It was ‘Hoppers’, a Sri Lankan restaurant in London, that started it; its Instagram account says: “Across September, we”ll be supporting the flood relief efforts in Kerala by adding an optional £1 to every bill. All proceeds will go towards @planindia in the work they are doing to rehabilitate and rebuild villages in the worst affected parts of Kerala.”
The eatery launched a special edition vegetarian lunch priced at £30 whose proceeds will go towards rehabilitating flood victims in Kerala. With many Keralites working in European restaurants, the empathy was quick to go viral. “The south Indian cuisine at Hoppers has been a big draw. So, when patrons heard of how floods had ravaged many parts of the south Indian state, there was a lot of love pouring in to back them,” says Saboora Ali, who eats there regularly.
Counted among the top 50 dining places in the world, the Gymkhana restaurant in London is also doing its bit. “Across September, we’ll be supporting the flood relief efforts in Kerala by adding an optional £1 to every bill. All proceeds will go towards @planindia for the work they are doing to rehabilitate and rebuild villages in the worst affected parts of Kerala,” says the restaurant’s Instagram account.
Meanwhile, the ‘Cook for Kerala’ campaign, which has spread like a wild fire among social media-users in the restaurant business, is the brainchild of Suresh Pillai, executive chef of Raviz Hotel in Kollam. “This was inspired by the #CookforSyria campaign across Europe last year to support Syrian war victims,” he told FE.
Even before Gymkhana took the plunge, another London restaurant, Kricket Soho, had gone out of its way to support the campaign, as per its Instagram post.
Not to be left behind, the restaurant Chutnify in Berlin will bring in euro. “In order to raise funds to aid victims of flooding in Kerala, we will be fund-raising this week at Chutnify. From today through August 31, we invite you to donate by adding 1 euro to your bill. The proceeds will be donated to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund,” Chutnify announced on Instagram.
“Though every rupee would count in this distressed juncture, the currency form adds value too. Euros and pounds arriving at a moment when the Indian rupee is on a weak wicket would be a robust confidence measure from the side of diaspora community,” says Venugopal, chief manager, SBI Kerala circle.
However, this trickle may not be enough. According to state finance minister TM Thomas Isaac, many parts of the infrastructure would need rebuilding from the scratch, calling for at least `30,000 crore in resources.
And this is without losses of individuals, who found their lifetime savings wiped out overnight.