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Aid reaches from all quarters

By Our Kochi Bureau

KOCHI, DEC. 28. Victims of the high tidal attack along the coastal belt of Kochi got support and solace from many quarters.

There was chaos when the flood of islanders rushed to the temporary camps at SRV High School and Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium immediately past midnight.

The Mayor, C.M. Dinesh Mani, the councillors Tony Chamminy, David Parambithara, P.N. Seenulal and V.K. Prakasan and CPI(ML) Red Flag leader P.S. Rajiv reached the venue by 1 a.m.

There was confusion regarding the supply of fresh drinking water and food. The Kerala Water Authority provided one lakh litre of potable water at the sump well in the stadium complex. Food packets reached by early hours of Tuesday, however, people started leaving by then,

Contributions flow

As the day progressed, the mood was relaxed across various relief camps. Individual contributions continued to flow.

The spirit of the relief work was better captured by the group of three-wheeler carriage drivers at Gandhinagar, Aluva. They started collecting odd things — anything from clothes to firewood — and distributed to the relief camps, four such camps, at Vypeen.

"There were only 30 of us and we decided to chip in our contribution. So we set out on our 18 vehicles and by evening, we had enough material," said Siju, one of the drivers. After the last stop at Santa Cruz Higher Secondary School, only three barrels of fresh water remained in their vehicles, they had off-loaded all other stuff. The water, they decided, would be distributed to one of the numerous arrays of pots that spot the roadside in Vypeen.

When these people were leaving the school, members of Njarakkal Lions Club were still distributing bed-sheets and screw pine mats, one each for one family. "We have been told that there are 300-odd families in this camp. We will be going to other camps in next days," said Kurian Antony, secretary of the Club.

The organisations that have deputed their men to the camp at Government Girls' High School include CITU, DYFI, Merchants Union, NDF, Rotary Clubs, Ernakulam Karayogam, Associations of Hotel and Restaurant owners and organisations of traders. The Kerala Medical Sales Representatives Association chipped in with medicines necessary for treating the injured. A group of eight National Service Scheme (NSS) student volunteers of the Ayyapankavu S.N. HSS, who were participating in the camp at Cheranalloor, today joined the team of volunteers.

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