Actor Prithviraj’s penchant for fancy cars and fancy numbers is no secret. He has been known to spend a good deal of money to secure the registration numbers he fancies for his luxury cars. The actor recently bought a Range Rover Vogue and as was his practice, decided to bid for a fancy number by registering at the Ernakulam RTO office. KL 07 CS 7777 was the number he had reserved but in a turn of events, the actor decided to forsake his bid and instead donate that money for the flood-affected people. RTO K. Manoj Kumar confirms, “Besides Prithviraj, there were two other people bidding for the fancy number, but then he messaged me saying that he was withdrawing from the bid and instead wanted to donate that money to the flood victims.”
The actor kept his promise and it was his brother Indrajith who, through his social media handle, let the world know that Prithviraj had donated the biggest consignment of flood relief materials to those affected in Wayanad through Indrajith’s voluntary organisation Anbodu Kochi. Even during the devastating floods last year, Prithviraj had donated relief supplies worth Rs 9 lakh.
Not only Prithviraj, Indrajith and his wife Poornima practically lived in the relief centre set up in Kochi in the past seven days ensuring that the relief materials reached the needy. The couple has been the drivers of Anbodu Kochi which played a major role in collecting flood relief supplies last year. This year too, the couple along with their army of volunteers has worked hard to ensure that they use their goodwill to arrange relief materials for the flood affected. Indrajith says, “Prithvi called me and informed that he wanted to donate one truckload of relief materials for those affected by the flood and asked me how to go about it. I found out what was needed in Wayanad through Deputy Director of Panchayat Timple Maggie, who is also an Anbodu Kochi member, and sent him a list of items which Prithvi ensured was bought and sent to our collection centre.” Indrajith informs that this was their single biggest consignment till now carried through truck No.26 to Thirunelli grama panchayat in Wayanad.
Keeping their fancy cars, branded clothes and glamorous avatars aside, Mollywood actors have been lifting sacks of rice, unloading relief supplies, helping the flood affected sometimes in driving rains, posting flood updates, donating supplies to relief camps and visiting camps. The entire Sukumaran family including Indrajith’s daughters has been actively involved in the activities at the relief camp. When we got in touch with Poornima, the actor was down with a throat infection, yet busy ensuring that the flow of relief materials, their loading and unloading and procurement of trucks remained unhampered as well as coordinating with volunteers. Though she had lost her voice, Poornima’s pride in her army of volunteers and her daughters Prarthana and Nakshatra was evident. “The volunteers did a great job and my daughters were also there. Prarthana did what she could in carrying things around and was very proactive. If she could, she would have even driven a truck. Nakshatra was involved in the food distribution and other such jobs.”
Indrajith says that the organisation has been working like a family ever since the Chennai floods. What started as an eight-member original group has now grown to incorporate a huge number of volunteers. Last year, the group sent across approximately 3750 tonnes of relief materials along with 100 tonnes for the Navy. “This year when the floods hit the state again, we grouped up and set a collection point at the Regional Sports Centre. Our first consignment went to Paravur and we were then advised to concentrate on the Malabar regions like Wayanad, Nilambur and Malappuram. Those are the areas where our trucks have travelled to this time along with two trucks to the Kuttanad area.” Indrajith informs that they used their personal connections to get trucks to transport relief materials and sent around 36 trucks to Wayanad. “The volunteers from last year were ready to chip in this time too and were on standby. Some came all the way from even Bengaluru to volunteer their time and efforts,” he says.
Indrajith states that he has been fortuitous to have been in Kochi at these trying times. He had just completed the shooting of the Rajeev Ravi film and was taking a break when the deluge happened the second time around in Kerala. Before winding up, Indrajith says, “Even if I had been shooting for a film, I would have asked for a break and come over to help with the relief operations because Anbodu Kochi is family to me!”