On December 26, 2004, one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history occurred when an underwater earthquake near Indonesia triggered a massive tsunami. In India, mostly in Tamil Nadu state, over 18,000 people were killed and more than 600,000 displaced.
Ten years later, people in Tamil Nadu are experiencing what they call "a continuation of a permanent tsunami" due to large corporate projects. In Kari Kattu Kuppum fishing village, for example, villagers were relocated after the tsunami's destruction. Today, their path to the sea is barred by a large wall built by a private company that wants to build on the prime land on the other side, close to the sea.
This means villagers have to carry their nets, boats, and other equipment over 2 km to reach the sea, a journey along which they are often harassed by police. Community leaders have even been arrested at the instigation of the private company, they say, because they are fighting against the wall in court. One community leader who had five cases filed against him and has been arrested once says the problems they now face are worse than the tsunami. The community originally had 350 families; less than 50 remain today.
Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation helps local villagers bring their cases to court across Tamil Nadu. We are thankful our gifts for Mission & Service support this justice work.
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