India earthquake victims get helping hand from students

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A grassroots network of students have swung into action in response to the January 26th earthquake which devastated the Indian state of Gujarat. The group is currently raising funds from students at HLS. The money will go to the Disaster Mitigation Institute, a relief organization that is based in the area.

So far the group has raised over $600 by passing around envelopes in a few classes. The students will be collecting money at a table in the Hark through February 14th. In addition, they are organizing a fundraising lunch.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the quake near the Pakistani boarder had killed more than 30,000 people, injured 150,000, and made more than a million people homeless. The group said that the money would help victims by providing food, medical supplies and materials to aid the rebuilding process.

Sujata Barai ’03, Allen Wong ’03 and Sharmila Murthy ’03 have organized the effort, which was joined by members of SALSA and Direct Action. Barai explained, “Allen, Sharmila and I are friends, and we started talking about it when we saw each other at the start of last week and then just decided to start putting plans together.”

Along with others at the school, Barai has a personal connection to the region. “I’ve also spent a lot of time in Gujarat with my family over the years during summer and holiday vacations, so it’s a place that I know and love,” she said. “It’s hard to be so far away and feel able to do so little. Helping to raise money is the least that I can do.”

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