UAE, August 20: The hospital business owner, who founded the UAE's VPS Healthcare, has said vital infrastructure will need to be rebuilt.
A donation of Dh26 million(Rs 50 Cr) from one of the richest Indians in the Middle East has been pledged to help rebuild communities in Kerala, following the most destructive monsoon in a century.
Kerala-born Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, founder and managing director of UAE-based VPS Healthcare, has vowed to help rebuild vital infrastructure in the worst hit areas of the southern Indian state.
Torrential rains have hit the south east of the country causing widespread devastation, with the current death toll of 350 expected to rise.
Hundreds of thousands have been made homeless with the spectre of widespread disease now hanging over the recovery process once floodwaters begin to recede.
Roads will need to be rebuilt, along with water management facilities, health centres and schools – with the Dh26 million donation from Dr Vayalil available to begin restoration efforts as soon as it is safe to do so.
“This money will be spent throughout the state of Kerala,” said Dr Vayalil, 41, in an interview with The National.
“We will work with the local authorities to determine where this financial support is needed the most.
“Certain areas have already been identified for immediate help.
"We will use this money through an oversight committee with the support of people in Kerala who are in the public domain.”
VPS Healthcare will be employing specialist contractors to complete the work, and is already working with consultants to ensure the money is spent in the areas where it is needed most.
In May, Dr Vayalil joined The Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and business magnate Warren Buffett in 2010 to support good causes around the world.
Although shocked by the extent of damage on a recent visitto his home state, Dr Vayalil was taken aback by the response from Keralites and the wider global community to help rescue efforts.
“It is encouraging to see how communities are pulling together to help one another, and to see how strong the human spirit is,” he said.
In a separate mission, VPS Healthcare is funding a relief flight of medical supplies, 2,000 water filter systems, clothes and food due to leave from Abu Dhabi later this week.
Flights in and out of Kochi, one of the most populated cities impacted, have been severely disrupted, hampering relief efforts.
Commercial flights to the city’s international airport resumed on Monday.
The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has collected more than Dh10 million for the aid effort, thanks to donations from Indian business leaders.
“Good healthcare is associated with clean water and efficient power supplies, so that is why Dr Shamsheer has decided to help out immediately,” said a spokesman for VPS Healthcare.
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Southampton: Pakistan slumped to 126-5 before a third stoppage for rain led to an end to play on the first day of the second test against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
Abid Ali struck 60 after being dropped twice early in his 111-ball innings and was comfortably Pakistan's top scorer on a tough day for the tourists in changing weather.
Jimmy Anderson was retained for the match, despite struggling in England's three-wicket win in the first test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid that faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England's record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 and he is up to 592 in tests.
After the toss won by Pakistan was made under sunny skies, Pakistan began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.
And only about an hour was possible after tea, when Pakistan lost three wickets including Abid, who edged recalled seamer Sam Curran to Rory Burns at second slip.
Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley's drop diving to his left at third slip.
As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket.
That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first test innings in 11 years after being recalled and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.
Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4.
Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.