Kutchi associations raise Rs 2 crore for the flood-affected in Sangli region
Now, Sangli businessmen ask for interest-free loans as a helping hand instead of donations or aid
Harish Lalan, a Sangli-based businessman whose business has taken a hit due to floods, but whose self-confidence is intact, said, "We do not want any sympathy, nor any government aid. All we want is loan without interest, which we will repay in couple of years as we have faith in our potential." In order to support and bring the flood-affected in Sangli back to normalcy, three pillar institutions of the Kutchi community, Kutchi Visa Oswal Deravasi Mahajan, Kutchi Visa Oswal Sthankvasi Mahajan and Kutchi Visa Oswal Seva Samaj, have come together to provide aid in the best possible manner. In an incredibly short period, they have raised R2 crore for the cause.
Sangli was badly battered during the recent floods. After eight days of taking shelter in other units, people are now returning home, with fear in their eyes and worry on their minds about the expenses they will have to bear. Despite such dire straits, they are not asking for donations, but interest-free loans, which will help them get back on their feet.
Lalan is president of the Kutchi chapter in Sangli and said, "In such a situation as well, we are all together and taking care of each other. The flood was so sudden that we could not even protect our houses, shops and other essentials. We were completely unprepared. We thought there would be two feet water, but in reality, it turned out to be 15 feet. Since August 5, we have worked towards vacating homes and rescuing people and mobilising to save as much as we can. We have received many calls offering food, medicines and other aid, but we all demanded working capital loans to restart our businesses. We offer a three-to-five-year assurance that we will repay them."
Mumbai-based Ashok Chedda, who is secretary of the association, said, "We are in touch with two Sangli-based community associations. They are providing us with a detailed ground report of the area and the condition, including the tentative money needed. The amount we are hearing is roughly R10 crore. Based on the final report, money will be raised. Apart from it, on Monday, a team of doctors, architects, structural engineers and counsellors will be visiting these areas to form an expert opinion." He further added, "Most of them are small-time businessmen. Usually, their savings are transformed into liquid assets in the form of their goods in the shop. Members of our community are good at repaying loans, and most of their names and reputation are good."
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