What can you have but the deepest sympathy for the people who were devasted in the worst natural calamity in recorded hisrtory? I am not going to post any pictures, since you have already seen plenty on the Net and on your TV. I have a special geographical connection to the area: I am an Indian native. I am not claiming that the tragedy impacted me any more deeply than any other person living in a western country, I mean, I had no relatives or friends affected in the disaster, but it's hard for me to watch the images of destruction. The death toll, it seems, almost doubles on a daily basis, and nobody knows where it will stop. But what's worse than the death toll is the images of the survivors who are not only suffering great personal tragedies - mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, and entire families are wiped out - but are also certain to be hit by a onslaught of diseases to which children are especially vulnerable. I think I heard an official calling the current picture only the "tip of the iceberg", and that's exactly what it is. The infrastructure in many of these countries is poor, and so while aid is flowing into airports, transporting them to the people who need it most is a completely different story. Meanwhile, the human suffering grows and grows and grows. Yet of all devastations rise the caring character that make us human beings. It is our conscience that does not let us sit still in the face of human tragedies like this. It is our inner being of moral sense that urges us to stand in empathy, and to extend a helping hand. From a distance of tens of thousands of miles, we can do an aweful lot. Relief agencies all over the United States and the world are seeking donations to deal with this calamity that is really of epic proportions. To see a list of these organizations, click here. What's needed? Lots, but at the moment, the priority is clean, safe, drinkable water. That is almost the sole factor which will determine if millions more will die in outbreaks of diseases in the aftermath. And then there is the need for food, clothing, medical care, and finally rebuilding what amounts to an entire civilization. Well, sorry it took me so long to post something about this, but it is just so surreal it took me some time to get off the initial shock and... to a certain degree, denial.
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