Kerala: Prompt, generous help
The people of Kerala have been through one of the most trying times in the wake of devastating floods that hit the state since the beginning of the monsoon season and aggravated in the last fortnight. While the misery and suffering of the people are still not over, there is a greater sense of relief among the people in view of the rescue efforts put together by Indian Air Force, Navy, and NDRF. There are hundreds of heart-warming stories emerging from the rescue operations where rescue personnel saved the lives of common people by risking their own lives. The role played by the common man in the rescue efforts cannot be overlooked. They helped out people in distress entirely on their own. The fishermen community who helped in locating stranded people and rescuing them despite all odds has found special mention in the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's remarks praising those who contributed their bit to provide help to the needy. The spontaneous manner in which relief materials are being collected from all across the country and sent to Kerala points to the emotional attachment that people in other states share with people in Kerala.
As per initial estimates, the state has suffered a loss of nearly Rs 20,000 crore. After taking stock of the situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the fighting spirit of the people in Kerala and announced a grant of Rs 500 crore. Earlier, Union Home Minister had announced a relief of Rs 100 crore. Various other Chief Ministers have announced monetary relief from their respective Chief Minister's relief fund. Tamil Nadu (Rs 10 crore), Andhra Pradesh (Rs 10 crore), Puducherry (Rs 1 crore), Jharkhand (Rs 5 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 20 crore), Gujarat (Rs 10 crore), Punjab (Rs 10 crore), Telangana (Rs 25 crore), Bihar (Rs 10 crore), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 5 crore), Uttarakhand (Rs 5 crore), Chattisgarh (Rs 3 crore) Madhya Pradesh (Rs 10 crore), Karnataka (Rs 10 crore), Odisha (Rs 10 crore), West Bengal (Rs 10 crore) and Manipur (Rs 2 crore) have donated to the Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF). Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also announced that one month's salary of all AAP MLAs and MPs will be donated to Kerala CMDRF. Congress MPs and MLAs have also pledged to donate one month's salary. One of the leading political parties in Tamil Nadu, DMK has donated Rs 1 crore.
NRI businessman M A Yusuf Ali has donated Rs 5 crore. Attorney General K K Venugopal has donated Rs 1 crore. Celebrities Kamal Hassan and Surya contributed Rs 25 lakh each. Tamil Actor Dhanush contributed Rs 15 lakh, while Vishal and Sivakarthikeyan gave Rs 10 lakh each. Telugu actor Vijay donated Rs 5 lakh and Tamil actor Vijay Sethupathi donated Rs 25 lakh. Superstar Rajinikanth has announced that he would donate Rs 15 lakh whereas director Shankar has assured Rs 10 lakh. Malayalam actors Mammooty and Dulquer Salmaan contributed Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively. Malayalam film industry superstar Mohanlal donated Rs 25 lakh. Star India has donated Rs 2 crore whereas Sun TV network has contributed Rs 1 crore towards the relief fund. Asianet employees have pledged Rs 25 lakh. State Bank of India (SBI) has donated Rs 2 crore. TVS & Sons have contributed Rs 1 crore. The Qatar government has allocated Rs 35 crore for the Kerala Chief Minister' relief fund. The UAE government has also set up a relief fund and asked the people to contribute generously to provide relief to the flood-hit people of Kerala. A temple in Keezhillam in Ernakulam district has donated its treasury to the CMDRF. Another temple, Kaniyasseri Mahavishnu has been giving away the donation it receives to the aid fund. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) has announced that her organisation will donate Rs 10 crores to the relief fund. Indian Railways has announced free transportation of relief material to Kerala. The Department of Food & Public Distribution has so far provided 50,000 MT of food grains for the victims.
Apart from the generous monetary contribution from various state governments, film personalities, corporates and temples, Kerala is receiving relief materials and volunteers from across the country. There are nearly one million people in the relief camps and state government officials and volunteers are said to be working round the clock to ensure that those in the relief camp are getting necessary facilities.