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Posted on Feb 03, 04:24PM | IANS
By Quaid Najmi, Nagpur, Feb 3 : Inspired by a media story, a group of young NRIs from the US have pooled their resources and sent a modest aid package to farmland widows and orphans of Vidarbha.
The group was inspired to act after reading an IANS story about a Parsi couple from Mumbai who had contributed Rs.1 million to farmers in Vidarbha experiencing distress as a result of crop failure.
The NRI group is led by Suresh Ediga, hailing from Hyderabad but settled in Metuchen, New Jersey for over a decade. "Suresh, along with like-minded NRI friends, have decided to adopt 10 widows and give them around USUSD 4,000 (Rs.200,000) to take care of their requirements," Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishore Tiwari told IANS.
Speaking to IANS from Metuchen, Ediga said that each of his 10 friends had decided to contribute Rs.20,000, which the VJAS will utilise to provide appropriate relief to 10 families in Vidarbha.
"We requested VJAS to provide us with a list of the 10 most needy widows, orphans or families. We have already sent the first instalment of Rs.80,000 and shall send the remaining amount shortly," Ediga said.
Ediga said that his friends and he were shocked to read about the plight of the Vidarbha farmers. He said that many people, including NRIs in the US, are unaware of the harsh conditions of life of widows and orphans in eastern Maharashtra.
"After getting the list from VJAS, I sent out an appeal to my friends on social networking sites and many of them responded enthusiastically. This is our humble contribution to the great work being done by activists like Kishore Tiwari," Suresh said, lauding the VJAS.