Kerala has battled one of the worst floods in 100 years. People have been stranded, houses have been demolished and hundreds have died. While the situation right now isn’t as bad as it was in the last few days, the problems are far from over. The calamity has left behind a residue of problems.
After the devastating floods that hit Kerala leaving 373 dead. Approximately a million displaced and estimated damages of Rs 21,000 crore,the United Arab Emirates’ offer aid to help the Kerala. The Union government has turned down the United Arab Emirates’ offer of aid. The UAE, a destination for millions of Malayali migrant workers, has pledged Rs 700 crore. It is more than 15% higher than the amount sanctioned by the Union government.
Not only UAE , many other Asian countries which include Qatar, the Maldives and Malaysia have also offered aid. And the decision will also apply to them.
The decision goes back to 2004, the policy instituted by the Manmohan Singh government. In 2004, aftermath of the tsunami that hit Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar islands. To decline aid in the event of a calamity if “we feel that we can cope with the situation on our own”. Since then, India has rejected foreign aid for the
- 2005 Kashmir earthquake
- 2013 Uttarakhand floods
- 2014 Kashmir floods.
The help from richer to poorer countries is a complex issue. The developing countries often rejects the offers as developing countries get richer. And the aid is too small to make a real difference. On the other hand, the Kerala flood is a strong reason for the exception for the policy. The scale of the calamity and damage due to the flood is large. And the size of the UAE’s assistance would be very useful. Well, the only reason to reject the offer could be due the national pride. Given that India now considers itself an economic power that offers aid instead of accepting it.
The decision of rejecting the offer from UAE, have led to outrage between the people suffering from the loss. Kerala finance minister Thomas Issac pointed out that the National Disaster Management Plan. It suggests that “if the national government of another country voluntarily offers assistance as a goodwill gesture in solidarity with the disaster victims. The central government may accept the offer”. He also went on to argue to the Union government and suggested to compensate Kerala for the rejected aid.
Also the reason for rejecting the offers from UAE could be because the Union Government has thinks it has the resources to handle the devastation caused by the floods. If that’s the case then this seems a fair proposal.
Kerala has suffered tremendously due to a natural calamity. And it should not have to suffer further because of a decision taken by the Union government.
To know the Kerala Floods Donations up till now and also for knowing how to donate click here.