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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Mangaluru: A Belthangady resident Rawoof, who works as a helper at local Madrasa was on Monday in for a shock of his life when he was informed by his friends and relatives that his name was appearing in news channels and papers but for all the wrong reasons.
Rawoof on Monday received several calls from his friends and relatives informing him about his name appearing in news channels and papers calling to be a terrorist who made and received calls from Pakistan in Belthangady.
Reports were doing rounds in media that the NIA had arrested one terrorist from Belthangady for allegedly making and receiving satellite calls from Pakistan. Although the news was not verified or confirmed from any official sources or authority, media houses jumped to conclusion and soon name of Rawoof appeared in reports as the arrested terrorist.
After being informed by his friends and relatives, Rawoof immediately got in touch with Ullal MLA and senior Congress leader U T Khader who advised him to appear before Dakshina Kannada SP Laxmiprasad and to file a complaint in this regard at the earliest.
Rawoof appeared before Superintendent of Police and cleared his stance and added that he had no connection with Pakistan and that reports being shown in the media are untrue.
After verifying his details and backgrounds to the SP, Rawoof urged him to take strict action against the media houses who have casted him as a terrorist.
Rawoof also met Mangaluru Police Commissioner Dr. PS Harsha and informed him about the reports and added that the whole episode had caused mental harassment and torture to him.
Speaking to Vartha Bharati, Rawoof said "This whole thing has badly affected my mental peace. My family is being asked about my connections with Pakistan. All this, when I don't know anything about such stuff. The whole incident has disturbed me and my family completely".
He further added that he had faith on the police department who will take action against those found guilty.
MLA U T Khader also batted for action against media houses who casted Rawoof as terrorist even when the SP has confirmed that there is no criminal record and history of Rawoof.
Earlier in the day, SP Laxmiprasad had also rubbished the reports and had added that no such incident or case of satellite calls being made or received from Pakistan was reported nor the NIA had arrested any person in this regard.