11) ICRISAT disburses compensation to heirs of flood victims (September 2000)

On 11 September 2000, ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar disbursed the remaining compensation of Rs.2.75 lakhs on behalf of the Institute to the legal heirs of each of the five flood victims who lost their lives in a tragic accident that took place at ICRISAT on 23 August.

On 23 August, extraordinary rainfall and flash flooding had engulfed ICRISAT's campus near Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh. Five temporary farm laborers stranded by the floodwaters lost their lives during a rescue attempt. Three others were saved - rescued by an Air Force helicopter.

Just after the tragedy had struck, in order to support the families in their pain and tragic loss, ICRISAT had decided to provide each family with a sum of Rs.3 lakhs as financial assistance out of which an advance of Rs.25,000/- was paid immediately to assist them with their urgent expenses.

Today, the remaining compensation was disbursed in the form of saving passbooks, National Saving Certificates (NSC), and fixed deposit receipts. The mode of disbursement was decided according to the advice of Smt A Santhi Kumari, Collector and District Magistrate, Medak District, who had made a special effort to be present at this event.

Mr Govind Raj, Group Captain, Air Force Station, Begumpet, who had sent the rescue team and helicopter in response to ICRISAT's urgent request, was also present for this event, accompanied by some of his staff.

Presenting the compensation, ICRISAT Director General said, "Condolence messages have poured in from all over the world, especially from our sister institutes and ICRISAT staff who are working in our African locations."

After thanking all the people who had assisted during the crisis, Mr S Parthasarathy, ICRISAT Assistant Director General said, "No amount of money or words will ever compensate the loss of a loved one. However, the Institute hopes that this compensation will help the children of the victims to have a better future."

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.