Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Friday urged Malayalees in the US to contribute liberally to rebuild the flood-hit state and said he hoped Rs 150 crore would be raised from them.
Vijayan made the appeal at his first public function in New York early Friday after completion of his medical treatment.
The Chief Minister, who had left for the US for medical treatment at Mayo Clinic on September 2, is expected to be back in Kerala on September 24.
Addressing the gathering of Keralites, Vijayan said everyone should cooperate for revamping the state, which had last month witnessed the worst deluge of the century.
He said Keralites willing to contribute should become members of the global salary challenge, which envisages each participant contributing a month's salary for the state.
State finance minister Thomas Isaac will visit the US next month to collect the financial assistance, he said.
"Only through your cooperation can a new Kerala be built", he said, adding his government was expecting a contribution of Rs 150 crore from the Malayalees in the US.
At least 493 people had died in the rains and floods during the South West Monsoon.
Crowdfunding is among the routes the government is mulling to raise the resources to rebuild the state which has suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 40,000 crore.
The Union government had released Rs 600 crore to Kerala as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Rs 500 crore) and Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Rs 100 crore) during their visits to the state.
This was in addition to Rs 562.45 crore already made available in the State Disaster Relief Fund of Kerala....