Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cuddalore in the news

Children coming to terms with life after tsunami

Kausalya Santhanam

CUDDALORE: It is a year and a half since the tsunami struck Tamil Nadu. Scores of children were orphaned at the sweep of a wave while others lost either a parent or close relatives who contributed to their sense of security. When you revisit the area and meet the children, you find there is a perceptible change wrought by the combined work of many agencies — voluntary and State.

Till recently, 14-year-old Saravanan hated crossing the bridge that led to the old town in Cuddalore — and to his old home in Singarathoppu. For, it was from a nearby terrace here that he had watched his mother and elder sister being consumed by the waters. Now the boy stands near the remains of his home. His father, R. Punyabal, who did not remarry, devotes his time to cooking and caring for his son, the only one left of his family.

"Saravanan was highly disturbed after the tragedy; he would cry inconsolably," say Sujatha and Kamu, social workers of the Indian Council for Child Welfare which has helped reintegrate children in school in the tsunami-affected districts. The voluntary organisation aims to keep children who lost a parent within the family and avoid institutional care. ICCW provides educational materials, monetary assistance and counselling. "We are also facilitating the formation of watch dog committees by the Government with the support of the UNICEF to prevent trafficking," says Andal Damodaran, secretary of ICCW, Tamil Nadu full story>>

Six Central Prisons lack superintendents

A. Subramani

CHENNAI: Out of the nine Central Prisons in Tamil Nadu, six are functioning without full-fledged Prison Superintendent for months. A similar position in Borstal (for juvenile convicts) at Pudukottai is also lying vacant for long.

Only Chennai, Coimbatore and Palayamkottai prisons have Superintendents. In-charge officials are running the show in Salem, Vellore, Cuddalore, Madurai, Puzhal and Tiruchi Prisons. The Chennai Central Prison does not have an Additional Superintendent full story>>

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