In response to the flooding in Kerala, this year’s Goal-A-Thon charity money will go to fund the Emmanuel Health Association’s work in the affected region.
Students learned about the initiative at the Friday, Aug. 24, assembly during which Dr. George Clarence, a doctor at Landour Community Hospital, a part of the Emmanuel Hospital Association, spoke about the disaster and how it was affecting the nation.
Afterwards, the STUCO presidents held back team captains to inform them about a new policy concerning fundraising at Goal-A-Thon.
Khushi Agrawal and Kritin Garg, Class of 2019, announced that teams had to raise a minimum of 3,000 rupees each to participate in the event. Teams are not allowed to participate if sufficient money is not collected, Garg said.
The co-presidents said that the idea is to return Goal-A-Thon to its original purpose; fundraising for a cause.
The frivolity towards the fundraising in Goal-A-Thon was perfectly illustrated last year, with the loss of several sponsor sheets by Cuddle Crew, last year’s winners of the boys’ pool.
“Can you imagine how much money that would have been?” Garg asked.
This year’s cause is to help out people in Kerala, many of whom have been displaced, injured, and stripped of their belongings.
The New York Times reported that there have been nearly 220,000 displaced and at least 324 people killed. It has been the heaviest rainfall since the 1920s. The floodwaters have submerged houses, knocked out the electricity, as well as closed down the main international airport in Kerala at Kochi until Aug. 26, due to the flooded runway.
Although troops from the Indian Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and local fishermen have led many to the safety of relief camps, people’s property and their livelihoods have suffered irrevocable damage. Livestock and farmland in 14 districts in Kerala have been completely obliterated, with destruction of crops alone amounting up to 10.7 billion rupees in damages.
In response to this, Dr. Clarence called out for the students to imagine what it would feel like “to walk into [their] dorm room and find absolutely nothing over there. The kind of shock that [they] would go through.”
This is how he described the current situation for the people of Kerala and what they face when they manage to get back home from the relief camps.
He said, “They’ve managed to get back to their houses just to see what’s happening, and it’s a complete disaster. There’s word that even a ‘pin, a safety pin, cannot be salvaged from the houses.’”
Furthermore, he explained that with a team of medical experts, he is going to Kerala in the last week of August to try to help “stabilize [the] community” and to “help with resettlement” in physical, psychological, and social aspects.
Alongside his own efforts, he asked the student body to be engaged through their “thoughts and prayers,” and to “sensitize both [themselves] and others about this situation.” He also humbly requested their “support in terms of donations.” which has resulted in the required 3,000 rupees flat per team to participate in Goal-A-Thon.
The presidents made it clear that if by Wednesday teams do not have their funds typed up on a Google Spreadsheet, which would be shared, they would be prohibited from playing on Thursday. And if they fail to submit their funds by Thursday, they would be eliminated completely from the tournament.
For this year, Agrawal explained that they were aiming for about 5,000 rupees per team on average. And as there are 28 teams, they are hoping to raise up to 200,000 rupees.
“And knowing where the money is going, it should make students want to sponsor more,” Agrawal said.
Edited by Rohan Menezes