The owners of an Indian restaurant in New Ross whose family was caught up in the floods in Kerala, India, raised €1,700 (20,000 rupees) for an emergency relief fund by cooking hundreds of dinners at their Irishtown restaurant.
Ammu and Shijo were so moved by the plight of millions of their fellow Keralans that they organised the Indian community in the region to help in any way they could to raise money.
This involved everything from helping by chopping vegetables and cooking, to distributing the chicken biryani curries to homes, at €5 a dish. It is estimated that almost seven million people have been accommodated in various shelter camps. Ammu said her mother's house was flooded. 'There was water up to her chest. I know an Indian man in New Ross who lost contact with his parents for days which was very frightening. We spent €250 providing essentials to 46 families and will be helping a lot more families with bedding, medicines etc. €1,700 is a huge amount of money in Inidan rupees so we want to thank everyone who donated and who supported us.'
35 out of 54 dams within the state of Kerala had to be opened for the first time in history due to rising flood waters, causing damage to hundreds of thousands of homes. Ammu, from Kottayam, who works at Goatsbridge Trout Farm in County Kilkenny, thanked her employer for donating the proceeds from her book, Fishwives, to the cause, adding that the book is for sale at the Holy Grail.