INTACH signs agreement with Swiss Red Cross for Tsunami-affected communities

September 4th, 2008 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Sep 4 (ANI): Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), a nationwide non-profit organization founded to protect the common national heritage, has signed an agreement with the Swiss Red Cross to secure sustainable improvement in health and well-being of Tsunami-affected communities in five villages of Puducherry.

An agreement was signed for the well-being of Tsunami-affected communities in five villages of Puducherry in the fields of water supply, hygiene, environment and sanitation, said S.K.Misra, Chairman of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.

Working on this social aspect, INTACH has been provided with two crore and 33 lakhs of funds by the Swiss Red Cross, he added.

An earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami on December 26, 2004, with the epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

The earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters.

It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand were hardest hit.

Besides Puducherry, the nationwide non-profit organization is also monitoring heritage properties in Goa.

All heritage properties were earlier with the State Government. But, now they are handed over to the INTACH. And about Rs. 20 crores have been provided for restoration of work, Misra added.

Misra further added that they are in the process of completing major projects in Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior, Chanderi for which the Tourism Ministry has provided funds for the restoration work.

The INTACH, whose main objective is to create awareness among people about heritage, will complete its 25 years in 2009.

The INTACH, which was founded by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, is contributing to that endeavour by working to protect the common national heritage.

INTACH has been organized into 140 Chapters nation-wide with members who have over the years responded to threats to their local heritage in dramatic, imaginative and committed ways.

It addresses issues of local importance and alert their members to local conservation needs. (ANI)

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