A new hope-filled future

Dec. 26, 2004, is a date etched in Rani’s mind. The Indian Ocean tsunami was like nothing she or anyone in Killai village on India’s southeastern coast had ever seen.

Rani lost her house and possessions, and though she and her three children survived, she worried about her husband G. Sundaramurthy, a fisherman working in Brunei close to tsunami-affected areas.

She finally received news that he was alive, and they were reunited shortly after.

G. Sundaramurthy leaning on his fishing boat

Rebuilding his family’s life was foremost on Sundaramurthy’s mind. After moving into a home built by Habitat India in early 2006, he added a kitchen-cum-dining room with cement roofing and a wall that allowed him to cultivate a small garden. He and his wife repair fishing nets and dry fish for sale in the local market. Economic stability gives the family a sense of dignity.

Sundaramurthy was shattered when he learned that his house and possessions had been destroyed, but “Habitat’s assistance encouraged my family to move forward,” he says. “They provided us with a new hope-filled future, by providing safe and decent shelter.” His confidence regained, Sundaramurthy bought a small boat and now employs 10 families in his village.

“Habitat instilled hope when our family was stranded — homeless and hopeless,” Sundaramurthy says. “Today, I am really proud to say that I own a concrete house, and I have educated, healthy children and grandchildren.”