Johannesburg, Jul 8: Indian community in South Africa has launched a fund raising drive to contribute to the relief efforts in flood-hit Uttarakhand.
Local welfare organisation 'Atmadaan' and the 'Johannesburg Yuvak Mandal' have launched a collection drive already, while the BAPS Charities organisation is on the verge of launching a national relief fund.
"We are appealing to South Africans to open their hearts and wallets, as they have done in the past with relief efforts for earthquake and tsunami victims in India," said Atmadaan spokesman Ishwarlal Govan.
Indian High Commissioner to South Africa, Virendra Gupta, has lauded the efforts of local organisations in raising relief funds for the victims of the floods that devastating killed thousands of people.
India is grateful for the contributions by South Africans, both with the empathy shown and the material assistance, Gupta said at an event at the Indian Cultural Centre here yesterday.
"The exact extent of the loss will never be known. Many thousands have been simply lost without being able to account for them. But the magnitude of the loss is not in numbers. It is in the trail of tragedy which has been left behind, with huge devastation which will take several months if not years for reconstruction," Gupta said.
Gupta said all funds raised in South Africa will be sent to either the Prime Minister's Relief Fund or to any other organisation which can channel it into the relief efforts.