The Indian diaspora in the US has been urged to raise $1 million to support relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms in American history that killed more than 50 people. The consul-general of India (CGI) in Houston in Texas, Anupam Ray, urged the community to coordinate their funding. “The idea is to consolidate the fund-raising efforts of the community and present an aggregated picture,” Ray told PTI. “To show our commitment to, and support of, the greater Houston community, we would like to organise a fundraising effort to support the mayor’s fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief and Rebuild Texas Fund by Governor Greg Abbott,” he said, adding that they have set a goal to raise $1 million.
Harvey which hit the US Gulf coast last week brought the heaviest rainfall in American history, soaking Texas with more than 52 inches and forcing thousands of people out of their homes. Indian Americans in Houston met at the Indian Consulate after Ray’s appeal. Ray explained the two funds set up by the governor will allow the Indian-American community to track their contributions through a code. He indicated that the idea is to build a strong “Indian brand”. The three Indian oil companies with offices in Houston – GAIL, Oil India, and ONGC – had committed $10,000 each.
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computers, declared he will donate an amount equivalent to what is given to the governor’s fund. Gitesh Desai, president of SEVA International, requested to include his organisation as one of the beneficiaries along with the mayor and the governor’s relief funds. The SEVA International had rescued 687 people from the catastrophic flooding brought by Harvey. Jagdip Ahluwalia of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce said it would help businesses re-establish. India House, a nonprofit organisation, pledged to raise $50,000 for each fund. IACF president-elect Mahesh Wadhwa pledged $100,000, with $25,000 coming from current president Vanitha Pothuri. Arun Verma of Sri Sita Ram Foundation also pledged $10,000.
Qatar’s ambassdor to the US, Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, said the Persian Gulf nation was donating $30 million to help people in Texas recover from Harvey. The United Arab Emirates, pledged $10 million to help with local and state recovery efforts. The donations from Qatar and UAE were announced as the leader of Kuwait, which has been mediating the Qatar crisis, was in Washington discussing the dispute with President Donald Trump and other American officials.