Saturday, April 30, 2005

Articles from

Thazhuguda Village in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu
(Madhar Nala Thondu Niruvanam/MNTN)
Direct Relief’s Susan Fowler travelled in February and March on an assessment and evaluation trip to India and Thailand. Susan is a Senior Program Officer and an 18-year veteran of Direct Relief. She has been assigned to serve as coordinator for tsunami assistance.
Susan met with healthcare professionals and facility administrators at Direct Relief-supported facilities in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to evaluate their response activities and use of donated medical goods, and to develop near-term plans for assistance. She traveled to a number of tsunami-affected fishing villages in Kanchipuram District in Tamil Nadu with the director of the Hindu Mission Hospital located in Chennai.

Ceremony in Thazhaguda Village, site of MNTN Health Center.
Ceremony in Thazhaguda Village, site of proposed community health and welfare center

Tsunami Family
Husband and relatives lost in the Tsunami.The remaining family is now staying at Shelter (Susan Fowler on right)

Reconstruction underway at Silver Beach, Cuddalore.
Reconstruction underway at Silver Beach, Cuddalore

Tsunami damaged boat at Silver Beach, Cuddalore.
Tsunami damaged boat at Silver Beach, Cuddalore

Boats lay idle due to temporary government ban on fishing.
Boats lay idle due to temporary government ban on fishing

Our Partners: Madhar Nala Thondu Niruvanam
Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu

In India, I visited many of our healthcare partners, including Madhar Nala Thondu Niruvanam,
the Vishranti Home and Charitable Trust, the Hindu Mission Hospital, the Meenakshi Mission Hospital,
the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, and Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana.

Madhar Nala Thondu Niruvanam (MNTN) was established in 1981 to assess and improve the living conditions of rural women in the District of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. The organization’s program work focuses on the economic and social empowerment of impoverished women through “self-help” groups meant to foster income generating activities. There are currently over 1,200 self-help groups with over 22,000 members. MNTN also provides community-based health care as well as nutrition and maternal health education. In recent years, the organization has expanded its services to include free medical camps for underprivileged Cuddalore women, including cataract surgery camps, and mobile medicare units and housing for elderly or homeless women. The self-help groups, in combination with the more formal medical camps, aim to improve the health and raise their standard of living of impoverished women.

MNTN administers three residential facilities, including a home for elderly and destitute women, a short-stay home for victims of domestic violence, and an orphanage. These facilities are all built on a three-acre plot of land that was given to the organization by the District Collector. The residents tend a large garden and orchard on the property which furnish a significant percentage of their daily food needs. As these facilities are located on the top of a hill, villagers living along the coast who lost their homes in the tsunami were immediately offered shelter. Over 3,500 people were cared for at these residences before moving to government relief camps.

There were 55 villages in Cuddalore that were affected by the tsunami. Approximately 90 percent of the people in these villages make their living by fishing with the remaining 10 percent working in fields located close to the coast. With so many fishing boats and nets destroyed, and with much of the agricultural land saturated with salt and rendered unusable, villagers are at risk for malnutrition and specific micronutrient deficiencies. In an effort to address the shortage of protein, calories, and nutrients that could lead to serious health problems, MNTN distributed a large percentage of the protein biscuits, powdered milk, baby food, and other nutritional products that Direct Relief procured in India.

Unusable agricultural fields due to salination from sea water Additional tsunami response activity has concentrated on the treatment of injury and illness and the prevention of infection through medical camps which have been conducted in 14 villages in the affected coastal regions of Cuddalore, Kurijipadi, and Parangipettai. In addition, MNTN has established 20 centers for psycho-social counseling for children and has assisted with improving sanitation in affected villages.

Unusable agricultural fields due to salination from sea water
Unusable agricultural fields due to salination from sea water

MNTN was identified by Direct Relief’s India In-Country Coordinator, Mr. Seshadri Iyer. On his recommendation, Direct Relief helped to fund MNTN’s medical camps held in the months of January, February, and March. The organization has now submitted a tsunami response proposal requesting funds to build two community health centers in locations central to affected villages, purchase one medical mobile van, and continue the operation of weekly medical camps for a period of four months. The health centers would offer accessible health care for villages living along the coast, and MNTN estimates that a total of 16,000 people will be treated or served by the new health centers in the period of one year.

Plaque for Direct Relief-funded Community Healthcare Center

From Guardian's Gallery

Here are few pictures from Guardian Newspaper Ltd.'s picture gallery

Rice aid

Rice aid
Women reach out for packets of rice from a relief van in a village near Cuddalore, 185km southwest of Madras.
Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

Clearing the roads

Clearing the roads
Officers clear debris in a village near Cuddalore's Silver Beach.
Photo: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty

Current affairs

Current affairs
Electricity workers in Cuddalore,Southern India begin repairing the regions devastated infrastructure.
Photo: Gurinder Osan/AP

Friday, April 29, 2005

Zebras missing in Cuddalore

Well laid footpaths,road dividers,newly installed LED signals things seems just perfect on roads of Cuddalore excepting onething............ the missing zebra crossings.
Road users find it extremly difficult to cross the roads.New Zebra Crossings and enhancing the existing at the following places will ease the road users cross the roads

*at the junction of Imperial Road and Lawrence Road.
Two crossing points would be neccessary here
1.from bridge end to Krishnalaya complex end at the begining of the Imperial Road and
2.from Super Star silks end to Krishnalaya complex end at the starting point of Lawrence Road

*at the Lawrence road and Car street junction.

*in front of Government General Hospital(here there is one present already and so needs to be darkend)

*in front Manigundu near the Cuddalore OT bus stop

*in front of Collector's Camp Office

*from Collector Office road end to ALC complex end

*near Arcot Woodlands

Park opened to public

Subrayulu Reddiar Park now renamed as Cuddalore Municipal Subrayulu Reddiar park was opened to public yesterday.Cuddalre District Collector Mr.Gagandeep Singh Bedi and MLA Mr.Ila.Pugazhanthi presided over the function.Mr.Pugazhanthi praised the District Admistration saying that Collector has been impetus behind all the welfare works carried in Cuddalore at present.A large number of people convened at the venue.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Garbages in Lawrence Road

I have posted earlier that grabages are not cleared in the Lawrence road but thats not the fact .Actually it seems that grabages are cleared everyday.But the shopekeppers there throw a huge volume of garbages in front their shop so that leads us to an illusion that grabages are not cleared.

To be continued......

New structure built agressively in the road

At the junction of Sanathi street and Car street some concrete structure is raising up.The structure is extended well upto the road(definitely it make the road users uneasy).I suppose it is built to shelter the new cart that is built for the Pataleswarer temple.

Once the construction of new bridge connecting the Semandalam is completed the Car street will become even more congested.At this verge the construction will certainly make the situation even worser.

So the authorities can guide them towards some alternate site.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Work may interrupt Summer Champ in Anna Stadium

There is pit dug along the track in Anna stadium.I am not aware of why it has been dug anyway I am happy to see that as there will be something new for the betterment.The work can be completed as early as possible as the it may create inconvenience for the athlets.Particularly at this time of the year many young sportsmen will converge from all around the district to take part in District Level Summer Champ.

Sahara Housing:The New Hope

New hope 1 being NOC almost attaining financial closure the New hope 2 is that Cuddalore may again be enlisted in Sahara Housing Project.I have written earlier (Cuddalore removed from Sahara Housing Project) that "Among many construction gaints Nagarjuna Constructions is also a constructing agent for this project.Cuddalore would have been added in the list because Nagarjuna Oil Corporation was proposed near Cuddalore.As the refinery prososal went down they must have given up the construction project also".

As there is a new hope for NOC project there are bright chances for bringing up Sahara City Homes in Cuddalore.What I feel necessary is that the District Administration should consider projects like this as important project for Cuddalore's developement and screw up the land acquisation processes for the firm.

Nagarjuna Oil Corporation

Nagarjuna Oil Corporation Ltd, whose 6-million-tonnes-a-year refinery project at Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu is seeing some progress after a long time, hopes to finalise its equity holding structure by June end and achieve financial closure by September. Work on the refinery, which was to have begun production in 2002, is expected to start, thereafter, and the refinery scheduled to go on stream in 24-30 months after that.

The company has tied up equity partners for 74 per cent of the Rs 1,160-crore equity and has a commitment from Oman Oil Corporation for the balance 26 per cent. Meanwhile, a public sector oil company is doing due diligence for an equity stake in the project. The State Government has worked out an attractive set of incentives that conform to the new industrial policy released by it in 2003. This, along with the decision of Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) to increase its equity exposure to 5 per cent from the earlier 2 per cent enabled the project to be revived.

Nagarjuna Oil Corporation has got firm equity commitment from Indian Oiltanking Ltd, a joint venture between Indian Oil Corporation and Oiltanking GmbH of Germany, which will pick up a 11 per cent stake. The Nagarjuna group, as the main promoters, will hold 51 per cent and Krupp Uhde of Germany, the technical collaborator, 7 per cent. Nagarjuna Oil Corporation has tied up for marketing with IBP, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and ONGC, through MRPL. Debt for the project will come from KfW, a German development bank, and a host of Indian financial institutions and banks led by IDBI. The company is looking into the possibility of getting Indian Oiltanking Ltd to lay the marine infrastructure on a build-operate-transfer basis.

This meant that the Rs 500 crore that would be required to create the marine infrastructure would be on the books of Indian Oil Tanking. The company had spent Rs 930 crore as of March 31 on equipment, technical fees, engineering and interest during construction. A part of the equipment from a Mobil plant in Germany had arrived at Cuddalore and the remaining was waiting at European port to be shipped to India. Initially, the company is looking at exporting petrol.

Courtesy: Sify Finance

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Up to come.......

I have presented just news items due to lack of time.Here are topics I will cover in a few days

Cuddalore<->Pondy bus dont follow traficc rules

50 Crores granted for Nagapattinam port

Cuddalore harbour in neglected state

Garbages remain uncleared in Lawrence road

Large heap of sand acccumilated in Anna bridge

News items

Some of the news items from THE HINDU

Antarctic glaciers receding: study

Brimming Veeranam tank poses an unusual problem

13 water bodies short-listed for eco-restoration

Subsidy hiked for fishermen

Keeping a watch on cyberspace

From heaven's lake

The brand called Auroville

Discovery of India

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

GH bus stop in pathetic condition

The stop near General Hospital(the one on the left side the road from Collector's CampOffice) is in a pathetic condition and remains unusable by general public.

The stop is too short to accommodate everyone during the peak hours more disturbingly its in a unhygienic state.

People wait for buses in hot sun for the above stated two reasons.

My opinion is that the present structure can be completely demolished (as an move to extend it lengthwise) and the resontruction project can be given to Welfare Organisations or private companies/product or bussiness establisments whom after spending for construction works can benefit from the advertisement displayed there.

Hospital road is being divided

The most anticipated and awaited work of laying a road partitioner in Hospital has started.

Please read the article Hospital road needs road partitioner posted in this blog on 16th March.

Let us wait and see whether its laid upto Semandalam or upto Chavadi.

Also read the related articles from this blog

Hospital road needs more focus
New road divider from outskirts of Cuddalore

SIDCO Ind. estate in neglected state

SIDCO industrial estate is in very bad condition.It lacks even the basic necessities.It resembles more of a rain forest than of an industrial estate.It does not even have a proper road.Garbages remain uncleared.It seems there is no enough space here for the growing needs of the industries.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Mangrove Action Project

Mangrove Action Project(MAP) is an intresting project supported by Earth Island Institute.MAP seeks to protect mangrove forests worldwide from threats posed by shrimp aquaculture and other forms of unsustainable development, while promoting the rights of local communities to sustainably manage their coastal resources.

We the people of Cuddalore can take part in this project and develope a thick mangrove belt along the coastline which apart from protecting us from natural calamities it may become a home thousands of bird varieties.This may convert Cuddalore a tourism hub.

To learn more about Mangrove Action Project log on to

The MAP website a special section called Tsunami Action Alert

Also click here to see by previous post on Mangrove forest and please add comments.

Sahara for tsunami families

Sahara Pariwar had promised to build houses for the tsunami affected people in Cuddalore.To my knowledge no such work has begun.Read Financial Express dated Janaury 20 for more details.Or please use this link.

Cuddalore removed from Sahara Housing Project

I felt proud and happy when I saw Cuddalore listed among 217 other Indian towns for an housing project(biggest ever of its sort in India) proposed by Sahara Parivar named SaharaHousings.

But that was years back.Now Cuddalore is removed from the project.I guess two reasons behind the removal

1.Among many construction gaints Nagarjuna Constructions is also a constructing agent for this project.Cuddalore would have been added in the list because Nagarjuna Oil Corporation was proposed near Cuddalore.As the refinery prososal went down they must have given up the construction project also.

2.Pondicherry is also in their list.So because of the cheap land and other tax consessions in UT they must have decided to make constructions at midway between these two towns.(As the now proposed site for pondicherry is 10 km south of Pondicherry)

To view the list of towns included please log on to

Semandalam signal and busstop

As Semandalam busstop is exactly at the stop point of the signal its experiences many pratical problems.Here I give you the two worst cases

*when the buses stop to take passengers while the green signal is onn other vehicles find it difficult to pass through the road.(This is a general case for vehicles travelling towards and outwards Cuddalore)

*when the bus driver finds that green light is about to change he does not stop at the busstop keeps driving the bus behind the signal in which case passengers have to run to the place where the bus stops.(This is a general case for vehicles travelling towards and outwards Cuddalore)

Anna stadium in darkness

As both the sodium vapour lamps in the Anna Stadium are not working properly for a long time the stadium is in complete darkness during the late evening hours.It is this time of the day many come to stadium.As this is vacation period young sports men/women practising upto late evening feel much difficulty.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Road extensions

Barathi road can be extended by utilizing all the available space on its sides.Particularly at these three points
*Opposite to the CuddaloreNT police station(adjacent to Saint Annes school entrance)
*In front of the ALC church
*In front of Town Hall(to the Post Office bus stop).The bus Post Office bus stop is extremly small for it cannot accommodated even a fraction of passengers waiting.Also that during the extension of this bus stop it can pulled backwards where a large vacant space is available.

New road divider from outskirts of Cuddalore

Again as the roads getting heavily populated it is absolute neccessary to bring up new road dividers not only inside the town but also from uptown to down the town.I know its economically not possible to do that right now,but I am speaking about a well structured tall road dividers and atleast a foot height road dividers can be built.

* Kondur to Semandalam
*Cuddalore OT to Cuddalore NT
*Allpet checkpost to Manjakuppam Manigudu

will do.

Solar powered signals

Solar powered slow down sigals(a blinking orange light) can to installed which will prove useful to slowdown the vehicles during the night hours.

More new signals

As roads in Cuddalore is getting more 'n more populated new signals need to be installed at

*Imperial Road and Railway over bridge junction
*Vandipalayam road and Railway over bridge junction

and the following signals need to be redesigned/replaced with better one

*Lawrence road and Vandipalayam road junction
*At the junction of Barathiroad and the road leading to SP's office
*At the junction of Kamiampet<->Semandalam bridge end and Chennai Bypass road

New signal stands tall

The old signal at the Imperial Road and Lawrence Road junction is eplaced by the new signal.There was so many misdesign with the previous signal so that people got misleaded,particularly the new ones.I thought of having a post about it earlier but due to lack to time.. in din.But any way things are set right now.

It would be nice to see countdown timer display with this signals.