King's Knight Opening: Viswanathan Anand welcomes flood-affected people into Chennai home
In a heartening gesture, Chennai-based chess player Viswanathan Anand and his fanily have welcomes the residents of the neighbouring slums affected by the floods into their home.
While Chennai saw its worst floods in 100 years, the world also saw the spirit of the city, as people from all walks of life come together to aid relief work. Help has been coming from several quarters and notable among these is the contribution of influential personalities, who are chipping in to get the flood-hit areas back on their feet.
Actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji have been personally leading the relief work, collecting supplies and funds through Chennai micro. Leading stars of the silver-screen like Rajinikanth and Vijay opened their marriage halls to provide food and shelter for the homeless. Rajinikanth even requested his fans to call off all plans for his birthday on Saturday, and help with relief work instead. Shah Rukh Khan and his team donated Rs 1 crore to the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund. Through his 'Agaram' foundation, Suriya helped many flood victims, while actor and director Raghava Lawrence donated Rs 1 crore to flood relief. Sport stars Dipika Pallikal and Saina Nehwal also contributed to the fund.
But amidst all of this, the one contribution that stands out is that of Viswanathan Anand and his family. The Chennai-based chess player has let the residents of the neighbouring slums into their home, reports The Times of India.
Anand is not in Chennai currently due to the London Chess Classic, but his wife Aruna has been instrumental is providing shelter and food for their flood-affected people neighbours. "Since it was difficult to leave my toddler and elderly father-in-law and at home and venture out to offer relief and assistance, we chose to open our doors to those affected. Following the first floods, we had close to 20 people, including two pregnant women, from the neighbouring slums staying over at our place. My maid, who lost her home and all her belongings, too came over along with her extended family and stayed with us. Food was cooked in large amounts for all those at home as well as handed over to volunteers for distribution," she was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The couple's four-year-old son Akhil has also been an enthusiastic participant in the gesture. He has bonded with the slum children sheltered there, who also make it a point to share the snacks they have.
The Anands' residence in RA Puram is said to have suffered minimal damage and they are set to announce monetary help soon as well.