It is estimated that a total of around 86,000 houses are totally destroyed and about 21,000 houses are partially damaged. Sarvodaya offers to repair, reconstruct or rebuild 20% of affected houses, only subject to any legal restrictions. This is a commitment to an involvement with around 20,000 houses. Labour for reconstruction provided by those directly affected will be recompensed in cash through donor-funded programmes. Labour provided by those not directly affected will be given as service in the spirit of Sarvodaya�s Shramadana tradition. There will be much work for both skilled and unskilled labour and training will be provided for crafts such as masonry and carpentry. Sarvodaya will identity or develop relevant training modules or refer trainees to existing technical institutes or colleges for training. It will seek to incorporate the most sustainable building methods and materials into its housing plans.
While we realize that housing needs to be provided quickly, we strongly believe that careful planning is essential before the construction of homes begins. Rather than supporting a “Housing” programme, Sarvodaya believes that a holistic approach – rebuilding of communities and villages should be encouraged. This would then mean that the villagers, the survivors, should be involved in having input into their physical needs (infrastructural, water, housing, waste, energy, transport, work, recreation) as well as their spiritual / cultural (temples, kovils, churches, mosques, meeting places, markets) and social/educational facilities (schools, play areas, wilderness) and their expectations. It is quite likely that the needs of the surviving population will be different and thus the village will also be different compared to pre-tsunami. We also propose current state-of-the art of sustainable living such as rainwater collection, solar electricity, recycling etc.