Monday, May 31, 2010


Following is the copy of my letter to all the partners of State Inter Agency Group - West Bengal:

Dear Friends,

Best regards from Puthumai !

This is my last mail as the State Coordinator of the State Inter Agency Group - West Bengal ! The State IAG-WB will have a full time coordinator shortly. Whereas I will be leaving as the Coordinator, I shall continue to support and strengthen the State IAG-WB to the best of my ability from wherever I am.

I am also glad to inform you that in June 2010, I wish to spend the time on setting up a state-wide SMS based geographically sensitive Early Warning System. I hope this will benefit you and the community. The system will be fully functional from 01 July 2010. Anyone can register to receive Early Warning updates. The very idea of this is to give real time geographically sensitive Early Warning (e.g. in case of a possible embankment breach, send alert to people of the area who are under threat, and heads of INGOs/NGOs working in the area only.). You are most welcome to register yourself by sending in a message "START ALERT" from your phone to 09547997119. Kindly encourage your staff and community members to register to this. I would like to keep this as an absolutely free service to reach to the last person in the village. Your suggestions are most welcome. I will be available for your contacts on my personal E-mail address: The information collected for generating these alerts will be, from the subscribers to this system, community, IMD, Government and other relevant websites and media.

Coming to this departure of mine, I remember the circumstances which brought me to Kolkata and to take this challenging task. I remember with sorrow the hundreds and thousands of people who bore the brunt of Cyclone Aila. I sincerely thank Fr. I.P.Sarto, then Director of ABCD, the Convener organization of the State IAG-WB and Ms. Parnasri Roy Chowdhury for placing their confidence in me, and calling me in to shoulder this responsibility. Their guidance and support throughout the year will never be forgotten. I thank Fr. Reginald Fernandes, who as Director of Seva Kendra and later as State IAG-WB Convener since September, arranged my stay for the entire year, and guided me with enormous freedom to work and succeed.

I must thank the Honorable Joint Secretary, Disaster Management Department, Govt. of West Bengal, Sri Debabrata Pal, IAS, who has helped me with guidance and suggestions at various occasions. I thank the officials of the Disaster Management Department, and specially Mr. Himadri Maitra with whom I worked very closely. I also thank Mr. Subhasish Debnath of UNDP who has been my heart and voice with the government, and has always chipped in with such useful information that helped me achieve beyond my capabilities.

I must thank Ms. Lori Calvo, Mr. S.N. Dave, Mr. Nasir Ateeq, and Ms. Moumita Dastidar of UNICEF. It is they who helped me strengthen my technical skills, and with financial support and guidance at every step. Thanks to the entire UNICEF family of Unicef Kolkata Field Office.

I thank all the partners across the State. If at all I have achieved anything, it is because of you. All that I am, all that I am capable of, and all that I have come to be is because of your constant support, love, assistance and guidance. It would certainly be unfair if I miss any of your names in listing. But, I think, I must list at least persons who have made a great impression in the past 12 months: Anurag, Shubhro and Soma of WWF, Campoo and Logun of World Vision, Banku B Sarkar, Bhaswar, and Bipul of Oxfam, Nirmal of Rama Krishna Mission, M.A.Wohab of SHIS, Dr. Aniruddha Dey and Sutapa Ghosh of PRISM, Sanjay Rozario, Pallab and Bapi of Caritas India, Subhrokhali, Dr. Garai and Dr. Vijayakumar of Lutheran World Service, Taraknath of CARE India, Kasturi, Rama and Rajshree of CRS, Praful Rao of Save the Hills, Prof. Chandan Majumdar and Niladri of Jadavpur University, Ms. Gargi Mitra of CII, Fr. Soosaiappan of Palli Unnayan Samity, Dr. Subhomoy Pal and Arup of CINI, Chittaranjan Mondal and Surajit Neogi of Action Aid, Raja, Noel, Soumick, Lucas Gomes and Shubhra of ABCD, Ajanta Dey of NEWS, Ajitha Menon of ANI and Amitava of PTI, Samsur Alam of BMCDM, Anshuman of DRCSC, Shibani of Indienhilfe, Sebastian and Mamata Sahu of Concern Worldwide, Aloke Ghosh of CASA, Sandeep of Childline Foundation, Niraj of Children International, Vikas, Vikrant and Parimita of Sphere India, Sr. Sabrina Edwards of MWDC, Dr. Prabir Chatterjee (independent consultant), Tanaji Sen and Praveen Kumar of RedR India, Sujay Chowdhury of Goal India, Dr. Ujjwal Kr. Sengupta of IMA, Nazrul Islam of INSS, Shibesh Das of RCHSS, Saradindhu Banerjee of PRIA, Anshuman of Sabuj Sangha, Abinash, Jatin and Manabendranath of Save the Children, Mrs. Bani of SMS, Bidyut Debnath of SPADE, Fr. Valentine Rai of Anuggyalaya, Darjeeling, Raja, Bhaswati and Jayanta Das (all three of them worked as my collegues for a short term), and you, my friend, have made a positive difference in my life.

If ever you need my support in strengthening any of your systems or building the capacity of your staff or partners, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart! Lots of Love and Best Wishes to all of you !

Puthumai A. Nazarene

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