Kerala expats in UAE to donate one month’s pay for flood relief

Expats respond to Kerala chief minister’s appeal to donate a month’s salary in 10 monthly instalments

Abu Dhabi: Many expatriates from the South Indian State of Kerala have committed to donate one month’s salary to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF), in response to an appeal made by the state’s chief minister.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has requested all Keralites to donate one month’s salary, in ten monthly instalments, through a Facebook post on Sunday evening.

Accepting Vijayan’s appeal, some expatriates in the UAE started a social media campaign asking fellow Keralites to take it as a challenge. Most of them said they had already contributed to the relief fund immediately after the floods occurred. Now they have taken it upon themselves to fulfil the new appeal, saying Keralites’ unity will help the state survive its most devastating crisis ever.

One couple in Al Ain, who had planned a grand traditional naming ceremony for their newborn baby, have cancelled it to use the expenses as donation after hearing of the chief minister’s appeal.

Jithesh Purushothaman, 40, a banking professional and his wife Chithra Jithesh, 37, a nurse, have committed to contribute one month’s salaries in ten monthly instalments.

The couple from Alappuzha district said that after the most devastating floods in Kerala’s history, “the loud cries of our brothers and sisters are still echoing in our ears. The visuals of victims really put us in shock. We didn’t have to think much to make a decision.”

Their baby Abhimanyu, born on July 24, received many gifts from friends and relatives. “We will donate the value of those gifts also,” said Purushothaman, a UAE resident for ten years.

An office secretary in Abu Dhabi and his wife working for a bank in Kerala are also contributing their month’s salaries. Abdul Rahman, 50, and Fouziya, 43, from Malappuram district, believe that their one-month’s salary will help build a new “a dream land”. “Kerala has set many examples before and we will set another model of successfully surviving a devastating disaster, thanks to people’s unity,” said Rahman, a UAE resident of 10 years.

Ninu Mohandas (right), 34, a business development manager in Dubai, has already transferred the first instalment of his one month’s salary. “Indeed, all are united in this mission and now it has become a [collective] emotion,” he said. “Sometimes, we can’t be physically involved; what we can do is to provide financial support,” said Mohandas, who hails from Wayanad district.

Dr Mubarak Valiyakath, 40, a cardiologist with Thumbay Group of Hospitals in Sharjah, said he wants to personally hand over his month’s salary to chief minister Vijayan, who impressed with his leadership during the crisis, and by postponing his own medical treatment appointment overseas in order to be there for the people.

Dr Valiyakath (right) will try to do so during a visit to Kerala shortly. “The people are close to my heart. I believe in humanity and we have a duty towards our fellow beings,” said Valiyakath, who is from Kasaragod district. A. Abdul Vaheed, 46, an engineer in Dubai, said his donation of one month’s salary is a gesture of giving back to the government and society. “I studied in a government engineering college. The students those days paid only nominal fees. The government invested in us. A large part of who I am today is thanks to the education I received,” said Vaheed, from Thiruvananthapuram district and a long-time UAE resident of 23 years.

K.V. Shamsuddin, chairman of Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust in Sharjah, said he would contribute one month’s salary and urged fellow Keralites to do the same through a social media campaign. “Many people responded positively to my campaign,” said Shamsuddin, resident in the UAE for over 40 years.

“We don’t need to worry about the misuse of our donations. A vigilant society can check corruption these days,” he said.

Malabar Group’s INR 70 million for Kerala flood relief

Dubai: The Malabar Group of Companies has announced a contribution of Rs70 million (Dh3.6 million) in total towards flood relief in Kerala.

MP Ahammad, chairman of Malabar Group, handed over a cheque of Rs20 million yesterday to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, a statement from the company said.

He also committed to Rs50 million in financial aid for rebuilding and repairing houses lost and damaged in the flood. This includes Rs10 million collected from the employees of Malabar Group.

The entire relief activities will be routed through Malabar Housing Charitable Trust.

As part of the group’s corporate social responsibility activities, it sets aside a fixed percentage of its net profit for the benefit of the needy.


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