McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Focus On...Insights on the Tsunami

Seema Bahinipati, a graduate student and research assistant in the physics department, contributed the following remarks about the disaster in Asia.

Date: 1/18/2005
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 556-1707
Seema Bahinipati, a graduate student and research assistant in the physics department, contributed the following remarks about the disaster in Asia.

I come from the eastern coastal state, Orissa, in India. Fortunately, it was not hit that badly by the killer tsunami. My family is fine. However, several others were not that lucky.

I came to know about the disaster from a friend in India the night it struck. She had gone to her home in Tamil Nadu, the southern Indian state that was badly hit. She called my roommate that night to let her know about the incident and tell her that her parents were fine. My roommate hails from Cuddalore, a place in Tamil Nadu which lost several people. After getting the call, she switched on the television, and we both watched the news. I was worried about my parents and called home to make sure they were alright. I asked them to contact my roommate's parents since she could not reach them. I also called my Sri Lankan friends in our department the next morning to find out about their well-being.

I learned from my brother, who works for a company in Kuwait, that two of his senior Indian colleagues had gone with their families to Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a conference and holiday. They, their elder sons, and wives died in the tsunami. Their younger children were being treated in a hospital. My brother had met one of them just a few days before.

Many lives were lost during this tragic natural disaster. Life will never be same for the survivors. It is very hard to see the death and destruction on television and the web. I can only imagine how hard it must be for the people who lost their loved ones.

This has been a sad end to 2004. I pray that the souls of the deceased rest in peace and the survivors return to their lives soon. Amidst all the grief, there is a ray of hope, hope that humanity will be able to brave this challenge of relief and rehabilitation. The enormous contributions to the relief effort suggest that we all are one in our hearts; geographical boundaries cannot divide us. I hope that we always remember that what we need is love and solidarity; not hatred and animosity towards each other.


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