The floods have had a brutal impact on the lives of people in Kerala. A lot of people are still in relief camps across Kerala as donations keep pouring in from NGOs, private companies and people from all across the country.
Many people wanted to donate, but not to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund — many wanted a reliable organisation, which would ensure that the money and the donations reached distressed people in Kerala without any slippage on the way.
Moneylife Foundation was equally concerned about utilisation of funds — after detailed inquiries, we learnt about the work being done by Vivekananda Kendra in Thrissur, Kerala and decided to collaborate with them to channel the donations receive by us.
On 20th August, we had made an appeal to our over 90,000 members to donate items that could be of use to victims of the flood. While we collected donations in kind, we also directed some of our members to make their financial donations directly to Vivekananda Kendra. In the three days that the donation drive was carried out, we received material donations of almost 2,000kg. The items donated varied from food – rice, pulses, ready-to-eat snacks, to medicines, drinking water, clothes, blankets, towels, chadars, lungis, inner wear, syringes and gloves, toiletries and much more. People really came out in droves to donate towards this cause and we are immensely grateful for their effort. Among the large donations that we received, were miscellaneous items from Silver Innings Foundation who also acted as a second collection centre for donations.
Moneylife Foundation has never done a donation drive on such a large scale before. It was quite an experience for our entire staff. The process of packing, transporting it to the railway station and then sending it across to Kerala was a novel experience for us all. We were completely overwhelmed with the amount of donations received and had to hire movers to do the initial packing of the goods. Our staff pitched in to help with the packing and transportation.
The next challenge was how to send it. Railway minister Piyush Goyal’s announcement of free transport for relief material was a boon to us. Further help from his office and Anuj Gupta, the officer on special duty, ensured that we had the necessary permissions and our first lot of donations made to Thrissur by the Netravali Express on 25 August 2018.
T Sudhakar and his colleagues from Vivekananda Kendra were on hand to receive them. Thankfully, there were no complications and the entire process of transportation and delivery went smoothly. We received confirmation of delivery from Vivekananda Kendra, who greatly appreciated all of our donations. Mr Sudhakar has stated that all our donations have been sorted and are slowly being dispersed through the relief camp in Thrissur. The few doctors that were working in the relief camp at Thrissur also appreciated the donation of medications that were sent in this batch.
Although, initially, we did not have any immediate plans of carrying out a second batch of donations, we were received a late donation of 61 boxes filled with medications totalling around 600kg. On Monday, 28 August 2018, our staff rushed through to get all the boxes packed and sent out to the station for delivery. This second batch of donations was successfully sent via the railways on Tuesday morning.
Moneylife Foundation is truly proud to have provided help to victims of the flood. We greatly appreciate all the donations that were given and are positive that they are being put to good use in Kerala.