A study entitled impact of Tsunami 2004, on the families in Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu, was taken up in Nagapattinam District. There are seven taluks in the district. Of the seven, five coastal taluks - Nagapattinam, Keelvelur, Vedaranyam, Tharangambadi and Sirkali which were severely affected by the Tsunami 2004, were selected for the study. The main objectives of the study are to quantify the loss occurred in the study areas, analyse the rehabilitation measures taken by the Govvernment and other agencies and study the impact of Tsunami 2004, on the families in the district.
A sample consisting of 400 families altogether (16 from each taluk) provided the data. The sample was selected randomly from the dislocated/ disorganished families in the district who were affected by the Tsunami directly. The sources of data for this study were of two types - secondary and primary. Interview using a schedule, discussion with the key informants, local leaders, Government officials and NGOs helped much in completing study.
The salient findings of the study are, majority of the respondents (76%) were found to be involved in fishing related occupations. None of the respondent was aware of Tsunami before the incidence (26-12-2004). Size of the family was taken as a criterion to analyse the human loss in the family. As children of the affected area are a vulnerable group, severe physical impact was observed among the respondent families such as fever,diarrheoa,vomiting,head ache,skin allergies,chicken pox,jaundice,measles, eye infections and injuries in minor and major forms.
The economic impact of Tsunami on the selected families, is dealt with damage to assets and entitlements, extent of damage to the houses, boats and fishing nets, loss of household possessions, important documents, other livelihood options and livestock and their loss value in rupees have been quantified.
The psychological consequences such as frustration, guilt, frequent crying, depression, fear, breathing trouble, rapid heart beat, stomach cramp, aches, weakness, difficulties in concentrating, lethargic thinking, difficulties in taking decision, poor attention and confusion have been dealt with and analyzed in detail.
The social impact of tsunami on the life pattern of the selected families of the respondents is the focus of discussion in the aspects of pattern of social gathering before and after tsunami, constraints experienced by the respondents in temporary shelters, changes in social living and educational impact of Tsunami on the children of the respondents families.
Relief and rehabilitation works provided by the Government and NGOs were discussed . Need assessment of the respondents has been assessed in terms of immediate/short term needs and long term needs and need assessment for shelters and future expectations of the respondents were also discussed.
Memories remain unchanged but life has to go on . let us hope that these families will have another life to have a better living with physical, mental and social well being with the external support and their own effort in the future.
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