Improving school environment in Car Nicobar
By Priyanka Khanna
The desks are a welcome addition to their school, which has been running in tents since the tsunami struck Car Nicobar island in December 2004. Located on the seashore of Sawai village, their school was badly damaged, left with gaping holes in place of walls.
Car Nicobar lies in the heart of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It bore the full fury of the tsunami in December 2004.
The inaccessibility of these islands is a major challenge in the rehabilitation process. There is no direct air link between the Indian mainland and Car Nicobar. The two-and-a-half hour flight from Chennai to Port Blair, plus the 12 hours by sea to Car Nicobar can test the most keenly planned logistical operations.
Damaged ports and jetties compound difficulties. “Bringing material to the islands or carrying out assembly work is a logistical nightmare,” says UNICEF programme coordinator Subhash Misra.
The delight shown by children over the new desks was well worth the effort, Subhash said. “Their smiles are the best reward we can get.”