When in Kerala, one actually feels that God himself came down and built everything, each little detail even the minutest one. God took the maximum time to create it and this is the reason that it is synonymous with ‘God’s own Country’
Almost a decade ago, I visited Kerala and was mesmerised by its beauty. Needless to say, Kerala has it all … pristine beaches, serene backwaters, the wildlife, the mountains along with lip-smacking food. Not to forget it also boasts of the famous Keral massage, herbal spa treatment, tea and spices. Not only is it famous for all these, it is also known for ‘Vallam Kali’, the traditional boat race and ‘Kalaripayattu’, an ancient form of martial arts. It has so much to see and so much to do and one carries back a suitcase full of memories.
This July, severe flooding has affected the state of Kerala. This has been considered as the worst flooding in Kerala in a century. As per the statistics, more than 373 people died within 2 weeks and almost 280, 679 people were evacuated from various towns, villages and cities. All the 14 districts are on high alert.
Many people labelled it as the worst natural disaster. But it is a ‘man-made calamity’. Within the state, there are 42 dams. Out of these 35 dams were opened together for the first time. The water level had risen pretty close to the overflow level. To add to this due to constant and heavy rainfall on the evening of 8th August led to the flooding of low lying areas.
It is said, you hurt a person if you love that person dearly. Same can be said for God and Kerala. Since Kerala is God’s own country, so he thought of trying its worth. When God loves you, he walks with you in your good times and bad times. It is only we miss him more in the bad times. But he stands strong with us only that we can walk out of it. Similarly, Kerala will also walk out of this and again shine with its pristine beauty. And once again, it will attract tourists and be a great host to them.
Since billions shall be needed in rebuilding Kerala to rise again shine like a star, we can all do our bit for it as well. Here is how we can contribute:
Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF): The chief minister states, “The path to recovery can be long & arduous, but you can make a difference by joining the rebuilding efforts.”
The relief fund has been set up as an emergency assistance for individuals and families who have been hit by the calamity. The CMDRF accepts online contributions via all major debit and credit cards, net banking and by CHEQUE/ DEMAND DRAFT drawn in favour of The Principal Secretary (Finance), Treasurer, Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram – 695001.
Transactions can also be made directly to the state’s bank account with the State Bank of India:
Account-holder name: Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund
Bank: State Bank of India
Account number: 67319948232
Branch: City Branch, Trivandrum
E-commerce Portals: Portals like Amazon and apps like PayTm and Big Basket are helping via providing supplies. Amazon is working with the state government and has come with kits which help to restart the lives of people. These kits are:
- Combination of clothes and footwear for men, women and child
- Toilet articles like toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary towels, soaps, antiseptic liquids
- Food items like atta, dal, rice, sugar, tea, salt and oil
Amazon has also partnered with Oxfam India. A minimum contribution of Rs 300/- can be made through Amazon Pay, towards Kerala Fund Relief.
Big Basket is urging people to donate by offering them a 20% discount on their next order.
Relief Groups: Groups like Oxfam, Goonj, Help age India, Milap are coming forward to help people donate generously.
Oxfam India: Oxfam is tirelessly working in the most vulnerable communities of Kerala, reaching out to meet the urgent needs of people affected by floods. Your generous donation to Oxfam India will help them:
Repair water resources as most of the villages are inundated and safe water is unavailable
Distribute food supplies as thousands of families are stranded and have lost hectares of crops. They urgently need food to survive
Provide shelter and hygiene kits to support flood-affected families
Provide rehabilitation to displaced people who have lost their homes and livelihood
Give long-term recovery to flood-affected families and help them stand back on their feet
Support in the form of Emergency Food Security and Vulnerability Livelihoods to help families and communities receive food security in Kerala.
For Indian Passport Holders:
Bank: HDFC Bank Ltd.
A/c No. : 04801450000130
A/c Type: Savings Account
Bank Address: Plot No-9, H & J Block, local shopping complex, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi-110076
Swift Code: HDFCINBB
IFSC Code: HDFC0000480
MICR Code: 110 240 072
Here are a few things you can ponder over:
- Water: Water, water everywhere, but not a single drop to drink. Thinking of supplying a crate of bottled water, then instead opt for a water purifier. This can help people get pure water till the local water supplies are restored.
- Clothes: Thinking of giving your old clothes so that you can make a place for new ones in your cupboard. Opt for new clothes in order to maintain the need and dignity of the survivors.
- Donate for the time when the flood passes away: When the hard times pass away, and the families based in relief camps return to their house they will find their house broken, bathrooms will be inoperable and no water to drink. It is that time also they need help, as the battle is not yet over.
- Schools: As the tide passes, the children will be at an academic loss close to a year. Though this is a minuscule impact which will go unnoticed. Support should be extended towards them to re-establish the academic services for the children who are affected.
Whatever may be your means of donation, most people will come out of it. Likewise, Kerala will also come out of it. But just one thing to be kept in mind that while making a donation do keep in mind it’s use and the impact it will leave for the years to come.