Volume 94, Issue 73

Thursday, February 1, 2001


Presidential candidates meet the USC

London joins hands for India relief

Fundraisers only $100 million away

By-law violation verdict postponed


Experience puts Morgan ahead

Planet Me

London joins hands for India relief

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Writer

Along with other communities around the world, London is pulling together relief resources to send overseas to victims of the recent earthquake which shook the Western state of Gujrat in India.

Several Western professors, including Bhadresh Surti, have taken it upon themselves to raise money in an "India Relief Fund," payable to the Canadian Red Cross.

Surti, an associate professor of psychiatry who works at the London Psychiatric Centre, said his entire family resides in the shaken state of Gujrat. While his family is currently safe, he said future psychological problems in the form of post-traumatic stress could result among earthquake survivors. Residents in India are also told a second earthquake may possibly occur, he said.

"People cannot go to their homes. [They] have to sleep in the streets, in the open," Surti said. "They are living in terror."

Steven Morris, from the Canadian International Development Agency, said Canada is not sending any actual materials to India, but rather monetary funds.

"Canada is providing funds for various [non-governmental organizations]," he said.

Similarly, Bettina Weber, manager of the London and Middlesex branch of the Canadian Red Cross, said the branch is accepting cash donations.

According to Weber, the London office has raised $2,185 so far, mainly from individual donations, but local businesses are starting to inquire about how they can help.

Weber said the funds brought into the Red Cross will be put towards a field hospital and water sanitation equipment in India. The money will also go towards medical supplies and assistance, blankets and temporary shelter, she said.

"It is very, very important to reach anybody and everybody," said Kallol Mukherjee, a professor in Western's department of pathology. He said he has requested that Information Technology Services send out a mass e-mail soliciting relief donations from all Western staff and students as soon as possible.

But according to Bill Genn, assistant director of ITS, this type of bulk e-mail goes against established policies and ITS has not yet made a decision yet on Mukherjee's request.

Morris said India will be in need of relief for weeks to come. "In a couple of weeks they will need [financial] help with reconstruction," Morris said.

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