NIOT officials reach out to Cyclone Gaja-hit villages

A team of officials from the National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai, has gone beyond providing ocean data and research. They are now pooling resources to reach out to the Cyclone Gaja-affected villages in Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts.

It all started when a few NIOT officials visited some affected villages to distribute essential materials in December last year. “We learnt from the villagers about the damage to their livelihood. We made them choose the help they needed. We started distributing saplings especially coconut saplings since December-end,” said R. Venkatesan, head, Ocean Observation Systems, NIOT.

The team has distributed nearly 12,300 saplings, including 7,800 coconut saplings, in 14 villages in Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts in a phased manner. Other fruit-bearing plant saplings were provided to ensure short-term benefit to farmers. This would approximately cover 100 acres of space. Two more fishing villages were also supported with essential materials.

Help to students

On Saturday, residents of Neduvasal in Pudukottai district were distributed with saplings. NIOT staff members have also reached out to 1,400 school students and gave away notebooks. Recently, the Eco Club students of Thanjavur and Pudukottai districts were directed to join the venture by the Department of Environment.

“Several people are now joining us in the venture. We are also reaching out globally to oceanographers to alleviate the plight of farmers. We aim to distribute 20,000 tree saplings and motivate children to grow trees for a greener planet,” said Mr. Venkatesan, who can be reached at 044-66783532/33.

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