South Asian American communities react to the quake

In response to the devastating Tsunamis that assaulted the coastal regions of South and South East Asia, South Asian Americans are trying to get past the worry and grief and move on to the task of getting aid to the victims. From

“Nothing happened to my family, thank God,” said Balija, who is president of the Hindu American Temple & Cultural Center in Morganville [NJ]. “A lot of fishermen live near the sea . … They don’t even know what they lost. It’s unbelievable. It’s very devastating.”

Balija said members of his temple would meet to determine what resources should be sent to victims. Meanwhile, other organizations were beginning to organize their rescue efforts yesterday.

“We are very much concerned and sorry about this,” said Pradip “Peter” Kothari, president of the Indian Business Association and Indo-American Cultural Society in New Jersey. “We have to talk to the different organizations and temples and figure out what is the best way to react.”

The San Jose Mercury News also reports [reg. required] on the beginnings of an aid effort:

[Lata] Patil, active with the Indian Community Center in Milpitas [CA], said she also planned on contacting other community members to begin coordinating aid. Others were trying to reach relief organizations such as the Red Cross to help.

White House officials said relief efforts were already under way to help people in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, a string of 1,192 coral atolls off the southwestern coast of India. Other countries would also receive aid as the extent of the disaster becomes clear, officials said. President Bush expressed his condolences Sunday to disaster victims.

“We’re working on ways to help,” said U.S. State Department official Noel Clay. “The United States will be very responsive.”

If you would like to help, a good place to start is to visit the Red Cross Website:

You can help those affected by this crisis and countless others around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance, and other support to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

In addition, here is a link to the website of the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington, which is collecting donations. Sri Lanka was reportedly the hardest hit area.

Update: Manish and others inform me of this EXCELLENT blog that has popped up specifically to address this crisis.

7 thoughts on “South Asian American communities react to the quake

  1. Thanks so much Abhi for the links to websites collecting funds to help victims, I was searching online for websites collecting money. thank u.

  2. I do not recommend the Red Cross. They delay the money giving process and are not very efficient

    Go look at the list of charites analysed by forbes

    I would recommend to use, they recommend basically a 100% of the donated value of funds (very little overhead..)

    see also here for more info

  3. Tsunami Relief and the Bush Inauguration

    Happy New Year 2005! While we’re lucky to have another year of opportunity, not all are so blessed. Right now, the world is suffering from the crushing devastation and loss of the December 2004 tsunami/quake disaster. Rather than party on New Year’s Eve, many held vigils to symbolize human solidarity in a painful time. Here, far from the destruction, many of us have made donations. Thankfully, the US government has now realized American aid must be increased dramatically. But, if the Bush Administration truly wants to reach out, it should step up and cancel the January 20th Presidential Inaugural festivities – which will cost over $40,000,000 plus millions more in public money for unprecedented security– and instead donate those funds to tsunami relief efforts. Such a powerful symbolic gesture would send the right message about compassion and leadership. If you agree, tell President Bush, Trent Lott, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and members (Bill Frist, , Christopher Dodd,,Dennis Hastert,, Tom DeLay and Nancy Pelosi,, and the Presidential Inaugural Committee,, 202-863-2005 or 202-314-2600 and spread the word by forwarding this message. Peace and Hope 2005!