Monthly Archives: November 2005

Dear Friends,

I am really sorry to have eclipsed for so long. The project and I are still very much alive. I hope all of you have had a good Navarathri/Diwali/Id and have plunged into the last part of the year with enthusiasm!

Where is the project now?
2000 Euros or roughly 1 Lakh Rupees have been sent to the Indian NGO SCOPE to work on the village of Kameshwaram and to the French Association INDES to work on the villages of PMC and CMC. This comes from the French side of the donor base. We intend to start collecting from the Indian side from december onwards.

Do you want to see what these villages are like?
My son Vivek (8th standard), a computer-games-loving kid has created a simple website (after many months of nagging from me of course… a competence that most mothers develop over time!!). It’s not yet complete. But fill your mug with coffee or tea, and visit the photo PDF presentation:

  • The website: http://www.project-fir-tsunami.org/
  • About the NGOs: http://www.project-fir-tsunami.org/NGOs-4.pdf
  • About Kameshwaram village: http://www.project-fir-tsunami.org/village1.pdf
  • About the villages of CMC and PMC: http://www.project-fir-tsunami.org/CMC-PMC-2.pdf

(Editor’s note: These links are no longer available)

Why did I disappear for so long?

  • July-August: I worked on building the donor base in India (I can explain the project now even in my dreams!). I also visited the villages and made friends with the NGOs handling the project. As can be imagined, the latter was a most pleasant experience.
  • September: My husband got transferred to a city in the north of France called Reims and September was spent in setting up the family establishment in Reims after 15 years in the south of France. Please note my new coordinates given at the end of the mail.
  • October: There was a call for projects issued by the Commission of the European Union on Post-Tsunami Reconstruction. I worked throughout October (in my spare time) to formulate the project our NGO partners based on the findings of the summer.
  • November: The newsletter machine cranked back into action. The French side has been activated and all sorts of activities have started. You will hear from me regularly (ooops! I said this 3 months back too!!) But progress is slow on this given the demands of a professional and family life….but doing my best…as you can understand.

I visited all the villages during the summer and got to know our partner NGOs much better. Let me introduce you to them.

Left to Right: Nicolas Drusne (INDES/FEED), Lucas (Auro-Annam), M.Subburaman (SCOPE), Kumaran (FEED) and S.Ganapathy (SCOPE).

Background: Beach in Pondicherry Anselm Rosario (Mythri)
Background: Thaneerpandal, the village which Mr.Subburaman has transformed.

Nicolas and Kumaran are the directors of FEED, the Trust in Pondicherry which has been fighting against child labour in the colony area of a village called Periyamudaliyar chavady or PMC since the last ten years. Nicolas is also the founder of the French Association INDES of which FEED is the Indian off-shoot. Lucas is the founder-director of AuroAnnam, an authorized training centre for farming with EM (Effective Micro-orga nisms) technology in India. It is a unit of Auroville, a unique international community in Pondicherry, with people from 38 different countries. Auroville was founded by a French lady, known all over India simply as “Mother”, who was a disciple of the Indian philosopher and spiritual leader Aurobindo, Subburaman is the founder-director of SCOPE, an NGO based in Tiruchipalli, Tamil Nadu focused on improving sanitation and waste management in urban areas.

Mr. Ganapathy is his long-time friend, an officially retired, and still extremely active ex-journalist from the major daily “The Hindu”. Mr. Subburaman was distinguished by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as SCOPE won the award for 2005 as being among the “Best NGOs”.

Anselm is the founder-director of Mythri, which is also focused on sanitation and waste management in urban and semi-urban areas with a special focus on children and women.

They form a great bunch and I had lots of fun with them. Nicolas was so involved and his photo had my Indian girl friends asking… what was he doing in a NGO? He should be in Tamil-cinema… for once the hero wouldn’t have a paunch! Lucas had the cutest earring and was a good teacher on “waste management”.

And I never saw Mr. Subburaman not smile. That was fantastic. And Mr.Ganapathy is a walking encyclopedia.

The project is now much better defined.

With Best wishes, All comments welcome.
Shyama V. Ramani