Collection drives for quake victims

DUBAI — A number of organisations and private establishments in Dubai, including international airlines, have started their own collection campaigns to contribute to the supply of food, clothing and medicines for the relief work in the tsunami-hit areas in South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

By Meraj Rizvi, Ramona Ruiz, Prerna Suri Asma Ali Zain And Zaigham Ali

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Published: Thu 30 Dec 2004, 12:04 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:04 AM

Malaysian Airlines dispatched an aircraft to bring 80 stranded passengers in Phuket back to Kuala Lumpur, according to Vinay Nambiar, marketing executive — UAE and Gulf at Malaysian Airlines.

“We have been coordinating with Wisma Putra (Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to render all possible assistance for the safe return of passengers from Phuket,” he told Khaleej Times.

Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday offered assistance to those affected by the earthquake and tsunami which hit the region, raising money through donations and carrying supplies and aid personnel to affected areas.

Between now and the end of March, all donations collected in-flight on board Cathay Pacific flights for the Unicef “Change For Good” programme will be used to support disaster relief efforts.

Cathay Pacific has also agreed to help governments and charities ferry supplies to stricken areas. Two sniffer dogs and their handlers, offered by the French government, are already on their way from Paris to Colombo to help with search and rescue operations in Sri Lanka. Some 250 boxes of clothes donated by the Salvation Army in Hong Kong and 3,500 blankets donated by the airline are also being shipped.

Following a decision taken at an emergency meeting, the Dubai Indian Islamic Centre has organised a relief campaign to collect foodstuff, medicines and blankets to send to those affected by the calamity. The collection points for the campaign are located at the Centre’s premises and Dervish Murad Godown, and people have been urged to contact the DIIC at 04-2726800, the godown at 04-2859301, V P Rashid on 050-6512296 or 050-7156715.

Meanwhile, the Centre has also contacted the concerned authorities to appraise them of the situation and the seriousness of the calamity. DIIC members, including president Haji Shamsudheen, General Secretary P T Abdulrahman, and others are directing and co-ordinating the collection campaign.

In another such example of efforts to contribute to the relief work, which is led and supported by many local humanitarian organisations, employees of ETA Ascon are collecting essential relief supplies. According to an internal mailer issued by a department in the company, the employees are collecting used clothing, blankets, and bed sheets, to be sent to organisations involved in the relief operations in the affected areas.

The company’s staff have been urged to deposit clothes and other items in cartons placed in the Ascon House. For facilitating easy packing and dispatch the donated clothes, the deadline for which is January 3, 2005, are required to be clean and neatly pressed and folded.

The Pakistan Association Dubai will also send relief goods to the areas hit by the tsunami that has rocked 11 countries.

Shafi Samana, President of PAD said that the association plans to send clothes and medicines to the victims in Sri Lanka and Indonesia latest by January 15.

The Sri Lankan Consulate yesterday despatched a container load of foodstuff and tents to Sri lanka to help the Tsunami victims rendered homeless and distraught after the disaster. The relief aid poured in from its community members in Dubai and the Northern emirates, with more aid still being collectedfor despatch in the next 48 hours.

P.D Fernando, Sri Lankan Consul General in Dubai expressed his gratitude to the Sri lankan community and other communities in the emirate for acting immediately upon the mission’s request garnering relief aid for the victims in Sri Lanka.

He said eight collection centres all across the UAE have been set up.

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