Pune: City-based Malayalee associations have already sent food, medicines and clothes to the flood-affected people of Kerala. The expat community from the city has cancelled their Onam celebrations. They are instead contributing the money collected for the Onam celebrations to the CM’s relief fund for Kerala.
Four such associations from the city have already started sending truckloads of supplies to the affected areas in Kerala. Some members of these NGOs are travelling along with the supplies to ensure that they reach the affected people directly.
KS Ravi, Secretary of the Malayalam Mission and United Kerala Foundation, told Sakal Times, “We are loading 80 kg of medicines, 1,000 kg of potatoes and onions, 3,000 kg of rice, water bottles, blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, baby and adult diapers, clothes, buckets, etc.”
Ravi and some other members will personally deliver this relief material to the affected people. Aboo Bakar, President of Poona Kerala Muslim Jamat, said, “Our association, along with Malyalam and United Kerala Foundation, will send relief supplies to Kerala. We are requesting NGOs and other such organisations to help us in distributing this.”
MA Thomas, President of Culture Association, Sangvi, said, “A truck loaded with supplies has been already sent to Kerala last Sunday. We will organise a bucket collection, where people can donate anything they want and then the collected material will be again sent to Kerala.”
AS Hamsa, President of Vishrantwadi Malayalee Association, said they would send supplies to the affected people of Kerala by plane.
K Harinarayan, President of Pune World Malayalee Council, said, “There are around 20 Malayalee associations in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. The population of Kerala’s residents in the city is about 6.5 lakh families (non-residents) here. Every association is helping in some or the other way. We have already donated Rs 8 lakh to Kerala CM’s relief fund while Rs 8 lakh more is being raised.”
Narayan Kutty, executive committee member of Pune Nair Service Society, Khadki, said, “We have 500 members of our association in Khadki. Every year, we collect Rs 1 lakh for Onam celebrations. This year, the festival will be celebrated on September 1 and 2. However, we will donate the entire amount to the Kerala CM’s relief fund.”
Hamsa said, “Around Rs 4 lakh has been given to the relief fund. There are several relatives of our committee members who are affected in Kerala. The condition has really worsened and people back there need as much help as possible.”Hamsa said his own house near Cochin airport has been flooded.
Ashraf Mohammad of Vishrantwadi Malayali Association said, “I had come to Pune for some work two months ago. Now, I am not able to go back to Idukki. I had a dog and some cows back at my home. I am planning to go there soon.”
S Chandran, another member of Vishrantwadi Malayali Association, said, “It was fortunate that Armed Forces reached the spot to save people at Paraguay. My sister’s family and other relatives were marooned for a very long time. There was no communication till they reached the relief camp. Now, they are safe. We will be travelling to Kerala to support them in the next two days.”
Ashraf Moussa, another member from Vishrantwadi Malayali Association, said, “My cousins and grandparents are affected due to the flood. Their house is in Wayanad and it is destroyed. They are safe and are staying in relief camps.”