In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which brought rampage in the US state of Texas, the Consul General of India here has appealed to Indian diaspora to raise USD 1 million worth of funds for relief operations. Consul General of India (CGI) Anupam Ray urged the Indian-American community to coordinate large scale funding for the relief and reconstruction to support the historic storm’s victims.
“The idea is to consolidate the fund raising efforts of the community and present an aggregated picture of the community’s efforts,” Ray told PTI. “To show our commitment to, and support of, the greater Houston community, we would like to organise a fund raising effort to support the mayor’s fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief and Rebuild Texas Fund by Governor Abbott,” he said, adding that they have set a goal to raise USD 1 million.
The Indian-American community in Houston met at the Indian Consulate after Ray’s appeal to coordinate a fund-raising effort by the community. Ray explained that the two funds set up to help the rebuilding effort in south and southeast Texas by the governor will allow members of the community to identify and track their contribution by writing a code on their mode of donation.
In addition, those wishing to become signatories to the appeal to attract others to donate can do so by having their name added to the list of individuals, organisations and companies which have already done so. He indicated that the desire is to help build a strong “Indian brand” in the region and that the three Indian oil companies with offices here -– GAIL, Oil India and ONGC had committed to contributing USD 10 thousand each.
Also, Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computers, has declared that he will donate an amount equivalent to what is given to the governor’s fund. Gitesh Desai, president of SEVA International, who had been actively coordinating with majority of volunteers, requested to include his organisation as one of the beneficiaries along with the mayor and the governor’s relief funds.
The SEVA International is working on the ground and has rescued 687 people so far from the catastrophic floods brought by Harvey. Jagdip Ahluwalia of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber would help businesses re-establish. India house pledged to raise USD 50K for each fund.
IACF president-elect Mahesh Wadhwa pledged USD 100k, with USD 25k coming from current president Vanitha Pothuri. Arun Verma of Sri Sita Ram Foundation also pledged USD 10k.