Abu Dhabi: Around 50 members of the Kerala Social Centre (KSC) in Abu Dhabi, a community organisation of expatriates from the South Indian State of Kerala, have pledged to donate their one-month’s salary to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF), a KSC leader told Gulf News on Tuesday.
The initiative is in response to an appeal made by the state’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to all Keralites to donate one month’s salary, in ten monthly instalments, in a Facebook post last month, said Bijith Kumar, general secretary of the KSC.
The managing committee meeting held on Monday decided that all 16 members of the committee will contribute their one month’s salary in ten instalments, he said.
Around 36 members have also made the similar commitment, Kumar said. They include professionals and mid-and-low level employees working in various sectors in the capital, he said.
The committee will follow up the matter with each member and check the proof of remittance to the CMDRF every month, Kumar said.
As Gulf News reported on August 30, many Keralite expatriates have committed to donate one month’s salary to the CMDRF and some of them started a social media campaign asking fellow Keralites to take it as a challenge. The campaigners said Keralites’ unity will help the state survive its most devastating crisis ever.
The KSC and its affiliate organisation Shakthi Theatres have already contributed Rs2 million (Dh101,045) to the chief minister’s fund, said A.K Beeran Kutty, president of the KSC. Kutty and his colleagues directly handed over the checks to senior Kerala ministers last week at Thiruvananthapuram.
He said the centre has also sent 6 tonnes of relief goods for the flood victims living in various relief camps across the state.
Kumar said the centre has already cancelled all celebrations related to Onam, Kerala’s state festival, including Onasadya [Onam feast] that used to attract hundreds of people. This was also in response to the chief minister’s appeal to cancel all celebration in the wake of the floods, he said.
However, the KSC will organise its annual Keralotsavam [ Kerala Festival ] from November 29 to December 1 and its one day’s collection will be contributed to the CMDRF, Kumar said.
Many non-Indian residents in the capital have been visiting the centre, expressing their willingness to support the flood victims, said Saleem Cholamukath, auditor at the KSC. “Many of them have also sent money to the CMDRF. Their expression of solidarity is inspiring,” he said.
The 46-year-old KSC is a prominent sociocultural forum in Abu Dhabi. Established in 1972, the centre moved to the current premises in Madinat Zayed in the capital in 1996. One of the five Indian community organisations in the capital registered with the UAE Ministry of Community Development, the KSC caters to around 4,500 people, including around 1,500 members and their family members.