On the morning of Sunday 26th December 2004, giant Tsunamis unleashed by a massive undersea earthquake in distant Sumatra lashed coastal areas across South and East Asia causing death and destruction on a massive scale. Millions of people were affected. Whole communities were destroyed with several thousands killed and left homeless without adequate food, water and shelter.
Sewa International'svolunteer rescue teams swung into action and provided much needed rescue and relief services to the victims by supplying them with food, temporary shelter, clean water, medication and survival kits.
Few a volunteers who scrambled to deliver life saving supplies, equipment and assistance reported that they faced a challenge like never before.
Sanjay Jagatia, Public Relations Coordinator for Sewa International said, ?as well as providing initial relief, Sewa International took up the challenge to provide both short and long term rehabilitation in two of the worst affected countries?Sri Lanka and India. As part of our rehabilitation work Sewa International along with its partner organisations undertook massive rehabilitation activities in the tsunami-hit areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Batticoloa District of Sri Lanka and has built houses, community centres, vocational training centres, schools and orphanages. All of these projects were completed from generous donations that we collected in the UK?.
As part of Tsunami rehabilitation project, Sewa International took up the task of rebuilding and reconstructing the ?Shri Rethinapoor-neswari Amman Temple?, in Poombukar at the Sangama Sthan of Kauveri and Ganga Sagar (Bay of Bengal). Prior to the disaster, this Temple was the only Hindu temple in the area and was totally destroyed by the Tsunami.
The rebuilding of this temple was possible due to the combined fund raising efforts and donations received from: Ram Mandir/Gheewala Lohana Centre Leicester, Shree Sanatan Mandir & Community Centre Leicester, Hindu Temple & Community Centre Leicester and Hindu Religious & Cultural Society/Geeta Bhavan Temple Leicester.
On 9th of February 2007, the Maha Kumbhabhisheka or Maha Samprokshanam (inauguration) ceremony took place, which was presided over by the guest of honour-Shri Thenkasi Subramaniyan Jawahar (Nagapattinam District Collector). Sewa International volunteers were present at the ceremony.
Apart from the main temple, a separate mandapam for Shree Ganesha and Shree Subramaniyan have also been installed in the premises. In addition, a new 36 feet Rajagopuram and compound wall with an accommodation room for the caretaker has been constructed which gives a beautiful look to the temple and is visible from far away due to the high Rajagopuram.
Over 20,000 people attended the inauguration ceremony of the grand temple. The Maha Kumbha Abhishekha Puja of the Temple began on the February 6, 2007, and was completed on February 9, 2007 and simultaneously 48 days of continuous Puja for Maha Mandala Abhishekha Purti began. The head of villages that had gathered for the occasion thanked Sewa International for taking up the task of reconstruction of the famous temple at Poombukar.
?The Hindu community of Tamil Nadu are very grateful for the help and support that the four religious institutions in Leicester has given to make their dreams of having the temple rebuilt a reality, as this will ensure that they can continue to worship and propagate Hindu Dharma to their children and families for many years to come?, says a Sewa International Volunteer. (FOC)