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India Inc steps up to help J&K flood victims

Indian companies have stepped in to help Jammu & Kashmir flood victims by giving cash and helping re-build houses damaged by the worst floods in the valley in 50 years.

Many chief executives said they were talking to people at the top level in their organisations to find how their companies can help the flood victims.

Adi Godrej, chairman, Godrej Group, said: “Employees of all our group companies will be offering a day’s salary, which will then be matched by the respective company. We always do this when there is a natural calamity and as a responsible corporate citizen, this is something that we believe we must do.” Separately, Godrej Foundation is also offering its help to the flood victims through the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, announced a donation of Rs 2 crore to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to aid the ongoing disaster relief operations in the flood-ravaged state. “Mahindra Group shares the distress and concern of the prime minister and the people of India over the tragedy that has befallen the people of Jammu & Kashmir. This donation is our contribution to the state to help it overcome this terrible catastrophe,” Mahindra said.

Besides, Mahindra Consulting Engineers, part of the Mahindra Group, would in consultation with the state government, undertake the development of an eco-friendly village cluster with multi-disaster resistant dwelling units, community centre and associated site services comprising roads, water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, power supply and other site infrastructure facilities. The plan could also incorporate income restoration during the rehabilitation period, for the victims of the proposed village, through employment creation in construction activities, and other programmes.

Harsh Mariwala, chairman of Marico, said both the CII and Ficci were galvanising support from companies to aid the relief and rehabilitation efforts. “It is a good move and we will also support this endeavour. I will be speaking to the managing director of the company on this,” he said.

Also, wireless telephone companies are setting up booths to help flood victims make calls to their relatives. BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications (RCom) are offering free calling facilities for a limited period.

“Starting yesterday (Saturday), free calling facility for 60 minutes a day has been extended to all Airtel customers in Kashmir for the next five days, enabling them to reach out to their loved ones,” Airtel said in a statement on Septmeber 12.

The Indian corporate sector has a good track record in helping victims of natural calamities in India. In the past, many food and dairy companies have donated their products to the victims.

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