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Thousands of Indians volunteer for relief work in Iraq

J. K. Jain, a former MP, has launched an "Iraq Development Fund" jointly with Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind leader Maulana Mehmood Madani and invited contributions from the public to send relief teams and assistance Iraq.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2003 13:34 IST

An independent Indian relief organisation said on Thursday that "thousands" of volunteers were approaching it for going to Iraq to render relief services to the people hit by the war.

"We have names of thousands of people who want to go. They have sent their photographs and copies of passports for inclusion in the relief team," said J.K. Jain, a former MP who has launched the initiative jointly with Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind leader Maulana Mehmood Madani.

They have launched an "Iraq Development Fund" and invited contributions from the public to send relief teams and assistance to that country.

Jain, who is also chairman of JAIN Television Group, said it was impossible to send all those who had volunteered. "We will have to send smaller teams after ascertaining the ground conditions."

He said though initially it had been planned to send a planeload of relief teams and assistance directly to Iraq, it had now been revised after speaking to the Iraqi and other embassies.

"We now plan to send the relief team from New Delhi to Damascus, Syria, by air and from there by road to Iraq. We will of course see if the plane can land in Baghdad since it will be carrying relief teams and material. We are relief workers, not fighters," he added.

First Published: Apr 03, 2003 13:34 IST