Distress at a Distance
“Tender Sprout” was located in the coastal area of Mullaitivu, North East of Sri Lanka. This home for the war orphans had 175 children when Tsunami hit, only 30 children survived. Later, they were relocated to a different place inland. Most of the children were affected by the Tsunami. Either they have lost their beloved brothers and sisters or struggled to survive. They couldn’t eat, sleep or play. The cherished memories of the loved ones kept bothering these children. They were unable to forget the past. The lost loved ones stayed, ate, slept and played together. They used to get up in the night and shout. They had bad dreams.
“I was putting cover for the new exercise books, and getting ready for the new school term, which was supposed to begin in early January 2005. I heard a noise and everybody started to run. I also ran and climbed on a tree. I saw my little sister under that tree. And later she was washed away. I witnessed it. But I never saw her body. I was told that, she died on the way to the hospital” said Susi Sinnathurai (14), who burst into tears.
There were more children, who did not know what has happened to their loved ones. These little children have already affected by the three decades of ethnic conflict.
Niranjana Balakrishnan (19) lost her parents in the conflict. She is the only child in the family. She stayed at the “Tender Sprout” pre-tsunami location in Mullaithivu coast on December 26, 2004. She was holding her three year old friend Arabi, but lost control and let her go with the wave. She carried Arabi's body from Mullaithivu to Mulliyawalai. Since then, she had nightmares about the Tsunami. Mullaitivu was one of the worst affected areas by Tsunami.
The war began again; people from Mullaithivu left their homes and moved for safety. Nobody knows about these kids. The war was over in May 2009.
I recall their sweet smiles and tears. I always visited “Tender Sprout” and played with the children.
My eyes fill with tears uncontrollably and my heart toments .These children are in my daily prayers. Everyday, I wait to hear some good news about these cute children. But luck has not yet turned its way. Five years passed, but my search to locate them continues endlessly!