On November 16, 2018, Cyclone Gaja created havoc in Tamil Nadu, specifically impacting the coastal districts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Trichy and Dindigul. While over a thousand families lost their houses in the aftermath of this cyclone, extensive damage was also caused to schools, anganwadis and community halls. ActionAid Association was on the ground immediately following the cyclone, providing relief materials to the most vulnerable families.
Subsequent to distributing immediate relief and with long-term recovery in mind, focus shifted to the rehabilitation of affected communities. Working with Social Need Education and Human Awareness (SNEHA), schools in 10 worst-affected villages of Nagapattinam district were chosen to start Child Activity and Learning Centres (CALCs), with support from LIC Housing Finance Ltd. Programmes have been organized for the capacity-building of teachers on varied subjects. Along with inputs in teaching and learning, the repair of school infrastructure was undertaken, including the fixing of roofs, floors, walls, rest rooms and water-tanks.
We are happy to share the news about the inauguration of CALCs at four of these schools in the villages of Pushpavanam, Vellapallam, Kameshwaram and Vanavan Mahadevi (E) of Nagapattinam district, which took place on August 28. These centres are aimed at providing children the space and opportunities for supportive education and recreation and bringing out their hidden potential. Nearly 450 people attended the programme, including students from the CALCs, teachers, community leaders and several government officials, including Block Education Officers, the Deputy Collector of Gaja Cyclone Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Rejuvenation Project, and District Child Protection Officer.
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