Vijayan's appeal to donate month's salary finds support

Vijayan's appeal to donate month's salary finds support

The Zamorin of Calicut, K C Unni Anjan Raja, hands over a cheque of Rs 25 lakh to Kerala Minister T P Ramakrishnan towards the flood relief fund, in Kozhikode on Monday. (PTI Photo)

Kerala’s road to recovery after the devastating floods is finding more support after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s appeal to the diaspora who have settled across the world to donate a month’s salary to rebuild the state.

The state government, based on a preliminary assessment, has estimated the loss at Rs 20,000 crore.

Governor P Sathasivam, Director General of Police Loknath Behera, Congress MLA and former minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Kochi Metro Rail Limited Managing Director A P M Mohammed Hanish were among those who said on Monday that they would contribute a month’s salary to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

The governor handed over a cheque for Rs 2.5 lakh to Chief Secretary Tom Jose as remaining amount toward his contribution. On August 14, he had handed over Rs 1 lakh to CMDRF.

The chief minister had made the appeal to Keralites during a television show on Sunday. Later, in a message posted on his social media pages, he said if 'Malayalis' across the world came together to address the crisis, money would not be an issue in rebuilding the state.

“Not everyone can contribute a month’s salary together but they can contribute it in 10 instalments, each with three days’ salaries,” the chief minister said.

Health Minister K K Shailaja had earlier contributed a month’s salary to CMDRF. The staff in the offices of the chief minister and the health minister, on Monday, decided to contribute their salaries to the fund.

Staff in the state secretariat, bureaucrats and IPS officers are expected to join the initiative. On social media, where the chief minister’s call has been termed "salary challenge", many people have come forward offering their salaries.

The landslides and floods, causing 302 deaths over 18 days, has left Kerala grappling with a massive humanitarian crisis.

The disaster has also led thousands of people to be part of the relief and rehabilitation efforts and coordinate mass mobilisation of money and resources from different parts of the world as the state prepares for life after its worst floods since 1924.