Chennaiites join hands to help Kerala flood victims

Chennai: While there have been several incidents illustrating the hospitality provided by Tamilnadu people, the State, yet again, stands first in lending a helping hand to help the Kerala flood victims.

With flash floods and sudden unprecedented rains taking the death toll to 39 with eight drowning in four days in Kerala, the rain-ravaged State has faced tremendous loss.

Understanding the necessity, the Union Minister Rajnath Singh has announced an additional relief of Rs 100 crore. Reports suggest that the total number of people stranded in relief camps in the State has come down to 35,874 on Friday.

As a gesture to show gratitude to the State who helped Tamilnadu during the 2015 floods, several organisations — both NGOs and private firms from the city, have started collecting relief materials to aid the people of Kerala. In conversation with News Today, the good Samaritans share their plans of helping the state bounce back to normalcy.

Started during the 2015 floods, The New Face of Society (TNFS), is a Facebook community that has over 60,000 members which has been chipping in to volunteer for social causes since then.

Dilip Srinivasan, a resident of Chennai and one of the administrators of the group said, “As of now our group is coordinating with other NGOs from Tamilnadu and Kerala for logistical support. We are constantly in touch with the Kerala administration and so far, we have not received any official communication regarding requirements of materials.”

While Wayanad and Ernakulam districts are accessible through roadways, the neighbouring cities are lending their helping hands, for whom TNFS is charting out road routes to reach the place safe and sound. “Idukki is the worst-affected place in the floods and we plan to get help from the Southern Railways for logistical support,” said Dilip.

Talking about the swift response, he added, ‘The State government is almost self-sufficient and has acted on time. When the need for relief materials arise, we would work towards collecting.”

The group has been functioning 24 hours as the core members live in different parts of the world, making it easy to work round the clock and keep the ideas flowing.

Many from Chennai have already pitched in by donating the basic requirements such as food, blankets and toiletries.

Vivek from Do for Kerala, another support group working for the cause, said, “It has been four days since the tragedy struck the state and we have managed to transport around nine trucks containing non-perishable foods which was donated by people from Chennai, Bengaluru and Mumbai.”

Adding about the challenges in traversing, he said, “Initially, the lorry drivers’ association were hesitant to take up the task, but we somehow convinced them and they have agreed to support.”

With two collection points in Chennai, Goonj another NGO has sent people to Kerala to survey and review the districts. ‘”Though we have already transported the essentials, once our team reverts with solid requirements, we will scale up the collection drive in all our branches,” says Jigisha of Goonj.

To donate materials, reach out to 91761 99769 and 73389 40067.