Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, is seen addressing a gathering of 200 Businessmen of Indians and other Nationals , seeking their partnership in reconstructing of the Flood hit State of Kerala in an event organised by Indian Business & Professional Group at Dusit Thani Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night. Photo: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News (story: Binsal) Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Keralite business-owners in the UAE to encourage their employees to take up ‘salary challenge’ to support the flood-hit state’s reconstruction.

“Motivated by the employers [private businesses] many employees have come forward to donate their one month’s salary [as requested by the chief minister]. You can also inspire your employees to be part of this [campaign] ,” he said while addressing a dinner meeting organised by the Indian Business and Professional Group [IBPG] in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening.

However, he clarified that the managements should not use their authority to compel their employees for this purpose. “Those who can contribute a small amount, let them do so; there is no compulsion,” Vijayan said.

He had requested Keralites working in the state and across the globe to contribute their one month’s income in ten monthly instalments to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CDRF).

Even most of the government employees came forward to accept the ‘salary challenge, the chief minister said.

He also urged the businesses to utilise the crowd funding portal (www.rebuild.kerala.gov.in) launched by the state government to support the reconstruction.

Dr K Illangovan, principal secretary of department of industries and Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (Norka) at Kerala Government, said the donors can choose the projects to fund on the crowd funding portal  and track their progress. He made a detailed presentation about the magnitude of the calamity and reconstruction projects. “Kerala needs you now more than ever,” he said

B.R Shetty, chairman of the IBPG, said the Indian Business community in the UAE would always be there to support Kerala people.

M.A Yousuf Ali, Vice Chairman of IBPG, urged Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) , especially Keralites, to extend their all possible support for the reconstruction of the state.

Y. Sudhir Kumar Shetty, president of the IBPG executive committee, while welcoming the guests to the gathering, said it the group’s privilege to host the Kerala Chief Minister.