Source: The Times of India
On January 14, 2005 The Times of India reported, "The Sikh community dispatched 110 chefs from Punjab to the tsunami-battered southern coast only to be told that the survivors would not eat what they cook. In Tamil Nadu, where the tsunami killed some 8,000 people, villagers live on a staple diet of rice and, if they are lucky, fish. Unlike people from northern India they do not eat wheat bread, potatoes or meat. 'A big army of Sikhs from Punjab have arrived to help the affected people,' said local government official Shanta Seela Nair, head of rehabilitation operations in Nagapattinam district, the worst-hit in the December 26 tragedy. 'They wanted to set up community kitchens and we told them the food they cook will not be eaten by the local people. Instead the cooks can be used as volunteers for help in other areas,' Nair said."