed, three years insurance, vaccinations and expert veterinary help provided with each cow.

2. Coir Rope Making Equipment
• Made from the skin of coconuts.
• 100 families provided with coir rope making equipment and a supply of raw material.
• Marketing guidance on how to sell their products also provided.

3. Rubber Slipper Making Units
• Total of five manufacturing units set up.
• Total of 100 women employed – 20 in each unit.
• Equipment and raw materials provided.

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These three programs were inaugurated at a special function held at 3.00 pm on Friday 1 July 2005. It was held at the Bhairavi Kalyana Mandapam in Parvathipuram, Nagarcoil.

The chief guest at the inauguration function was Shri Venkat R. Chary, IAS (Retd.).
The function commenced with Vedic prayers sung by BAPS sadhus. The inaugural lamp was lit by Anandsagar Swami and Shri Venkat R. Chary.

Thereafter, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s letter of blessings was read to the assembly.

Following this were speeches by Shri Murukappan, Trustee of CHARDEP, Shri Venkat R. Chary and Shri Janak Dave of BAPS.

In his address to the gathering, Shri Venkat R. Chary commented, “It gives great pleasure to see that BAPS through CHARDEP has come forward to help the tsunami victims to the maximum extent possible. Gaudhan is considered to be the greatest aid possible. Light is being brought into the lives of hundreds of families by these organizations. Under no circumstances should the tsunami victims lose heart.”

Details of the three projects were also described.

Also present at this inaugural function were representatives of UNICEF, Altos Advisory Services, the Women Development Corporation, NABARD and many other organisations.

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