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Roger Praises Progress in Tsunami-Affected District of India

23.12.2006 | Off Court

On his first official field trip as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Roger today met with tsunami-affected children in Tamil Nadu in southern India.


The December 2004 tsunami took the lives of over 200,000 people, with India accounting for 18,000 dead or missing.  One-third of the victims were children. Tamil Nadu was the hardest hit state, with 8,000 dead, 351 severely-damaged child care centers and 186 destroyed schools. Three days before the second anniversary of the tsunami, Roger visited UNICEF's recovery and rehabilitation programmes in Cuddalore, one of the worst affected districts of Tamil Nadu.


"It's amazing to see how young people are using the rebuilding process as an opportunity to improve their lives and strengthen their community," said Roger. "The way these children are bouncing back from even the toughest tragedy is a testament to their resiliency."


In Cuddalore, Roger met with children who have chairs and tables at school for the first time. Across the tsunami-hit districts of Tamil Nadu UNICEF has provided 330 schools with furniture and learning materials, which benefit around 140,000 children and 3,500 teachers. The improvements in their school include programmes to learn through participation rather than by rote and the use of puppet theatre to help them cope with post-tsunami trauma. Roger also met with UNICEF- trained early child care workers at one of the 351 restored government centres where pre-school children are able to get essential health care, nutrition supplements and informal early education. .


Along with District Collector Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Roger visited the Cuddalore Orphanage. UNICEF has helped to establish a tracking system to monitor around 2,000 children in Tamil Nadu who lost one or both parents in the tsunami, including those in the orphanage. As part of the tsunami psycho social support programme more than 114,000 children have been reached through counseling, art, puppetry and children's theatre.


"Many of the programmes we set up in the tsunami hit communities, such as education programmes and child protection interventions, will now serve as a model for the rest of the state to follow," said Thomas George, UNICEF State Representative, Tamil Nadu. "Our focus has been to improve equity to services and to truly build back better for the children of Tamil Nadu."


Roger’s day ended by meeting with teenagers who are learning about HIV through a life-skills programme that is giving them the practical information they need to make responsible decisions and spread awareness about the disease.


"It's great to see the young people so full of life and spirit. Despite what happened to their community, they have really managed to turn things around," said Roger.


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02.01.2007 | 06:26
dear roger,
being a great fan of yours i felt really pleased to know that you had come down to chennai .i had always known that you are a great player but after your this deed i have come to know that you are even a more better human being.it was nice t
01.01.2007 | 20:54
Dear Roger,

It is great to see you involved with those people who have suffered great loss and are in poor conditions. I think great sportsman like you can bring light into these lives and it is also great for you to see the other side of life as your
01.01.2007 | 11:09
As a Tamilian, i am proiud pf roger to serve my people
31.12.2006 | 13:53

Dear Roger. You and Mirka are very kind. It is fantastic all the happiness you can give to this people, especially youngers.
All the best for both.
29.12.2006 | 20:36
So angels are very real!
YOU ARE AN ANGEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Very much kisses for you, our angel!:)))
29.12.2006 | 20:19
God, Roger, you're amazing! Your incredible goodwill gives so much hope for children around the world, this is so beautiful! You are a GREAT man! I am amazed at you and I love you, sweety!:)
29.12.2006 | 13:57
dear & respected roger

i am a great fan of u....i feel so happy to visit my country...where u visit in india is my native place...i know u r a prodigy player...but now only i know how kind u r...

thank u for visit my native place sir...
29.12.2006 | 13:17
Hello Roger,

It is really good of you to come to Tamil Nadu to check on what is happening here. I never would have thought of seeing you here in my country. I heard you even came down to Pondicherry and visited the 'The Dupleix'.

My country is one
28.12.2006 | 05:15
I wish I could one day meet you and get your autograph!! I am hoping that would happen sometime in my life. :-)
28.12.2006 | 04:09
I hope you had a good time! cheers.