This is a plea for help !
Many of you who read my posts know that I often talk about my home state – KERALA. It is a tiny piece of land less than 40 k sq km in area , and is called home by 35 million people. It is a lush region of natural beauty with rivers and streams crisscrossing the land dotted with paddy fields, rubber plantations and coconut groves. Unfortunately, heavy rains and floods have wrecked havoc there .
Southwest monsoon is a regular occurrence in this part of the world. It is anticipated and welcomed to fill the reservoirs and cool the land. Every year in August we eagerly get ready to celebrate Onam – welcoming the respite from months of rains and enjoying the abundant harvest.
All markets will be thriving … It is a fun festive place to be.. This is how it is year after year as long as I remember —-
Don’t get me wrong , every year we worry about the rains — about getting mud in our clothes , about getting enough water in the reservoirs , about forgetting our umbrellas and rain jackets back home … But everyone will tell you we love our rains , we love how fresh our air feels after the rains … we love the rhythm of it as it pounds on the roof .. we love the seasonal streams …
…. And this year
The downpours that started on Aug 8 have triggered floods and landslides destroying homes, bridges and roads on its way. 60 % of the entire state is flooded. This beautiful state of mine is home to many generous people who open their hearts and homes to others .. through our collective ordeal we have been hearing about the everyday heroes and acts of selflessness …
These are the milder pictures of the disaster — people stranded at homes , the deluge of water flattening hill sides … trying to get out with just the clothes on your back … For the first time in our collective memory the entire state has decided not to celebrate Onam – though we passionately believe that Onam is worth celebrating even if it means spending the rest of the year with stomachs half full.
But we came together ..
Because we saw each other as fellow human beings , the loss of human lives was kept to a minimum. In the coming days and months we will be working together as one people , with one aim to help each other up …
I would urge you to help this beautiful state of mine in its need of hour today — In the coming days and weeks and months there is a lot of hard work to be done . We need all the help we can get to deal with the aftermath of this unprecedented tragedy.
Here are a few ways to contribute, especially if you are not in India.
The State Run Disaster Relief Fund The CM’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) used for the recovery and rebuilding both right now and in the future. It is Tax exempted Official and liable for full disclosure Funds to be used for immediate aftermath and long term recovery Please only contribute by going through the official government website.
Donate with Amazon India Amazon Cares has teamed up with NGOs to help them get materials where it is needed the most. The only downside is that amazon shipping might turn out to be more than the cost of the product, but you get supplies to those in need.
Google’s Donation Portal Donating through google is a great option when you are in a different part of the world . It is tax exempted and managed by a corporation rather than an individual.
Kerala Flood Relief Fund from USA This is one of the largest flood relief funds that is raised from the US and an excellent example of people coming together for a common cause . Funds are collected through facebook
he money collected is meant to be handed over to the CM’s fund. Few things to keep in mind with this fund raiser though Personal – not tax exempted FB takes a cut – 2.6 % Take about a month or more for the money to reach On the plus side the donation is hassle free when you have not local funds available. Last but not least here is one of our local fundraisers
Kerala Flood Relief Fund San Diego Malayalees has started a fundraising drive for the flood victims. This is a group of Malyalees , people of Kerala origin , many of who have friends and family living in the flood hit areas. Tax exempted May be qualified for employer matching . You can reach out to them in future to see where your money made the most impact
How ever you chose to give,
how much you choose to give …
Every little bit helps ..