BAY AREA FIRMS COME TO THE RESCUE OF NEPAL QUAKE VICTIMS
Less than three weeks after a major earthquake hit Nepal, the Himalayan kingdom was hit by another major quake yesterday. Tuesday’s quake of 7.3 magnitude struck close to Mount Everest. The quake sparked off a series of aftershocks, further hurting rescue and relief efforts.
Search and rescue teams which were preparing to leave the country are digging through the mess to find survivors and help them. Several international communities and nations continue to fund Nepal’s relief efforts, including our very own Silicon Valley business enterprises.
Sunnyvale-based Sangeetha Restaurant will contribute $1 from its every order (including breakfast, lunch and dinner) for the entire month of May towards quake relief.
Pradeep Paniyadi, Director of Sangeetha Restaurants USA explains further, “We have opened our regular menu towards the campaign. We feel monetary contribution is the best form of help since the rescue agencies are aware of the ground reality and can use the funds wisely.”
Leading Northern California-based medical organisation Sutter Health has donated $500,000 to help bring food, water and medical services to the thousands of families impacted in Nepal. According to a Sutter Health Spokesperson, “Devastating events such as this compel us to look beyond our local Northern California communities to the overwhelming needs of our global community. We hope our donation brings comfort and relief to those who need it the most."
Not too far behind, social media giant Facebook is encouraging its users to donate towards the quake relief efforts. Facebook is giving users the option to directly donate to International Medical Corps (IMC) through its networking app. IMC is involved in providing quality medical relief to the regions hit hardest by the quake. According to a Facebook statement, “Facebook will match every dollar donated up to $2 mn. Facebook’s matching funds will be distributed to local relief and rescue organizations working to provide immediate and ongoing relief.”
And that’s not all. Silicon Valley software major Microsoft is offering free Skype calls till the end of this month from Nepal to landlines and mobiles worldwide. Additionally it has pledged $ 1 mn in donations towards quake rescue efforts.
While earthquakes are no doubt a natural disaster, we need to remember that nature has its limits and earth’s resources are rapidly shrinking. Various scientific studies have linked global warming to high occurrence of earthquakes. Keeping this in mind, certain Bay Area firms are adopting the principle of ‘Sustainable Living.’ One such practitioner is the family-run Sangeetha Restaurant, Sunnyvale.
As the tagline sums it all, “Simple Sustainable South Indian” the restaurant believes in going back to basics. As Paniyadi puts it, “Except for peas we do not use any frozen vegetables. All the vegetables are hand-cut by staff members daily and even fresh coconuts are grated daily.” Sangeetha works with a local farm to procure special vegetables on a weekly basis and in turn the farm uses the eatery’s coconut shells for farming. Keeping with the environment-friendly theme, the restaurant offers recyclable or compostable containers for take-outs. To minimize waste, the restaurant’s vegetable waste is processed separately in a special compost bin.
Paniyadi himself is a firm believer of backyard farming and has grown vegetables in the backyard of his house. However the ongoing drought plaguing California has made him go slow on the farming.
“Giving Back” is not restricted to society alone, we need to learn to “give back” to the environment as well in order to preserve humanity and all of the natural abundance that surrounds us.
While we cannot prevent earthquakes from occurring, we can most definitely take steps to decelerate the adverse man-made changes, that are effecting our globe. It is almost imperative that we all do our bit for Mother Nature. After all, nature’s fury is not a kind one.
(News Desk : Neha Raghunath and Kavita S)