Kerala flood: states, political parties, NGOs, individuals offer help

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) | Publish Date: 8/18/2018 12:26:46 PM IST

As Kerala battles the worst floods in its recent history, many NGOs have come forward to lend their support to ensuring supply of packaged meals and other relief items to the worst affected areas of the state.

Rise Against Hunger India (RAHI), a renowned International NGO, has associated with many NGOs including Arshabharath, Hope Foundation and the Times Foundation to help the families living in the make-shift relief camps.

Not just food, RAHI is also mobilising other important and essential items like hygiene kits, toiletry, soaps, water containers, utensils, bed sheets, blankets, clothing, water purifier and similar products, which can be utilized by survivors in relief camps.

Save the Children India unit too has come forward to help the victims, especially children, in the flood-affected areas. It will be setting up child-friendly spaces, which provide children with important psycho-social well-being through learning and recreation facilities.

“We will do everything to help children get back to school as quickly as possible once it is safe to do so,” Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children, said.

“We are sending our first lot of meal boxes to Wayanad on Sunday. By next week, more material will be sent to Mundalur in Kannur. Our intention is to provide immediate assistance to the affected families, and once the rains subside, help them get back to their normal lives as soon as possible,” Dola Mohapatra, Executive Director, RAHI added.

Maha extends Rs 20 cr plus flood aid: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced an emergency financial aid of Rs 20 crore plus food and other essentials for the flood hit victims of Kerala, an official said here. From Sunday, the government, in collaboration with various agencies and NGOs will make arrangements for food and other items of daily need for the flood victims.

A consignment of six tonnes will be despatched to Kerala on Saturday, while another five tonnes will follow shortly.

In this, realtors, umbrella bodies, MCHI and CREDAI have contributed foodgrains worth Rs 1.50 crore while the Rajasthani Welfare Association and JITO have extended help of Rs 51 lakh each.

The private sector ICICI Bank also announced a contribution of Rs 10 crore towards Kerala flood relief, besides waiving off various penalties on late EMI payments for all retail loans, credit card dues and cheque bouncing cases for the current month.

While Rs 8 crore of the contribution will go to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), the rest will be in the form of essential commodities, food, medicines, clothes, sanitation and hygiene products, to the 14 worst-hit districts, said the bank’s Executive Director Anup Bagchi.

Earlier on Saturday, the State Bank of India donated Rs 2 crore and initiated several ground-level measures in the deluged state.

Besides, the SBI has encouraged all its 270,000 staffers to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), and the bank would contribute an equivalent amount.

The bank also announced a waiver of fees and charges on services like loans for flood relief, duplicate passbooks, ATM cards, cheque books, EMI delays, etc, besides making attempts to restore the working of branches and ATMs in the flood affected regions of the state.

Cong MPs, MLAs to donate month’s salary: The Congress on Saturday demanded that floods in Kerala should be declared a “national calamity.”

All elected representatives of the party would donate one month’s salary towards relief efforts in the state, it said.

The decision to donate salaries was taken at a meeting of Congress general secretaries, party in-charges of states, legislative party leaders and state unit chiefs, which was presided over by party chief Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi had earlier in the day urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately declare the floods in Kerala as “a national disaster.” Briefing reporters after meeting of Congress office-bearers, party communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the Modi government should come forward to help Kerala where over 180 people have died and property worth over Rs 3,000 crore has been damaged due to floods.

“It was decided that all Congress MPs in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Congress MLAs across India and party MLCs will donate one month’s salary, which will be sent through the AICC for relief measures in Kerala,” Surjewala said.

He said it was also decided that all Congress governments will come forward to help the people of the state.

Surjewala said Punjab government has already donated Rs 10 crore to the Kerala Relief Fund and JD-S and Congress- government in Karnataka has also donated Rs 10 crore to the relief measures. The government in Puducherry has also donated Rs 1 crore.

He said special relief committees will be formed in adjoining states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu apart from Puducherry. Material collected by Congress workers will be sent to the people of Kerala.

Surjewala said the party also noted with concern the grave situation due to floods in Karnataka and some other parts of the country. 

“Modiji should stop discriminating in matters of flood relief. The Prime Minister must rise above party-politics and come forward to help Kerala, Karnataka and other flood-affected states. The Prime Minister should declare Kerala floods as a national calamity,” Surjewala said.

Varun donates Rs 2 lakh: Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Varun Gandhi, on Saturday donated Rs 2 lakh to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for flood-affected victims in Kerala. He also urged his fellow parliamentarians and also legislators from across the country to follow suit and provide succour to Kerala.

Varun Gandhi, grandson of late prime minister Indira Gandhi, has not drawn a single paisa as salary in the past nine years of his being in Parliament.

UP announces Rs 15 crore flood relief for Kerala: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the state government will donate Rs 15 crore to help the flood-affected victims in Kerala.

Adityanath said the state will also send medicines and relief material to Kerala. He also exhorted social groups, non-government organizations and others to come forward to help people of Kerala, who have been severely affected by incessant rains that have triggered unprecedented floods.

“The state government and people of Uttar Pradesh stand by the people of Kerala in these testing times and would extend all possible help at this hour of crisis,” the Chief Minister said.

Dalai Lama offers aid: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and made a donation towards relief and rescue efforts.

“I am writing to express my sadness at the loss of life and devastation of property,” the letter said, “as well as the hardship caused to so many people due to unprecedented flooding in parts of your state.

“I appreciate that every effort is being made to rescue those affected and that relief efforts are underway. As a mark of my solidarity with the people of Kerala, I am making a donation from the Gaden Phodrang Trust of the Dalai Lama towards relief and rescue efforts,” it said.

“I offer my condolences to you, to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all affected by the flooding,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Haryana announces Rs 10 cr: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said the state would provide a financial assistance of Rs 10 crore to flood-affected people and for rescue operations in Kerala. 

The people of Kerala have been facing heavy losses of life and property due to severe floods and Haryana is with Kerala in this hour of need, an official statement quoting Khattar said.

Overflowing rivers and a series of landslides have caused the death of 180 people as of Saturday morning, with over three lakh people forced to move to some 2,000 relief camps.


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