oppn parties Kerala Floods: There Is No Shame In Accepting Relief Money

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Kerala Floods: There Is No Shame In Accepting Relief Money

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2018-08-22 21:52:51

When there were devastating floods in Uttarakhand in 2013, several foreign governments had offered monetary help to India for relief and rehabilitation work. The UPA government had declined the offers. Now, when Kerala is reeling under severe floods, help has again been offered by foreign governments, chief among them being the Rs 700cr offer by UAE, a country where most Keralites go as migrant labour. This time, the NDA government has declined the offers with thanks, choosing to follow the UPA example.

But is accepting foreign help for natural calamity a bad thing? Especially when this help is offered voluntarily without any solicitation or appeal and with no conditions attached? Will accepting the amounts offered show India in poor light? Will it prove that India is not capable of looking after its citizens on its own? One thinks that the answer to all the above questions should be a resounding no. India has itself offered all kinds of help to nations in distress by providing money, materials including food and medicine and expertise in evacuation and rebulilding. Nations across the world have accepted India’s help when the need arose. Then why is India being churlish in accepting help offered by others?

One thinks that the UAE and other offers should be accepted to augment the relief fund for bringing Kerala back on its feet. The process is going to be long and slow and will require a lot of money – several estimates have pegged the figure at over Rs 20000cr. The UAE offer of Rs 700cr might seem small compared to the overall required figure but it will go a long way in bolstering the fund. It will also be reassuring for Keralites who work in that country to know that their adopted home helped in rebuilding their original home in the time of crisis. There is no loss of face in accepting charity during such times.