NEW DELHI: “Don‘t just pray for Kerala. Do something for ,” the banner reads. It gives details about the relief helplines and ways to provide assistance and is held up by astride an Enfield bike. The 33-year-old official with the ambulance services has made it his goal to spread awareness about the unimaginable scale of disaster in his home state.
“Almost 40% of Kerala‘s population has been affected, yet it is still not a national disaster,” he remonstrated. “My niece died and many loved ones are missing. How many more bodies do we need for people to wake up?”
Mathew comes from Idduki in the Munnar region, one of the worst affected by Kerala‘s biggest calamity of the century, where the gates of the dangerously overflowing had to be opened for the first time in 26 years. “My father‘s brother needs regular , but he hasn‘t been able to get out of his home for the last six days,” he despaired. “People in Delhi should know that this gravest of situations is prevailing in a part of their own country.”
Many parts of Kerala are cut off from the rest of the country and are now only accessible though boats. “I am unable to reach home,” said Mathew. “The roads have been washed away and the airport has been closed down for a week. I felt extremely helpless but I knew I had to do something to help.”
The something that Noble decided to do was to get an 8-foot-long banner printed with information and ride around the capital‘s streets holding it aloft. Mathew says that several people have since stopped him and enquired about the initiative.
“I am doing my bit by spreading awareness, others can help by donating, say through Paytm,” he said. Delhiites want to contribute can access the Chief Minister‘s Disaster Relief Fund atdonation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in
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