Author Topic: Cyclone in Bangladesh  (Read 5193 times)

Offline toddg

  • Moderator
  • Mayor
  • *******
  • Posts: 4029
  • Lived here since: 2002
Cyclone in Bangladesh
« on: November 19, 2007, 11:58:35 AM »,0,7898725.story

Locals send help home to Bangladesh
By Kristen V. Brown | Special to amNewYork
November 19, 2007

Armed with scissors, tape, and a few yards of pink twine, the leaders of New York City's Bengali community yesterday turned the Alauddin Sweet Meat Restaurant in Jackson Heights into makeshift fundraising headquarters for cyclone victims in Bangladesh.

Members of the Bangladesh Society of New York and Bengali social-help group the Probashi Barisal Divisional Association covered the restaurant tables with fliers and banners encouraging help, taking to the streets of Jackson Heights to raise money for the people back home.

The death toll from the country's most devastating storm in a decade climbed to at least 2,300 yesterday and relief officials warned the figure could jump sharply as rescuers reach more isolated areas. Tropical Cyclone Sidr struck Thursday in southwest Bangladesh, rendering much of the country without phones or electricity.

"When we heard the government announce Sidr was a No. 10, we were thinking maybe Bangladesh is going to be finished," said Mamun Rashid, 35, joint secretary of the Probashi Barisal Divisional Association, about the highest-category cyclone. "Now our goal is to raise as much money as possible for the needy people there, which is basically the whole country."

Golam Mollick, 50, a journalist at the Weekly Bengalee, said he tried to reach his sister for several days, and only yesterday received a call from her.

"She said her house was OK, but her neighbors are fisherman and many lost their boats," he said, "I'm sending money this week."

Mollick says that because of flooding, his sister will not be able to operate her fishing business for weeks at least, costing her up to $3,000.

The Barasial Divisional Association and the Bangladesh Society of New York have paired up with state Sen. John Sabini (D-Jackson Heights) and Giash Ahmed, president of the American-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, to form a fundraising committee.

"We're just trying to get them money, fast, because the transportation costs of shipping food and supplies will outweigh the benefits," Sabini said. They join relief efforts from the Red Cross, International Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

Standing at the corner of 74th Street and 37th Avenue, holding a brown cardboard box with "donations" scrawled across it in black Sharpie, Rashid points out that every cent of the relief effort counts.

"One dollar can feed four people in Bangladesh," he said, urging New Yorkers to reach out and help.

Jackson Heights Life

Cyclone in Bangladesh
« on: November 19, 2007, 11:58:35 AM »