Venkat Raman –
The International Congress of Fiji Inc (ICFI), a charitable organisation, has been mobilising resources to assist in the country’s efforts to bring relief and rehabilitate thousands of people affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Former Mayor of Ba and former ICFI President Ahemad Bhamji has been contacting corporates, businesses and philanthropists in New Zealand and visiting Fiji regularly to coordinate various efforts.
“While we appreciate the speedy response of the Bainimarama government and the generous donations of money, materials and food items given by governments and people all over the world, our anxiety is to ensure that victims receive these on time. We managed to send 12 containers of furniture items to various schools from Auckland in less than five days, thanks to the help given by so many,” he said.
Containers were delivered to the schools most affected as reported in our May 1 issue.
Indian Newslink tried to reach Principals of the beneficiary schools for their comments but could connect only with three of them at press time.
Following are their comments:
Vikashni Sharma, Principal, Rakiraki Public School:
“Our institution was among the worst affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston on February 21, 2016. Our school building has suffered structural damage and would need to be rebuilt. We received a container for furniture that would be of immense use. We thank ICFI for their timely help. Parents of our school’s 381 children are also grateful.”
Pradeep Chandra, Principal, Tavua College:
The damage to the school is extensive and we await an assessment report from the Education Ministry. Our School has more than 1000 children, mostly of modest economic background. There is plenty of work to do. We are grateful to Mr Bhamji and ICFI for their timely help.”
Pushp Sharma, Principal, BA Sanatan College:
“Winston left our School in a devastated state. Our Workshops, Technical Rooms and the Laboratory were all destroyed by the Tropical Cyclone. We have 300 children studying here and it is our anxiety to ensure that their education is not interrupted. Ahemad Bhamji provided us support that all of us will remember for ever.”
Sanatan College Pushp Shama
Fiji’s Education Ministry has reported that at least 240 schools were damaged and that many schools are being used as temporary evacuation centres, sheltering families who have lost their homes.
“The Government of Fiji is to be commended for its very strong commitment and results in getting children back to school as quickly as possible. We are working with various agencies to support these efforts,” Mr Bhamji said.
Please read related report in this Section.
Nukuloa Sanatan Dharm School was among 240 educational institutions that were extensively destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Winston on February 21, 2016.