Elusive 'Substantial Damage' Letter a Stumbling Block for Some Sandy Survivors
Frank Azack doesn’t bother to lock his door anymore.
“There’s nothing to take,” he chuckled. “The house is totally empty!”
Standing in the echoey, gutted remains of the tiny structure in Toms River that he and his wife used to call home, it’s easy to see what he means. The walls are gone, leaving exposed pipes and wiring; the floor is warped, and there’s still evidence of mold in some places. For Azack, it’s a depressing sight.
“The insurance company told me that I should have the floors ripped out, put new beams in, replace the plywood, clean out the crawlspace, and repair any cracks with epoxy adhesive,” he said. “Like putting a Band-Aid on it, you know? It’s not going to work.”
“Not going to work” because there’s a crack in the foundation, and the house is slowly sinking into the ground. Essentially, it’s a total loss. Azack’s insurance company finally acknowledged as much, cutting him a check in mid-2013 for $74,000 dollars, 82 percent of the structure’s value. But town officials initially said his losses were much less. It took Azack another year to get a letter from Toms River, declaring his home “substantially damaged.”
India's Best Companies for CSR 2014: With hospitals & hockey schools, SAIL ...
Birendra Lakra hails from Lachchada village near Rourkela, one of the most backward areas in the country. But when he takes to the turf, he steals the show with a curved stick and ball. A cadet of the SAIL Hockey Academy (SHA) of Rourkela Steel Plant, Lakra recently made India proud with a historic win over Pakistan in the finals of the Incheon Asian Games. And like Lakra, the academy is churning out hockey heroes by the dozens from among local tribals who live around the steel plant. "They have a natural affinity for the game and many of them start playing the game with hockey sticks carved out from branches of trees," says HS Pati, Director, Personnel, SAIL. Set up in 1992, SHA catches such talent young and imparts them special training, including free boarding, medical facilities, monthly stipend, balanced diet and education.
Kavita Sarkar lives in a slum outside Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) and had no income in the past. In 2009, she joined 15 other women to form a self-help