Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (second from left) receiving a check for $75,000 from KAGW President Saju Thomas (second from right) toward the state’s flood relief fund. On the left is Minister for Public Works Department and Registration G. Sudhakaran.
A check for $75,000 — 5.4 million Indian rupees — was handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on November 21.
Three months after a cataclysmic flood devastated Kerala, Indian Americans continue to contribute to relief efforts in the southern Indian state.
The latest group to send money to the state is the Kerala Association of Greater Washington (KAGW), which donated $75,000 — 5.4 million Indian rupees — to the Kerala chief minister’s disaster relief fund.
A check for the amount was handed over to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by KAGW President Saju Thomas in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram on November 21.
Minister for Public Works Department and Registration G. Sudhakaran was also present when Vijay received the check.
“We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the good people of the Washington metropolitan area,” said Thomas. “We started with a modest goal of raising $10,000. I am incredibly grateful to all those who helped us to not only meet that goal but exceed it.”
Thomas, who just returned from Kerala, said a number of Indian American groups in the Washington area, especially the local Tamil Sangam, contributed heavily for the cause.
He also thanked the dozens of children who raised money through breakfast, candy, cookie and bake sales. Local dance and music groups also raised money by staging performances, he said.
“The younger generation really stepped up to the plate,” Thomas said.
The KAGW fundraising drive was one of the many such efforts that raised money for the flood relief fund throughout the United States.
Another organization based in the area, the Association of Indian Muslims of America, has raised $10,000 so far, the group’s president Kaleem Kawaja told the American Bazaar.
Two Chicago area entrepreneurs, Arun Nellamattom and Ajomon Poothurail, raised $1.5 million through social media crowd-funding.
Nearly 500 people were killed in the Kerala flood, the worst to hit the state in a hundred years.