Thursday, March 09, 2006

Caritas-India Gives Houses to Tsunami Victims

Caritas-India Gives Houses to Tsunami Victims

DEVANAMPATTINAM, India, MARCH 6, 2006 ( Caritas-India is turning over 648 new houses to families as part of its ongoing relief efforts in the wake of the December 2004 tsunami.

The Catholic aid organization and other ecclesial entities raced to the aid of the tsunami victims and planned their relief efforts by focusing on medium- and long-term reconstruction.

Caritas-India is working with 300 village communities in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and the Andaman and Nicobar islands to build more than 17,000 homes, in addition to providing livelihood to affected families.

The Catholic bishops' conference of India confirmed that Shri Surjit Singh Barnala, governor of the state of Tamil Nadu, had handed over 648 houses in the tsunami-affected coastal village of Devanampattinam, built by the Pondicherry Multipurpose Social Service Society in partnership with Caritas-India.

"Caritas-India has done this for the affected families of the tsunami, as a mark of selfless and compassionate love," said Father John Noronha, executive director of Caritas-India, during the handover ceremony.

The tsunami claimed 101 lives in Davanampattinam, on the coast of Cuddalore, and destroyed huge amounts of property.

The bishops' conference emphasized the cooperation of the state government with the efforts of Caritas-India and other aid organizations.

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