Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where the sun never sets...

An unexpected natural catastrophe struck the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, on March 11, 2011. A year has gone by since then. But it must feel like a lifetime for those who have lost everything and survived through unimaginable misery with such dignity and courage. Stories of their resilience, patience, and strength in such challenging times put the world to shame.

The tsunami and earthquake destroyed over 200,000 homes. About 58,000 acres of lush rice paddies vanished in an instant on that ghastly Friday afternoon. While every piece of available land in the affected parts has turned into a relief camp, rescue efforts are still on to find nearly 3000 people who are still missing.

According to ‘Save the Children’, it’s estimated that close to 100,000 children have been displaced and need basic necessities like food, clothing, and personal items. Talking about giving them a normal life, an education, a family, and counseling them to sail through such times is far from that.

While the road to recovery seems long and winding, according to CBS News, Sendai, where the 25 feet high wave destroyed everything that came in its way, 22 million tons of debris along the northeast coast of Japan is testimony to the efforts that are being made to reclaim land. Help has poured from all around the world but in such times no amount of help is enough. The task seems insurmountable and daunting to say the least.

We cannot fathom the loss but we can feel the pang. We cannot gauge the immeasurable loss of human life and the emotion of waking up to no family, but we understand the fundamental human need to be happy, to live, to move on.

We want to honour the victims, help the survivors, and celebrate the efforts of those who are committed to rehabilitate a nation – a nation that is exemplary in its ability to survive odds and look forward to a new rising sun.

With ‘New Sun Rising - Stories for Japan’ we want to help – help wherever we can, however we can, and in whatever measure. We cannot express enough gratitude towards the writers and artists who have offered their time and invaluable stories that celebrate this wonderful nation. We also acknowledge the mammoth effort invested by this small group of people who have come together from different parts of the world with one objective – to contribute towards rebuilding Japan through stories – a book that celebrates the land and people of Japan.

We shall be out with our eBook by September 2012 and intend to channel the proceeds to genuine charity organizations that are doing amazing work to rebuild Japan.

Yes. The new sun is indeed rising.

~ Vaishali Shroff

Artwork: Courtesy Kruti Kothari (