Kerala Floods 2018 – Sydney still Rising and Restoring

By Sudha Kumar

The monsoon season of 2018 was one that would be remembered by Keralites for a long time.

For all the wrong seasons. Kerala came to a standstill when the skies opened, her rivers ran rogue, the Earth moved, and a million human beings are left with nothing more than the clothes on their back. A calamity of unprecedented scale where more than 350 people died, more than a million people rendered homeless. The country and the Indian diaspora rose and offered every kind of help.

Sydney Malayali Association (Sydmal) has been phenomenal in planning and organising help response to this natural calamity.  Sydmal organised an awareness campaign which brought together a broad range of Indian community organisations to show solidarity towards the Kerala floods and the NSW droughts. More than 250 well-wishers and community members joined the event including local and State government representatives. Sydmal collected AUD 30,000 from its members and well-wishers. The collected funds were transferred to Kerala Chief Minister’s (State Premier’s) Disaster Relief Fund.

A second event was organised on 1st October 2018, at Bowman Hall, Blacktown with the support of Blacktown council. According to Sydmal more than 700 well-wishers joined the event, including community leaders. About AUD 20,000 were collected.  A part of the funds raised were donated to the flood affected victims of Koorg, India. The rest of it is to be used for upcoming major restoration projects. In continuing with the restoration efforts in Kerala, Sydmal has adopted two major projects – funding for rebuilding of six homes in Kerala, and restoration of drinking water infrastructure also in Kerala. Sydmal will liaise with relevant organisations on site, to oversee the governance of the project and will provide status updates.

In order to realise this Sydmal has organised a third event – A Multicultural Carnival on April 27, 2019 at the Whitlam Centre, Liverpool. The carnival is planned to start at 12.00 noon and conclude by 9.00PM. People from all backgrounds and cultures are expected to attend this function. There are outdoor and indoor activities organised.

Outdoor activities (12 noon-4.30pm) will provide a family friendly environment with a variety of attractions. There will be kids rides, games, Multicultural stage shows, food stalls, exhibition, raffles, auction, etc.  The indoor activities (5pm ”“ 9pm) will provide a cultural audio visual feast with a variety of stage performances. It’s a great opportunity for communities to come together in celebration and for a good cause.

As is the case in natural calamities, the immediate and initial response in offers of help and effort is always overwhelming. The challenge is in sustaining it over a period of time and realising effective restoration. In the case of the 2018 Kerala floods, eight months on, the Sydney Malayalee Association has sustained its efforts in persevering to do its best to restore the homes and lives of the affected.

This would not have been possible without the commitment and efforts of many in organising and networking, and many more with generous hearts who dig deep into their pockets for a good cause. Sydney Malayalee Association thanks each and every person who has been a part of this restoration initiative and continues to seek your support.

Any queries regarding any aspect of the events may be clarified by contacting executive members of the ”˜Sydney Malayalee Association Inc.’ –

Short URL: