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Indian President Cancels New Year Celebrations After Tsunami


The president of India, Abdul Kalam, has donated the money meant to be used for the New Year's celebrations at his presidential palace for the tsunami disaster relief fund.

A spokesman says the president has canceled the New Year festivities in view of the grim situation in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

He also has urged well-to-do families of India to adopt at least one victim of the disaster.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's office says he will be traveling to the Andaman and Nicobar islands soon to assess the situation. The announcement was made as he returned to New Delhi from a similar three-day trip to India's tsunami-affected southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.