COMMUNITY leaders in Bahrain are joining hands to encourage contributions towards helping flood victims in Kerala state, India.
Social workers and activists representing more than 200,000 Keralites in Bahrain are urging residents to donate generously to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s relief fund.
At least eight districts in the state are on red alert with army and navy deployed for emergency assistance after heavy monsoon rains left a trail of destruction, killing 26 people in the last 48 hours.
Mr Vijayan, who described the state’s flood situation as “very grim” in his Facebook post, urged those willing to donate to contribute to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Commission member in Bahrain Subair Kannur told the GDN a group along with him was co-ordinating the support but will not get engaged in fundraising.
“We legally can’t do fundraising unless we get official permission, which could be thought of in the coming days.
“Right now the focus is on spreading the message from the chief minister (Mr Vijayan) to the people in Bahrain,” he said.
“In Kerala, the flood-hit people have been shifted to various relief camps and they need food, medicine, clothes and other basic amenities.”
With torrential rain since last week, all five shutters of a major dam that is part of Idukki hydel reservoir system (one of the largest arch dams in Asia) were opened for the first time in the last 26 years.
Besides, the gates of more than 24 dams across the state have also been opened to drain out excess water.
According to latest statistics, 12,240 families comprising 53,501 individuals have been shifted to 439 relief camps.
“Most of the Keralites in Bahrain are apparently from the red alert districts,” said Mr Kannur.
“People are worried about their families back home, and residents on holiday are worried about their return.”
Meanwhile, operations apparently resumed yesterday after a partial shutdown of Kochi International Airport since Wednesday.
Daily flights operate from and to Bahrain from the airport which has opened an emergency control room where people can contact (+914843053500) for assistance.
“My son is getting engaged on Sunday and I am travelling tomorrow (August 11). I am really anxious about the situation back home,” said resident Lalitha Dharmarajan.
“My house is in Perumbavoor, Ernakulam, where it is raining heavily.”
Donations can be forwarded to account number 67319948232, State Bank of India City Branch, Thiruvananthapuram, IFSC – SBIN0070028.