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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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that if there is a "common thread" among the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi, then one agency can investigate all the four cases.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the CBI to inform it by January first week as to why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears a link among all the murders.
The counsel for the Maharashtra government informed the court that the CBI is investigating the murder cases of social activist and professor Narendra Dabholkar after the Bombay High Court transferred the probes to the agency.
The court, after perusing the status report of the Karnataka Police, said there appears to be a link between the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M.M Kalburgi.
It asked the Maharashtra government's counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case, to which the counsel said the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Police had informed the apex court that there appears to be a connection between Lankesh and Kalburgi murder cases.
The state police also told the apex court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.
Noted scholar Kalburgi was killed at Dharwad in 2015. Pansare was also killed the same year. Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru, whereas rationalist Dabholkar was assassinated on August 20, 2013.
The top court on November 26 had pulled up the Karnataka government for "doing nothing and just fooling around" in the investigation and had indicated that it may transfer the case to the Bombay High Court.
The top court had on January 10 sought the response of probe agencies NIA and CBI and the two state governments on the allegation of Uma Devi that no substantial investigation has been carried out so far in the murder case.
Kalburgi's wife, in her petition, had alleged that there was common link between the murder of her husband and that of activists Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare, who too were assassinated in August 2013 and February 2015 respectively.
The 77-year old Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University and a well-known epigraphist, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015. Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.