AN urgent appeal has been launched by the Redditch Kerala Cultural Association (KCA Redditch) following the devastating floods that have hit the region.
Nearly 400 people have died in the monsoon that hit the southern state of India causing the worst devastation in more than a century.
Redditch resident Lizo Mapranath said around 500,000 had been made homeless and were now in camps set up by the military.
His own sister-in-law, just 16 miles from home, has been unable to get there as she has been cut off by the devastating floods.
“June to August is the normal monsoon season but these rains are the worst in more than 100 years,” said Lizo.
“Roads and railtracks have been washed away and more than 5,000 camps have been set up to deal with the numbers trying to escape the devastation.”
As a mark of solidarity with those in the sub-continent KCA Redditch have cancelled their own Onam harvest festival and instead raised nearly £4,000 to send out to the disaster relief fund.
“Almost all the district was declared red alert due to the calamity and non stop rain,” said Lizo.
“Most of the people stuck are been airlifted to safety by the response teams but the challenge will be to rebuild Kerala and help prevent any water borne disease which takes more precious life.
“Councillors Bill Hartnett, Pattie Hill and local MP Rachel Maclean have stood with us during this hour of need and we urge our kind hearted residents of Redditch to pray for Kerala and support us in any small way possible,” said Lizo.
“Kerala Cultural Association Redditch will make sure your support in any way reaches the flood affected people through Kerala Government Chief Minister Flood Relief Fund at http://donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in or alternatively you can make a donation to KCA Redditch.”
Coun Hartnett added: “Many of the local Kerala community have families who have been directly been affected by these floods and some are in Kerala now.
“I would ask if people want to contribute to the relief fund to contact KCA Redditch and give to an account they have set up to support the victims of these floods.”
If any one wants to help in any other way contact Lizomon Mapranath on 07917 002470 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK-wide Malayalee Association is also sending out basic items like undergarments, night dress, sanitary towels, bed sheets, toiletries, school essentials, food and cleaning items.