Cricketer donates 1.5m Indian rupees for Kerala flood relief fund
Rising up to the occasion and calling it as his duty, Sanju Samson, a cricketer from Kerala for the Rajasthan Royals team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Friday donated 1.50 million Indian rupees (Dh78,500 approx) for the flood-hit South Indian state of Kerala.
Sanju, broke his intention to lend a helping hand to the Kerala government, exclusively to Khaleej Times, before he made the donation to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
On his behalf, his father Samson Vishwanadh and brother Saly Samson handed over the cheque to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala at 3pm (IST) on Friday.
Speaking to Khaleej Times from Vijayawada, where he is representing the Indian A in the ongoing quadrangular series of one-day matches, Sanju said: "This is not for publicity. I do charity without letting the world know. Now, it's the time to raise some awareness on the importance of making donation to the flood relief fund and people like me have to do it and let know the public.
"I think my action will prompt several other people to come forward and support the flood-hit people."
Thousands of people are stranded in the flood that claimed more than 150 lives in a week and a red alert is declared across the state. The evacuation processes are still going on after the tiny south Indian state was hit by the one of the worst floods it has seen since 1924.
Sanju was the first celebrity from the sport community in Kerala to make a donation for the relief fund.
When the state government made an appeal to the public to help the affected, leading Malayalam actors like Mammootty, his son Dulqar Salman and Mohan Lal contributed to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund.
Sanju added: "It's time for everyone to join hands and make whatever contribution they can to help those affected by the flood.
"I feel it's my duty to promote the message of relief work. I hope people will come forward and help the government and those in need."
This was not the first time the cricket, who was in the Indian team for a short period, had made contribution in natural disasters. He had contributed when the state was affected by Okhi.
Following his footsteps, other members of Rajasthan Royals are also trying to collect money to help the people of Kerala.
Sanju said that this is a welcoming sign and "I wish more people will come forward."
The Rajasthan Royals are a Twenty20 cricket league team backed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.