Pune: Several associations of Pravasi Malayalees (non-resident Keralites) in Pune have cancelled or postponed their Onam celebrations, which are usually held with grandeur, due to the devastating flood situation in Kerala.
Instead, the associations are now directing their finances meant for the celebrations towards aiding the flood-affected population in Kerala.
Velayudhan P, chief coordinator of Vakdevatha, a city-based Malayalee cultural centre, said, “Money that we had accumulated for the celebration of Onakazcha (Onam) 2018, will be sent to the Chief Minister Relief Fund, to help the flood-affected in Kerala. Besides money, we are also accepting clothes and other essential goods from our members and will send these to Kerala.”
He added that many ‘Pravasi Malayalees’ have also opened their ancestral homes back in Kerala as shelters to those displaced by the floods.
Robin Matthew, secretary of Dehu Road Parish said money and goods donated by people from Mumbai and Pune are being collected at Khadki Church by the Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement (MGOCSM).
“Primarily, people are donating clothes and medicines which are of utmost necessity at the moment. Along with these, food items are also being donated,” he said. “Once the things are collected, we will be taking all the things to Mumbai, from where it will be sent to Kerala in a chopper,” Robin Matthew added.
Madhu Nair of the Pune Keraleeyam Samajam said that along with the financial aid that they have compiled to send to Kerala, they are also trying to find people who could go as volunteers to help in the flood relief
The Vishrantwadi Malayali Association, Dehu Road Malayalee Samajam are some of the other city-based associations that have also postponed their Onam celebrations to send financial aid to Kerala.