Abu Dhabi: Almost all of more than a million expatriates from the South Indian state of Kerala along with fellow Indians are actively working with a large number of community organisations across the UAE to help the victims of devastating floods in their home state.
“Two containers of relief materials collected by us in Dubai will be sent to Kerala on Sunday,” Puthur Rahman, president of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), the largest Indian community organisation in the UAE, told Gulf News on Saturday.
The KMCC is encouraging its 60,000 members to set aside one day’s salary for the relief efforts. The Abu Dhabi committee of the KMCC has committed to raise Rs5 million (Dh263,141), he said. People can submit relief materials at various KMCC offices across the UAE, Rahman said.
He said all community organisations in Fujairah emirate, led by Indian Social Club and KMCC, are also sending one container of relief materials on Sunday.
The Indian Association — Sharjah (IAS) has started collecting materials and many non-Indians have also come forward to help. “An Iraqi man contributed 10 bags of rice on Friday,” said Abdullah Mallachery, general secretary of the IAS.
He said the association has announced Rs2.5 million to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) and Rs500,000 has already been given.
The Kerala Social Centre (KSC) in Abu Dhabi collected 1.5 tonnes of relief materials in the last two days, which include 1,000 blankets, said Saleem Cholamukath, auditor and media coordinator at the KSC. He said the KSC and Abu Dhabi Shakthi Theatres, a cultural organisation, will continue to collect the materials and encourage their members to contribute to the chief minister’s relief fund.
Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam (ADMS) has already collected one container of materials in coordination with various other community groups, said T.A. Nazer, president of ADMS. A meeting of all community groups on Saturday night at the ADMS will discuss and decide the further action plans to step up relief efforts, he said.
The Indian Social Centre (ISC) and the Indian Ladies Association (ILA) will also open collection points at their respective offices from Sunday.
UAE-based businesses are continuing their donations for Kerala flood victims.
Dr K.P. Hussain, chairman, Fathima Healthcare Group, has announced Rs50 million for relief efforts in Kerala. He said Rs10 million will be donated directly to the chief minister’s relief fund and the additional Rs40 million will be allotted for medical relief aid. Volunteers from the medical faculty including doctors and paramedical staff will be sent to the relief camps organised by the Kerala government, he said.
Al Ansari Exchange has announced a Dh500,000 aid for the relief efforts. To offer further support to the victims of this calamity, the company has launched a service through which donations can be made to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMDRF) with no service charges, through its branches across the UAE, said a statement.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has convened a meeting of Indian community organisations at the embassy on Sunday. The ambassador will chair the meeting to discuss the coordination of community organisations in their relief efforts for Kerala, an official said.
Where to donate relief materials
(Collection points and phone numbers)
KMCC office: 04-2727773
Indian Association Sharjah: 06-5610845
The Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC): 02-6730066
Indian Ladies Association (ILA): 02-6330182
The Kerala Social Centre: 02-6314455
The Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam — Musaffah: 02-5537600
The Indian Islamic Centre in Abu Dhabi: 02-6424488
Indian Social Club: 09-2221155
Most needed items
Bedsheets, sleeping mats, blankets, nighties, lungi, bathing towels, rusk (no bread), biscuits (no cream biscuits), water, rice, sugar, salt, milk powder, pulses, oil, spices, tea/coffee powder, electrolytes, water purifying chlorine, tablets, Dettol, first aid kits, mosquito repellents, anti-septic lotion, antifungal powder, bleaching powder/lime powder, baby diapers, adult diapers, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bathing soap, washing soap, candles, matchboxes, cooking utensils and dining utensils like plates, tumblers etc, basic household furniture (chairs, tables etc), containers for storing rice and other food items at home, footwear, mugs and buckets.
How to donate cash
Abu Dhabi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested the Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) to extend their support to the state to deal with the worst natural calamity it has ever faced.
People can send their donations to CMDRF (Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund), Account number: 67319948232, State Bank of India, City Branch, Thiruvananthapuram, IFS Code: SBIN0070028.