Natives of India Sending Support from Savannah

The India Association of Savannah met to discuss relief efforts.
The India Association of Savannah met to discuss relief efforts.

People right here at home are trying to help with relief efforts for the Tsunami that's ravaged Southeast Asia.

The India Association of Savannah is taking donations already, and they've got two different benefit dinners coming up soon as well.

But for the moment, they're just breathing a sigh of relief that their families survived the tsunami.

For several people around Savannah, news of the Tsunami made for a few frantic hours at first.

"It was tough getting through to India," explains Lakshmi Subramaniam. "It kept saying 'all circuits are busy.' I tried for about three hours and I finally got through and talked to my mom and dad and they said everything was fine."

Once she knew her family was safe, Subramaniam and other members of the India Association of Savannah got to work.

"We had to do it as fast as possible," says Sekhar Anumolu. "Because the money and help has to reach India and other countries immediately."

Subramaniam says, "within a few hours we started thinking about how we could help, of course. We were thinking along the lines of clothes and food and material things. Immediately, everyone said that's not a good idea because money is probably the best way to take it on."

For the moment, they're only taking donations. But Tuesday night, they got together to start planning on something a little more concrete.

They're hoping to get a good amount of money with a benefit dinner next weekend, followed later this Spring with a full-on banquet.

The association isn't quite sure yet what agency they'll funnel the money through, but they'll likely use the Indian Embassy up in Washington DC, UNICEF or the International Red Cross.

If you'd like to make a donation, send a check payable to the "India Association of Savannah" to:

1 Mad Anthony Lane, Savannah, GA 31411

Make sure you include a note designating that the money's going to disaster relief for India and Sri Lanka.

The chicken curry and rice dinner will be Saturday, January 8, at 1121 Cornell Avenue in Savannah, from 11am until 5pm.

For more information, call Lakshmi Subramaniam at (912) 598-0689 or Dr. Manoj Dass at (912) 355-4987.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,