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NEW DELHI (AFP) - Tsunami-hit India struggled to get the right relief supplies to the most needy people as a flood of aid poured in from across the country where nearly 13,000 died, rescue workers and residents said.
India has mounted its biggest-ever peace-time relief operation with more than 4,000 troops deployed at home and aid shipped also to neighbouring nations Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
However, the abundance of equipment and goods sent to some areas in worst-hit southern India was such that bundles of clothes lay heaped on street corners and food went to waste in some places while in other places people queued hours for a paltry meal.
"What is happening is that a lot of smaller voluntary agencies are coming here with supplies of clothes and other materials which are really not required," said Geetanjali Master, United Nations (news - web sites) Children's Fund (UNICEF (news - web sites)) communications officer in Tamil Nadu state's Nagapattinam.
Relief workers Sunday said an appeal by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had struck a chord across the one billion population, but poor communication meant required items such as warm blankets, pillows and bedsheets were not being donated.
Stacks of food were also being sent from various regions, but poor south Indians, used to a staple diet of rice and fish, were not able to eat it.
The Hindustan Times was one of several papers to complain that aid was only trickling in because of a lack of...