IAF, Big B, Maharashtra temples contribute for Kerala

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Mumbai : The Indian Air Force (IAF), Nagpur, superstar Amitabh Bachchan and prominent temples in Maharashtra, among others, have extended aid for the victims of the recent Kerala floods, officials said here on Thursday.

Under an initiative by Air Marshal Hemant Sharma, civil administration citizens, vendors and NGOs have contributed relief materials which were airlifted by a special IAF aircraft from Nagpur to Kerala.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachan has donated Rs 51 lakh and certain personal belongings through the "Resul Pookutty Foundation" to the Kerala CM's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), an official said on Thursday.

Besides, he has also donated six cartons of his personal attires of around 80 jackets, 25 trousers, 20 shirts and scarves and 40 pairs of shoes to the Oscar award winning music wizard's foundation.

The famed Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi in Ahmednagar, announced a donation cheque of Rs 5 crore to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to be forwarded to Kerala for relief programmes, said the trust chairman Suresh Haware.

The Mumbai's Siddhi Vinayak Trust has also announced a donation of Rs 1 crore for Kerala relief, said an official.

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)'s Annamrita Foundation Director Radhakrishna Prabhuji said two teams from Mumbai and Chennai equipped with kitchenware have set up base in Vaidnar, 100 kms from Kochi, to prepare and serve fresh and nutritious 'khichdi' meals to over 2,200 people daily.

The Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune has sent two teams of volunteers to Thrissur, which are preparing 4,000 packets of food daily and then transporting them to people in the remote interiors of the flood-ravaged areas.

Jet Airways, which has already airlifted 10 tonnes of relief materials for Kerala, on Thursday announced a new consignment through Oscar and BAFTA award winner Resul Pookutty's Resul Pookutty Foundation which has contributions from Bachchan, Alia Bhatt and other celebrities.

Airline CEO Vinay Dube said it has also waived off the air freight charges for these relief materials, besides capping its Economy Class fares on all non-stop flight between Kerala and Mangaluru.

The Maharashtra government has appealed to all organisations or individuals desiring to make donations, to write cheques/ drafts in the name of a special Bank of Maharashtra account, in favour of "Chief Minister Kerala Flood Relief Fund" to streamline the contributions.