Indian Association seeks funds for Kerala Disaster Relief

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Bhikhu Bhana, Auckland, August 21, 2018
The South Indian State of Kerala has been battling torrential rains since August 8, 2018, causing massive flooding. To date, 350 lives have been lost and 800,000 people have been displaced from their homes, packed into relief camps.
Kerala, known for its tourist beaches and hill resorts is now suffering one of its worst natural disasters and the authorities also fear outbreaks of disease.
See Indian Army Video:

Devastated State
Kerala has been always known for its beautiful nature, the warmth of people and mind opening Coffee. Today, the whole State is devastated and in need of help.
Being far from the home country, we cannot physically be there to help people in need.
We are always connected with lots of love, and this love can bring us together to help the people in need.
Nationwide Collection
A continuous ongoing help is a need for the people of Kerala.
The New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) is focused on helping in collecting funds from throughout the country.
We have established a Give-a-Little page for the Kerala Flood Relief by NZICA.
We seek your help to raise funds; we will make sure that you get valid acknowledgement for your contribution and continuous update.
We encourage you to help us raise funds in the social media such as Facebook.
We assure that 100% of the donations collected will go to Kerala State.
New Zealand Indian Central Association Inc is the only national Indian organisation in New Zealand set up as an umbrella body for regional Indian community groups operating since 1926.
NZICA provides a central channel for Indian communities to voice concerns and together with other member communities join as a collective force. Through this unity, we can make a difference for our families and communities.
We provide a link between Indian communities around New Zealand to exchange information on matters of common interest that may conserve, promote and advance generally the interests, welfare and status of Indians in New Zealand.
Bhikhu Bhana is the President of the New Zealand Indian Central Association.
The following report appeared on NDTV on Sunday, August 19, 2018:
Rescue efforts continue
Rain eased this morning and the flood water started receding from some areas of Kerala.
The Red Alert that was in place for days, was withdrawn and the Met Office said that rainfall will decrease further over the next five days. Rescue efforts continued round-the-clock as thousands remained marooned on rooftops. At least 164 people died since August 8 in the worst floods in the state in a century. Authorities are now preparing to prevent any outbreak of disease among the more than 600,000 people living in 3000-plus relief camps across the state.
Rainfall will reduce further over the next five days, the Met Office said.
Heavy rain is likely at one or two places in Idukki, Konnur and Kozhikode districts.
The National Disaster Management Authority tweeted to say that floodwater in some areas have started receding.
“Water levels show falling trend. Some hydrographs from @FFM_CWC,” their tweet read.
NDTV quoted Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda said that while no outbreak of communicable disease has been reported, health experts say, “once the flood water starts receding, the environment would be conducive for epidemic prone diseases.”
The state has asked to check for “early warning signs of an outbreak,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The need and the grant
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that repairing the havoc wreaked by the worst flood in a century will require at least Rs 2000 crore (about $431 million) in immediate assistance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was taken by helicopter over inundated farmland and villages, pledged Rs. 500 crore (about $109 million) in central aid and promised more helicopters, boats and other equipment needed to expand the rescue operation in the still unfolding emergency.
“Hundreds of thousands converged in halls and auditoriums of schools, temples, churches, and mosques with little or no toilet facilities. Some people in the relief camps were finding it difficult to access food and water. Videos on social media showed groups of people breaking open shops to take food,” NDTV said.
“Rescue workers have yet to reach many flooded areas, some too narrow for boats to navigate. Helicopters have been dropping emergency food and water supplies. Special trains carrying drinking water and rice have been sent to the state.”
The South Eastern Railway ran two special trains from Ernakulam to Bengal to evacuate stranded people this evening, a spokesman of the railways said. Tourists and migrant workers from Bengal have been stranded in Kerala due to the floods.
Over the last weeks, dozens of dam and reservoir gates across the state had to be opened as the waters reached danger levels, flooding huge stretches downstream, NDTV said.
Photo Caption:
1. The Indian Army has deployed 10 floods relief columns, 8 Engineer Task Force and a Total of 110 BsAUT/BsAp/Gemini boats for Rescue & Relief round the clock, surmounting all challenges. Kerala Flood Relief @PIB_India
2. Captain Syed Ashad Ahmed of 8 Engineer Regiment, established captive ferry to rescue 57 civilians from Chngannur. #IndianArmy made 15 bridges, provided relief material to 20 villages, meals ready to eat to 1200 civilians. #OpMadad @PIB_India

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