Indian Americans mobilize support for Nepal quake victims

WASHINGTON (TIP): Indian Americans from across the country are mobilizing support for the victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, with a large number of organizations raising funds for the people of the quake-ravaged country.

Organizations like Aim for Seva, BAPS Charities, ISKCON – Food for Life, India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) and SEWA International are contributing in numerous ways — from providing recovery assistance and urgent medical care to healthy meals and temporary shelter, a media release said.

“This devastating earthquake was centered in Nepal’s Kathmandu valley whose effect was strongly felt deep inside India. Nearly 4,000 people are dead and counting. Several thousand people were displaced and lost everything,” Chandrakant Patel, president of Overseas Friends of BJP-USA, said urging Indian Americans to make generous contributions to the cause.

Another organization, The United Sikhs said that their relief team has reached Nepal to carry out work in those areas where aid is most critically needed.

“Our medical team of doctors will arrive by Friday equipped with medical supplies to assist the injured,” added the US-based organization.

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American India Foundation said 100 per cent of its donations would go to the Nepal quake victims.

“This fund will support the rehabilitation of lost livelihoods for communities across Nepal, to rebuild and provide a new life filled with dignity, opportunity, and hope,” said M A Ravi Kumar, CEO of American India Foundation.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Grace Meng announced to have co-sponsored the legislation that grants Temporary Protected Status to Nepalese citizens presently in the United States who have been impacted by the devastating earthquake that struck their country on Saturday.

The Temporary Protected Status Act of 2015 would protect citizens of Nepal from deportation or detainment so that they are not forced to return to unsafe conditions in their homeland.

“The US and international community must continue to assist with much needed relief and recovery efforts, and this legislation would help as well by ensuring that citizens of Nepal are not forced to return to the dangerous and disastrous conditions that the earthquake has caused in their country,” said Meng, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke, in a statement, extended her condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Nepal and their families.

“In such times of tragedy, as when an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010 or when the United States was attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001, the people of Brooklyn have been involved in relief efforts as volunteers and contributors, offering their prayers and their donations and their talents for assisting people who are suffering and supporting their efforts to rebuild,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal and their families. My heart sank when I heard about the 7. 8-magnitude earthquake and its unthinkable devastation,” Congresswoman Suzan DelBene said while speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

The International Food Policy Research Institute, an agricultural research centre, said the devastating earthquake, which has affected more than eight million people, will strike a blow to the country’s already fragile food security and nutrition situation.

It also urged national and international organizations to provide immediate aid to ensure adequate access to nutritious food for everyone in the country.

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