Chennai is reeling; a mega metropolis has been brought to his knees by incessant rainfall which has broken many records. And the attack has been two pronged- November 16th and 17th saw nature in all its fury with 70,000 people transferred to relief camps across Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. Rains continued and then 30th November happened- 345 mm of rain, which is highest ever for a single day in the last 114 years.
Till date, more than 270 people have lost their lives while lakhs of people are still trapped in their houses with countless others in relief camps across the state.
To describe the situation as calamitous would be an understatement. All our unsung heroes have jumped into massive rescue operations- various units of the Army, the Air Force, local administrative bodies, corporate, concerned citizens- everybody are doing their bit. The PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund) has been activated.
For a city like Chennai, which has spent countless years lamenting water scarcity, the last month has been ironic. As relief measures carry on amidst the continuing rains, we see a State and city gasping for survival.
Friends, I appeal to you. In the face of every natural calamity, our film industry has always come together and strived to do its bit for our fellow countrymen. Here too, there have been instances in the last few days where we have seen our actors on the streets of Chennai trying to help, we saw examples of some cinema halls opening their gates and providing shelters to the homeless, all laudable initiatives.
But we have to strive to do so much more. It is my fervent hope that we can contribute in a significant way to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund by pledging one day’s theatrical collections from all across for this cause.
Such an initiative is impossible without your active support. I urge you to set the wheels in motion in your region so that collectively, we can make this contribution as soon as possible.
J. P. Chowksey