Mumbai, Aug 20: A number of NGOs based in the financial capital of the country have come forward to extend the helping hand to flood-ravaged Kerala and launched a campaign to collect food and other items.
The deadliest deluge in Kerala in close to a century has claimed 197 lives since August 8. More than six lakh people are in relief camps while thousands are still stranded in their homes without food.
The NGOs are extending help in the form of money and medical support.
Prime Educaton Health Learning Services (PEHL) has said that it would send a team of 20 people consisting of general physicians and paramedical staff to Idukki district.
As per official estimates, 43 people have lost their lives so far in Idukki district.
"Our team will leave on Thursday from Mumbai and will start working with our local staff in Kerala as well as government authorities in Idukki district. Our focus will be only on providing medical service, as it is highly essential in the next coming days," Tasmeen Shaikh, of PEHL said today.
Shaikh said the NGO carries its own medicines.
"We have appealed to the people to donate for our work in various ways. We do not accept any non-medical donation, as other NGOs and state authorities are working on it. Extending medical service in itself is a major task for our team," she said.
Shaikh said that more people will be sent to Kerala depending on the requirement at the ground.
"This is our fourth such medical camp, where we are extending medical support to flood affected people," Shaikh claimed.
Sayed Furqan, a senior official of the 'Sahas Foundation', said they would supply notebooks and other educational stationery to at least 10,000 students in the flood-ravaged state.
"We have also issued a statement with the bank account details of Kerala chief minister's relief fund and appealed to the people to donate the amount there itself," he said.
Furquan said the state machinery is better equipped with handling and spending money as per requirement at hand.
Nishant Bangera, founder of NGO Muse, said they have formed 12 collection centres across Mumbai where citizens can donate food, clothes and other items that would be sent to the flood-affected people.
"We have collaborated with 'anbodu kochi', a Bengaluru-based organisation that is sending relief material to Kerala," Bangera said.
He said the NGO has collected two truckloads of material which include ready-to-eat food items, toiletries, medicines and clothes.
In the deadliest deluge so far in the last 100 years in Kerala, more than six lakh people are in relief camps while thousands are still stranded in their homes without food.
The Kochi international airport has been closed till August 26 after flood waters entered the runway and other airport areas.
The Centre had sanctioned Rs 500 crore as immediate assistance to the southern state.
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The Maharashtra government had announced a financial help of Rs 20 crore for Kerala.
The government tonight announced that 30 medical teams would leave for Kerala tomorrow (August 20) morning.
Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan will accompany these teams to personally monitor relief efforts, the government said in a release tonight.
Earlier in the day, the government stated that it had sent 30 tonne aid consisting of ready-to-eat food packets, milk powder, blankets, bed sheets, clothes, soaps and sanitary napkins to Kerala.
The items are selected on the basis of a list issued by the Kerala government, stated an official release issued by the Maharashtra government.
The (30-tonne) aid was flown by an Indian Air Force (IAF) plane, while another five tonne material will be sent tomorrow morning, it stated.
The aid consists of 15,000 food packets, which are packed in water-proof material so that it can be easily distributed in the flood-hit regions.
The government had sent 6.5 tonne of aid yesterday, it stated.
The Central Railway had yesterday sent over 14 lakh litres of drinking water to the southern state by a special train from Pune.