26th December 2004, was the day the Tsunami struck our shores without warning, wrecking death, destruction and devastation in its path. The toll in terms of lives and property was colossal. What remained, could best be termed as desolate and bleak.
And yet, what we saw rising from this tragedy was the indefatigable human spirit, a testimony to the resilience of the human soul. We saw simple ordinary people, rising from the ashes of death & destruction that surrounded them to reach out and help others. We call them the Tsunami Saviours .
We are grateful to the Malayala Manorama publications and to Principal correspondent Lakshmi Subramanian in particular, for the special report in their magazine THE WEEK on the 10th anniversary of the Tsunami, highlighting the role of the Tsunami Saviours. Thanks to whose efforts things have changed for the better a decade later. It was this article which inspired the idea of saluting the otherwise unsung heros.
Mr. and Mrs. Parameswaran
Mr. Parameswaran, an engineer by profession, and his wife Mrs. Choodamani are the founders of 'NAMBIKKAI', an orphanage that is home to children who lost their parents to the Tsunami. Mr. Parameswaran and his wife were also affected by these floods when they lost their family to it, that fateful morning. But they demonstrated love and resilience in the face of despair when they opened up their home. They are now proud parents to 26 children and strive to restore hope to their community.
Ms. Jesu Rethinam
Ms. Jesu Rethinam is a lawyer and legal advisor. She is currently the director of SNEHA, an organization that is working amongst the fishing community. They have helped to rehabilitate them after the Tsunami struck. They have managed to reach out to 51 villages and have helped in house repairs, supported women and children activity centres and assisted in the education of children. Through their efforts, they have boosted the morale of the community.
Dr. V. Selvam
Dr. Selvam is the Director of Coastal Systems Research. His aim has always been to link science and society in the management of coastal resources. As the coastal community was worst affected by the Tsunami deluge, Dr. Selvam was at the forefront of relief activities. He also makes efforts in educating the community on how to be prepared for coastal hazards. He strives to equip the fishing and coastal communities in managing natural resources better.