There are some events which stick in the mind for many years, and one example of this is the Boxing Day Tsunami 2004. 10 years ago today. This immense natural disaster profoundly affected millions of people, with around 220,000 lives lost.
Tharangambadi, home to many of the Joy children, is in the district of Nagapattinam, an area devastated by the tsunami. Of all the tsunami deaths in the whole state of Tamil Nadu, over 75% came from this one district. Over 6000 people from this area lost their lives, more than in the whole of Thailand.
But today, whilst we remember the tragedy, we should also celebrate what India Direct, together with LCCT, has achieved. We have cared for over 100 children, giving them shelter, clothes, food, clean water, medical assistance and an education. Instead of their lives being destroyed by the Tsunami, they have been given hope and a future.
Here are a few of the children’s stories:
Divega was 7 years old when she came to Joy, having lost everything in the tsunami. She is now studying her first year of a B.Com degree.
Aruldevan was also 7 when his father died in the tsunami waves. He is studying to be a motor mechanic.
Arun was only 6. Having been sponsored through much of his time at Joy by year 7 students at Poynton High School, he is now studying at 12th standard (the final year of secondary education)
Aarthi and Raveen both lost their mothers when they were 6. They, too, are studying in 12th standard