Indian peace activists collect Rs 30,000 for Pak flood victims | world | Hindustan Times
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Indian peace activists collect Rs 30,000 for Pak flood victims

world Updated: Aug 16, 2010 11:48 IST

A delegation of Indian peace activists contributed Rs 30,000 for the victims of the worst floods in Pakistan's history after collecting donations on the roads of this eastern city.

The team of activists, comprising Sandeep Pandey, Mazhar Hussain, Feroz Mothiawala, Zaid Ahmad, Monica Wahi, Rajeshwar Ojha, Feroz Hudda and others, contributed the sum to the Labour Flood Relief Fund.

The amount included their own donations and funds collected from motorists and pedestrians on the famous Mall Road in Lahore on Sunday.

The activists are part of a "Peace Caravan to Pakistan" that started its march from Mumbai as part of an initiative by civil society groups of Pakistan and India.

The unprecedented floods in Pakistan have killed over 1,700 people and affected 20 million. The deluge has also destroyed crops worth over USD 1 billion and 700,000 houses.

Most members of Peace Caravan from the Pakistani side, who started from Karachi, had to abandon their journey because of the floods.

Some of them reached Lahore and crossed over to Indian side on August 13 to go to Amritsar.

"Participants of the Peace Caravan from both sides gathered at the Wagah border to proceed to the Mall Road to show solidarity with flood victims and to collect funds for their relief," Labour Party spokesman Farooq Tariq said.

In a related development, the president of the Indian chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association, Vinod Sharma has urged the Indian government and NGOs to donate as much as they can for the flood victims in Pakistan.

He said India's offer of aid worth $ five million was "not sufficient".

"Funds worth five million dollars are not sufficient for the noble cause but I hope that the Indian government and the NGOs there will come forward and contribute maximum funds according to the requirements," Sharma told a news conference at the SAFMA office in Lahore on Sunday.

Satish Jacob, secretary general of SAFMA's India chapter, and SAFMA's Pakistan chapter's secretary general Imtiaz Alam were present on the occasion.

Sharma said the floods have caused severe devastation in Pakistan and the neighbouring countries should work together to overcome this crisis. He said the time has come to extend maximum support to flood victims as the natural catastrophe had affected millions of people.

"We have appealed to the Indian government to extend Pakistan maximum support for the people trapped in flood-hit areas because the two countries are neighbours and they should always help each other in testing times," he said.

He urged the governments of both countries to enhance trade and business and to minimise visa restrictions so that people could benefit.

Jacob said SAFMA has asked Indian NGOs to collect maximum funds from philanthropists and industrialists and submit them to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi.