Kolkata: As rain-battered Kerala faces the gigantic task of rehabilitation and rebuilding, several organisations in eastern and north-eastern India have begun collecting funds and relief materials to help the people affected in the idyllic southern state to tide over the crisis.
Malayalee and Keralite associations in Kolkata have started a campaign and are collecting funds and necessary materials for the victims of the worst flood in the state in nearly a century.
"More than 200 people have died in the state and over 7.24 lakh people have been displaced," officials said. The biggest challenge facing the state machinery is to prevent the outbreak of diseases after floodwaters recede.
"We have started collecting relief materials and funds. Hopefully, we would be able to send them to Kerala by this week. The entire agricultural sector has been badly affected in floods," said TK Gopalnan, trustee, Kolkata Kairali Samajam.
"We have identified the areas where relief materials would be sent. We are also in touch with some schools where the relief materials will be kept for distribution," he said.
The West Bengal government has announced a contribution of Rs 10 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister's relief fund.
West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open a call centre in Bengali language to assist the migrant workers from Bengal, especially Murshidabad, trapped in Kerala.
The Congress MP who represents Murshidabad thanked Modi for "initiating best possible relief work in Kerala".
In Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, a Malayali association has decided to cancel Onam celebrations. The annual harvest festival commenced on 15 August and will conclude on 27 August.
"The association members have instead launched a week-long campaign in and around the steel city to raise money and relief materials for the flood-affected people," its general secretary Sunil Kumar said.
The Arunachal Pradesh government announced contribution of Rs 3 crore to Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
The CMO Arunachal wrote on Twitter "Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister @Pemakhandubjp announces Rs 3 crore as immediate assistance from Chief Ministers Relief Fund for the Kerala flood and expressed solidarity with the people in Kerala in this trying time."
In Bhubaneswar, the IAS Officers Association of Odisha decided to contribute at least one day's salary of its members to the Kerala Chief Minister's relief fund.
"The association stands as one with the people of Kerala during this crisis and wishes them strength to overcome the tragedy, secretary of the officers' body" Sishal Dev said.
"The Odisha IPS Officers Association too would donate one-day salary of its members to the fund," association secretary Satyajit Mohanty said.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced financial assistance of Rs 10 crore and ordered polythene sheets worth Rs 8 crore for flood-ravaged Kerala.
"Odisha knows what a natural calamity of this magnitude means to the common man," Patnaik has said in a statement.
The Odisha government on Saturday sent a team of fire service personnel armed with modern equipment to assist rescuers in relief operations in Kerala.
The chief minister has also asked the special relief commissioner to remain in touch with the authorities in Kerala and extend all help to the people from Odisha who are stranded there.
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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 23:55:36 IST