Meeting the basic needs for day-to-day survival is also most critical in the short-term. Millions of dollars have been donated to private and government organizations. Yet, everybody who goes to the camps and sees the conditions of the effected villages questions where this money has gone.
There are organizations that are doing wonderful work and to those we are grateful. However, in most instances the reality of the field is unfortunately very sad and sometimes depressing. It is surprising to see how few organizations have set up effective programs to help people.
For example one camp of fifty families had just empty tents. No toilets. No water. No electricity or night lamps and no cooking utensils. Most of the time the people get rice and lentils for all three meals. We have taken over this camp, which the people have now named the “Triple Gem Refugee Camp”, and are assisting the families in setting up real households.
We have built toilets in the camp and have given each family lamps, utensils and a 19-item set of kitchen tools and house hold needs. We have gotten water tanks and now building temporary shelters for them. I complained to the police and invited the Senior Superintendent of Police(SSP) to see the camp. His immediate actions got electric connections to the camp.
Five weeks have passed since the Tsunami and many families are still in limbo. These tsunami survivors still haven’t gotten a penny from the government nor have ID cards been issued to them. We continue to improve the conditions of the camp so that people can live with dignity.