As the world comes together to provide some much-needed relief to earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria, UAE-based Indian entrepreneur Dr Shamsheer Vayalil has donated Rs 11 crore for the rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the two countries.
“The aid has been handed over to the Emirates Red Crescent, which is helping with relief efforts in the region. The fund will be used to support rescue efforts by providing medicine and other supplies, relocating those who have lost their homes, and rehabilitating victims and their families,” the VPS group said in a statement.
“This donation is part of our ongoing efforts to provide assistance to the relief work. My heart goes out to all affected by the devastating earthquake, and I hope this contribution will support their needs,” said Dr Shamsheer, the Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings.
Dr Vayalil and his Company had earlier also assisted communities during natural disasters through several notable initiatives.
In 2018, he sent a flight of medical supplies and protective gear to assist his home state, Kerala, in fighting the Nipah virus and during the floods that year.
He has also launched a rehabilitation and reconstruction project in which a flood-damaged primary health centre in the state was rebuilt as a model family health centre.
He also joined The Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and business magnate Warren Buffett to support good causes worldwide.
In 2020, in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when India struggled to increase the number of beds, Dr Vayalil, a radiologist by qualification, offered VPS Healthcare Group’s Medeor Hospital, a 500-bed facility in Manesar to the government for free to admit infected patients.
Under Operation Dost, India has been providing help to Turkey in the form of relief and rescue workers along with medical aid.
NDRF is working with local and international rescue workers to search for survivors and bodies through the rubble, while the Indian Army is operating a field hospital to treat the injured.
India sent emergency relief material, life-saving medicines, and equipment worth Rs 7 crore to Turkey and Syria following the massive earthquake last week.
The death toll in what is said to be the worst earthquake in Turkey in a century has reached 37,000. The United Nations, meanwhile, has said that the toll in the region is likely to cross 50,000.
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