Soma Devi, a resident of Panthaghati on the suburbs of the Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla, came all through to meet Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu to present him a cheque for Rs 61,000, her one month pension, as a contribution towards the Chief Minister’s relief fund to help disaster-hit people.
Likewise, Avni Singh donated Rs 51,000 on her 15th birthday towards the relief fund named Aapada Raahat Kosh.
Thousands of people have come forward to lend help to the affected. As a result, a contribution of more than Rs 163 crore has been received in the Aapada Raahat Kosh — 2023, a government statement said on Sunday.
This shows the gesture of a common Himachali extending support voluntarily to the sufferers of the natural calamity that ravaged the state, and help government to make Himachal stand again.
The monsoon fury during the last two months caused severe devastation triggering flash floods and landslides, causing massive damage to both the public and the private property. Over 330 people lost their lives, besides livestock.
To comfort the people, many individuals and organisations have come forward to help the traumatised — directly or indirectly.
The monsoon, the deadliest in 50 years, has caused huge damage to road infrastructure, water supply schemes and buildings — private and public property. The state not only took measures to rescue the stranded people amidst flashfloods but also adopted concrete steps to compensate for the losses.
With a little aid from the central government, the Chief Minister dwelt upon an idea to constitute Aapada Raahat Kosh and appealed to everyone to donate generously towards it. Since then, the contributions from all the sections of society have started pouring in.
Prominent Shaktipeeths located in the state also contributed towards the noble cause. Mata Shree Chintpurni Trust donated Rs 2 crore, Shree Jawalamukhi Temple Trust Rs 5 crore, besides Tara Devi Temple Trust, Sankat Mochan and other temple trusts have also contributed towards it.
Various social organisations, government and non-government organisations, educational and other institutions, local bodies have also contributed for the relief fund.
Also, contributions have been made on behalf of various state governments, including Rajasthan donated Rs 15 crore, Karnataka Rs 15 crore, Chhattisgarh Rs 11 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 10 crore and Haryana Rs 5 crore.
The Chief Minister, his cabinet colleagues and Chief Parliamentary Secretaries, including legsilators, have provided their one month’s salary for the relief fund.
Employees have provided their one-day’s salary as well.
To help those in distress, online donations can be made through Aapada Raahat Kosh 2023 portal. The portal also accepts online contributions through net banking, all major credit and debit cards.
One can deposit his contribution through UPI IDs and QR codes and by cheque or demand draft drawn in favour of Aapada Raahat Kosh 2023.
The Chief Minister while thanking all donors for their support said this contribution would go a long way in helping the affected in this hour of distress.
He expressed confidence that with coordinated efforts, Himachal would once again emerge from this calamity.