Kerala flood: Dubai residents collect 5,000kg of aid supplies for victims
As south Indian state of Kerala is facing nature's wrath, ordinary expatriates from the UAE are doing their bit to ease the pain of the flood-affected people.
A few Malayali friends from a residential area of Dubai have come together and formed a group to collect relief supplies. They have collected 5,000kgs of relief material, much to their surprise.
Mujeeb, Siddiq, Vinu and Vikas - are all residents leading normal lives in Dubai. However, the devastating floods have made them rally for the cause. "We are all common people but this is an extraordinary situation back in our home places. We all are affected and feel the pain of others. Kerala state administration is doing its best but what's needed now is a collective effort. So we got together and held discussions. All of us came to the conclusion that we have to act ourselves and fast. We began to spread the word through social media. Our aim was to collect maximum relief supplies," said Mujeeb.
"We continue to receive good feedback. Instead of us going out and collecting, people are finding us. We never expected such a quick response from people."
The group has got no name or isn't working under any banner. However, they have utilised their contacts well.
"Kerala Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar has given us his consent. One of our friend works with IFX Freight and Logistics. The company has offered free transportation service. We will be shipping supplies by today. It should reach Kochi Port in five days. Our first load is a 20-feet container. We are getting very good support from residents and our next supply will be a 40-feet container," Mujeeb added.
"We are sending food items like biscuits, rusk, milk powder and feeding bottles, sleeping mat, inner wears, sanitary napkins, towels, baby diapers, blanket, bed sheet, clothes, napkins, torch, tooth brush and paste, bucket and mug, plates etc. We are splitting things into separate boxes," he added.
The group will continue collecting the relief material.
UAE expat's timely phone call saves 10 lives
A Malayali expat, sitting miles away here in the UAE, has saved lives of a 10-member family. Binu Varghese Thomas, a long-time resident, said: "My distant relatives are in Puthenkavu. I came to knew about water rising in their area and told them to leave their home. Unfortunately they didn't. Later, I came to know the area was evacuated but the family informed me they were still stuck there. I immediately called the church priest there and again a rescue operation was carried to save them. It was a tragic situation."
Friends from three emirates join hands
Thomas along with friends in Dubai and Sharjah has come together to provide relief.
"Apart from food, there is dearth of certain supplies in many relief camps across the state. So our contributions will be through those supplies or financial assistance. We have a team of friends in Adoor - a town in Pathanamthitta district. They are taking stock of the situation and letting us know what is needed in some of the relief camps in Chengannur."
Dubai-based Rajimon Pynummoottil Ninan said they are concentrating on Chengannur, which is an isolated place. "Even as I am doing my regular job here, my mind is filled with happenings in Kerala. I am coordinating things from Dubai. There are other friends who are engaged in tracking wherever help is needed."
Those who wish to help can reach Thomas (0557000417) or Rajimon (0554365928).