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Tsunami update - Day 13 - Jan 7, 2005

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  • Chinny Krishna
    From S. Chinny Krishna, Chairman, Blue Cross of India regarding work of Blue Cross and Karuna Society for Animals and Nature, Puttaparthi, AP Report as on
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2005
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      From S. Chinny Krishna, Chairman, Blue Cross of India
      regarding work of Blue Cross and
      Karuna Society for Animals and Nature, Puttaparthi, AP

      Report as on January 7, 2005 - 1300 hrs

      Most of the input for this update of our efforts in Cuddalore
      and Nagapattinam is from reports received from Clementien
      Pauws, President, Karuna. She has been in that area from
      Sunday, Jan 2nd.

      The situation is much grimmer than first thought. Healthy
      animals (cows, goats, ponies and dogs) are getting unwell
      due to lack of good water - many were living on salty water
      since all water sources were inundated by the sea. The cattle
      have been living on rotting food and many have ingested
      substantial amounts of plastic material which means that
      a larger problem is looming ahead.

      For dogs, especially nearer the larger areas, where media
      presence is substantial and, therefore, most relief efforts tend
      to be concentrated, there is so much wasted food that the
      dogs are getting their needs.

      In Cuddalore District, thanks to a most efficient District
      Collector, things are under some sort of control. The
      animal husbandary department (AHD) is giving fodder to
      the rescued cattle and goats which have been taken in
      by their owners. For those cattle not claimed by any one,
      there is no food or water except what is being given by
      rescue groups.

      In Nagapattinam District, the situation is nightmarish.
      All NGOs were called for a meeting in the Collector's
      Office on Wednesday Jan 5. Mrs. Clementien Pauws of
      Karuna, Mr. Hari Prasad, President of the Puttaparthi
      SPCA and some of the Blue Cross supervisors attended.
      The first thing was that the "animal welfare groups" were
      told that all dogs in that area must be killed since there
      had been a report that a dog had been seen eating a
      corpse. Clementien came out of the meeting and told me
      about it and asked me what to do. I told her to tell the
      authorities that it was illegal to kill the dogs and that, if
      there were bodies on the beaches after 10 days, it
      reflected very poorly on the administration. She feared
      that if we refused, we would not be permitted by the
      Collector and the Police to work. All I could do was to
      go back and tell them what I had said and that I would
      talk to someone higher up. I was unable to get through
      to Mr. R. Santanam, IAS, Relief Commissioner. I then
      contacted Dr. R. Balasubramanian, AWBI Secretary,
      who said he would talk to the Collector.

      On Thursday, Jan 6, there were reports that the Collector
      had ordered the killing of the dogs. Our volunteer,
      Mrs. Radha Rajan, contacted Mr. Govind, Director
      General of Police who promised to talk to the Collector.
      Reports last received seemed to indicate that no dogs
      were being killed. Clementien confirmed that no locals
      had asked that any dogs be killed.

      No fodder was made available from the AHD yesterday.
      With great difficulty, our two ambulances were filled
      with green grass purchased by us and some animals
      were fed. The large number of relief vehicles on the road
      made movement extremely difficult. The 70 kilometer
      drive from Nagapattinam to Cuddalore took over 5 hours.
      The truck sent by the Blue Cross with cattle feed
      concentrate only reached Cuddalore at about six p.m.
      and promptly broke down. Fortunately, we were able to
      hire another lorry and take the material to Nagapattinam
      where it was unloaded at midnight in the Government
      Veterinary Hospital godown.

      We are thankful to Mr. Gowrishankar, AGM of Indian
      Bank at HQ Chennai, who heard of our work at
      Cuddalore-Nagapattinam and contacted me
      and asked what help we required. He spoke to his
      Nagapattinam Manager and they have made available
      a fully walled in compound behind their bank office in
      Nagapattinam where we can safely park all our vehicles
      at night and store supplies.

      Mr. Daniel, Shelter Supervisor at our Guindy centre,
      has also gone down to Nagapattinam with money and
      two mobile phones so that our teams can keep in
      touch with each other. Mr. S. Raghavan, an Honorary
      Animal Welfare Officer of the AWBI and our long time
      volunteer, has taken three weeks off from everything
      and has gone down to Nagapattinam today to
      co-ordinate the cattle camps which have to be set up
      most urgently. We are also taking a farm house on
      rent for a few weeks to set up our site office and
      a place to keep the many ponies affected.

      Yesterday, I received a phone call from a Swiss radio
      station asking about the reports that dogs were
      feasting on human bodies and whether that will result
      in them becoming man-eaters. I told them that
      there was a report about one such case and that if
      human bodies were on the beach 10 days after the
      incident, it pointed out the inefficiency of the local
      administration.

      At 1030 this morning, Clementien called to say that
      there was a meeting being called by the Collector
      and the AHD regarding setting up of temporary
      camps for the cattle and whether we could
      co-ordinate the entire work. I told her that we were
      stretched to the limit as it was and not to accept
      any responsibility that we could not fulfil properly.
      She said that there was nobody else to do it.
      We finally agreed to tell the AHD that we would
      do so provided all facitities were extended
      including making available fodder - grass and
      hay - and water. We would take care of the
      medical treatment and medicines. Hopefully,
      Raghavan will be able to handle this in view of his
      vast experience of 20 years in cattle rescue with
      Govardhan and the Blue Cross.

      Last night, Dr. Abdul Rahman of the Commonwealth
      Veterinary Association called to say that he is visiting
      Chennai today (Friday) to meet with me and
      finalise arrangements to work together. Hopefully,
      we will be able to get a few livestock inspectors
      and Vets (all Tamil speaking) who can work for
      the next month or two so that we can expand our
      area of operations.

      An update will be sent late tonight or early tomorrow
      regarding the meeting with Dr. Abdul Rahman and
      the results of Clementien's meeting with the
      Collector/AHD.

      S. Chinny Krishna
      Blue Cross of India

      =======================================

      Dr. S. Chinny Krishna
      MTech,MS, PhD, FIE, FIIChE
      Managing Director

      Aspick Engineering P. Ltd.
      D 5 Industrial Estate
      Guindy, Chennai 600 032, India

      Phone: +91 44 2234 1399 / 3839 / 8849 / 1878
      Direct: +91 44 2233 1091
      Fax: +91 44 2234 9801 / 2232 5219

      www.aspick.com






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