The villagers of Magasanithippa Island have every reason to rejoice. The Rotarians of RI District 3020 have built houses for 64 fishermen families of the island, whose homes were shattered by the killer Tsunami waves. People marooned on this remote island now have a chance to a better future.
Magasanithippa Island is at the estuary of river Godavari, on the east coast of India, about 170 kms from Visakhapatnam. There is no land route to reach it. Except a small primary school staffed by a local high school graduate, there is no educational, medical or any other civic amenity worth its name. The islanders depend on the mainland, 12 kms away, for all their daily needs. No teacher/nurse/doctor once visiting the island would return the second time.
When Tsunami hit the Indian coast in the year 2004, Magasanithippa was among the islands that were badly affected. Amidst warnings of more under-sea tremors, the villagers were promptly advised by the government to evacuate the island and move to a safer place. But, having inhabited the island for generations, and bound by sentiment towards motherland, the villagers refused to heed; ‘Live or die – it’s here!’ they declared. That was not the first time they dared death. A few years earlier when a massive tidal wave hit the island several lives were lost.
Inspired by Rotary’s instant response in Tamilnadu, the Rotarians of RC Konaseema-Muramalla, RI District 3020 rose to the occasion and took up the matter with PDG L Satyanarain (Tikku), RI District 3020. He got into action instantly and approached the District administration officials of the District Rural Development Agency and Andhra Pradesh Housing Corporation. A truly remarkable humanitarian support came from unexpected corners of RC of Tamworth, England, RI District 1060 and from Rotary in New Mexico, USA, RI District 5520.
The wholehearted participation of Rotarians from RC KonaseemaMuramalla, under the leadership of Rtn. PP Subhadra Raju and President Viswanadha Raju on a day-to-day basis made the project of building 64 pucca houses a glittering reality. The construction of Rotary Nagar involved the importing of water and sand from the mainland 12 kms away, apart from the cement, iron, stone, brick, gravel and of course labourers. It took countless trips up and down the stream every day for several months through rain and scorching sun to finish up the job.
What of the voluntary participation of the beneficiaries? Indeed the spirit and work of RCC could be seen in full swing. Every beneficiary family contributed in one way or the other. They provided manual labour, formed part of the team of masons and labourers, and helped transport men and material. The culmination of all these efforts is a beautiful colony which looks like a Rotary wheel from an aerial view. The project was completed at a cost of Rs.75 lakhs.
The Konaseema-Muramalla Rotarians made this Herculean task a reality through unstinting efforts and tireless enthusiasm. While it’s an unparalleled sense of fulfilment for these fine Rotarians, it’s a boundless joy for the Magasanithippa islanders.
A group of special guests including PRID Kalyan Banerjee, PDG Ravi Vadlamani RI District 3150, PDG K Chaya Devi, PDG Sam Movva, PDG L Satyanarain (Tikku) The villagers of Magasanithippa Island have every reason to rejoice. The Rotarians of RI District 3020 have built houses for 64 fishermen families of the island, whose homes were shattered by the killer Tsunami waves. People marooned on this remote island now have a chance to a better future. Future is Here Glimpse of Rotary Nagar Rotary Housing Project.indd 58 10/29/2015 1:10:44 PM JUNE 2008 ROTARY NEWS 59 and his wife Kasturi, DG P Sadanand, DGN MV Prasad, RI District 3020 and Rtn. Steve Turner along with a team from RC Tamworth and a host of other Rotarians made the trip to Magasanithippa Island. The group Rotarians did not realise that something really unique was awaiting — a rendezvous with “Rotary Nagar.”
While only 64 families benefited from the Rotary Housing Project, the promises of the local legislative leader, MLA Mr. Pinepe Viswaroop to provide a drinking water pipeline across the river into the island and to lay a pucca road from a deep water point to the village before the next festival, overjoyed the poor inhabitants. In his address, he said he was much inspired by the humanitarian outlook and service above self attitude of the Rotarians. The team from RC Tamworth was impressed with the project and moved by the plight of the villagers, they promised to try for more help to the island towards its self-sustenance.
PRID Kalyan Banerjee said, “Of the hundreds of projects I have visited or inaugurated so far, this one is the finest and it touched my heart.” There is no wonder that the 150 or so Rotarians who reached Magasanithippa from far and wide to witness the spectacle were enthralled. As they made their way back home, their hearts were filled with a deep sense of satisfaction that Rotary has led the way for all this. Kudos to the Rotarians of RC Konaseema-Muramalla!