Reporter Pema Ngodup has been in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu since a few days after the tsunami struck. He says things have improved for people living in the hardest-hit coastal towns, including Nagappattinam, one of the worst affected. Aid is getting through, debris is being cleared, and the district's children have returned to school.
One of India's most famous actors, Suresh Oberoi, has traveled to southern India with his family and spiritual teacher to join the relief effort in the wake of the devastating tsunami of Dec. 26. Pema Ngodup caught up with him the town of Katlu, Tamil Nadu state, where thousands of families in the area have been left with nothing. In this blog entry, Oberoi talks to Pema about what drove him to lend a hand.
Pema Ngodup has been traveling through coastal towns in Tamil Nadu that were affected by the Dec. 26 tsunami. Pema spoke with Mr. Zoepa, a Tibetan living in the southernmost town of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, and got a first person account of what happened that day.
Indian officials say they have launched the biggest relief effort in the country's history in the state of Tamil Nadu where estimates are now putting the death toll from last week's tsunami at 9,500. Nearly 6,000 people are reported still missing. International aid groups are criticizing the Indian government's refusal to allow non-governmental agencies to assist in devastated areas.
The Indian government continued with its policy of politely refusing offers of assistance during times of disaster. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters in New Delhi, "If and when we need their help, we will inform them," said. "I have told them that, as of now, we feel we have adequate resources to meet the challenge." India's refusal does not include U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations already working in the region.
Indian officials accounce another tsunami is headed for Tamil Nadu, creating chaos in the region. Relief workers and residents flee the region. In keeping with its policy of rejecting international aid, the Indian government says it can cope adequately with the aftermath of the tidal wave