Maharashtra sends medical team to Kerala, hawkers too donate

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Mumbai, Aug 20 (IANS) A team of 110 doctors from Mumbai and Pune left by an Air India flight on Monday with medical relief supplies to help the flood victims in Kerala, an official said.

The team comprises 55 doctors from J.J. Hospital, Mumbai, 26 from Sassoon Hospital (Pune) besides other hospitals, said Medical Education Minister Girish Mahajan who has accompanied them on the humanitarian mission.

They will join other medical teams from across the state who are serving the people of Kerala amid apprehensions of outbreak of diseases as the flood waters start receding, Mahajan said.

Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao on Monday appealed to all the 20 universities in the state to extend monetary and material support to Kerala by organizing fund-raising drives.

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The governor has also asked the universities, with a total strength of around 2.30 million students, to contribute to the PM’s Relief Fund for the floodhit Kerala.

Meanwhile, through efforts of various organisations coordinated by the state government, another five tonnes of relief supplies including food packs, milk powder, blankets, bedsheets, clothes, soaps and sanitary napkins will be sent to Kerala on Monday.

This is in addition to over 30-tonne relief already sent during the past two days besides a cash donation of Rs 20 crore from the state government.

Navi Mumbai’s Kerala Bhavan has collected 200 tonnes of material of which 150 tonne has been dispatched through the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard.

A group of 20 persons from Saudi Arabia landed in Mumbai as the Kochi Airport is still closed and they have been given shelter in Kerala Bhavan.

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A group of Mumbai-born Kerala youths in Powai have launched coordination efforts between various relief agencies, organizing transport and other logistics, identifying the required materials to be sent to Kerala and streamline the aid pouring in from various sources, said one of the coordinators Pradeep Menon.

A charity show with top Keralite artistes and others in Bollywood is being planned soon after monsoon to raise funds specifically for the poor and displaced flood victims to be handed over to Kerala CM’s Distress Relief Fund, Menon said.

Several hundred members of the Azad Hawkers Union, Mira Road (Thane) led by president Dayashankar Singh have donated voluntarily over one tonne of relief material which will be dispatched to Kerala through the Ayappa Swami Temple Trust.

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Mumbai’s famed Dabbawalas and an NGO, Papers N Parcels will also send a consignment of medical kits and food material to Kerala on Tuesday, said Subhash Talekar and Tilak Mehta of the two organisations respectively.

A large number of Mumbaikars are also contributing to various pick-up points started in Mumbai, suburbs and adjacent districts for relief materials for onward dispatch to Kerala.

–IANS

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