Kollam (Kerala): No material compensation or rehabilitation scheme would have made their tsunami-shattered lives cheerful again.
But the arrival of twins Ekanathan and Amritakripa made all the difference in the life of Sreejith and Liji, who lost eight-year-old Ammu and four-year-old Kalidas in the deadly waves that struck the coastal hamlet of Alappad two years back, claiming 140 lives and devastating hundreds of families.
The gentle, soothing hum of a lullaby returned to their home two months back. The Sreejith-Liji pair were among three couples fortunate to have children after their tiny ones were claimed by the tsunami. Some of them had lost all hope as the women had already undergone sterilisation.
But it was the Amritanandamayi Mutt that kindled a ray of hope in their darkened lives. The couples were counselled and re-canalisation surgery was performed to help them conceive again.
Two other couples are expecting new borns in two months. "Physical rehabilitation of tsunami-wrecked families is important. But for those who lost their children, to have new-borns could be the best possible consolation," a woman in the hamlet said.