We are aware of the massive floods in Chennai, the havoc it has wreaked and the scale of destruction. Gift of the Givers is faced with a very unique situation in that the Indian Government has not made a call for international assistance. We only respond when the government of the country makes an appeal for international assistance as we don't impose ourselves where aid is not requested. India is known for its capacity for self sustainability not only turning down international assistance during the tsunami of 2004 but even assisting neighbour Sri Lanka that also suffered unbelievable destruction. Gift of the Givers assisted Sri Lanka in that catastrophe being the first agency in the world to arrive there within 48 hours of the disaster occurring.
The Chennai Floods has created an interesting challenge for us for although the Indian Government has not requested international assistance we are overwhelmed by calls from local South Africans who want to make contributions to Gift of the Givers in the interest of the people of Chennai. Last night we received a call from Bollywood film producer-director and TV journalist Prabhu Nepal, son of the ever popular Kumari Ambigay, who requested assistance on behalf of the Indian Movies Union. Prabhu is South African and has been residing in India for 27 years. Given this unusual situation where no call has been made for international assistance but there is a brotherly request by fellow South Africans to once again manifest our Ubuntu spirit, Gift of the Givers has acceded to the request to assist. We will work in association with Prabhu and the movie union. Cash only will be collected as items are cheap in India and easily available. It's impractical and not cost effective to send items in kind from South Africa. Water, staple food, medicines, clothes, building material, utensils and essential items will be purchased in Chennai and distributed to those most in need. Contributions to Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account Number 052278611, Branch Code 057525. Reference: Chennai Floods. Please fax or email deposit slip with full contact details for acknowledgement purposes. You may contact us toll free on 0800786911.
Thanks to South Africans for your concern and care. This is indeed a first for us in 23 years of our history responding to a disaster in the absence of a call for international assistance. Our people are passionate to assist fellow human in need; such an exemplary manifestation of spirituality augurs well for humanity at large.