Indian volunteers from the Haridwar Mitra Mandal Charitable Trust load water aid to be shipped to flood-hit Kerala, in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Photo: AFP
Dubai: Indian-origin billionaire businessmen based in the UAE have announced Rs 125 million donation for flood relief operations in Kerala, according to a media report. Nearly 200 people have lost their lives in Kerala since August 8 due to floods caused by rains and landslides, while over 3.14 lakh people have been moved to relief camps in the state. The southern Indian state is facing its worst flood in 100 years with 80 dams opened and all rivers in spate.
Kerala-born businessman Yusuff Ali MA, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group, has announced a ₹ 50 million donation for Kerala, Khaleej Times reported today.
K.P. Hussain, chairman of Fathima Healthcare Group, has donated ₹ 50 million. He said that ₹ 10 million of this will directly go to the Kerala chief minister’s relief fund, while the rest will be allocated for medical relief aid, the Gulf paper added.
Hussain said that his group had coordinated with the state’s health secretary to send volunteers from its medical faculty. These include doctors and paramedics being sent to relief camps.
“There is a high possibility of more deaths in the event of spread of various diseases like fever, dysentery, gastric issues, skin disorders etc,” he was quoted as saying by the paper. “As recommended by the public health secretary, we have received the list of medicines which will be supplied to the relief camps.”
India-born billionaire B.R. Shetty, chairman of Unimoni and UAE Exchange, has pledged ₹ 20 million. Azad Moopen, Indian physician and philanthropist, and founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, has pledged ₹ 5 million. The group also announced that it had mobilised a disaster support team of over 300 volunteers.
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Yesterday, the United Arab Emirates prime minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the formation of an emergency committee to provide relief to the victims in Kerala. The Indian community in the UAE, numbering 2.6 million, constitutes 30% of the population. It is the largest expatriate community in the country.