Stonehaven restaurant owner Raj Hamid has launched a fundraising appeal as his Bangladesh homeland recovers from devastating floods.
The Aberdeenshire businessman’s uncle has died in the crisis while his 100-year-old father comes to terms with the worst natural disaster in his lifetime.
The UN estimates about 470,000 people in the worst-affected parts of Bangladesh have been taken to the 1,600 shelter centres that have been established.
It is estimated as many as 7million people across the country have been affected by the heavy monsoon rains that have swept away entire communities, inundated farmland and caused widespread power cuts.
‘This is my disaster, this is for where I was born’
The devastation in his Bangladesh homeland has motivated Mr Hamid, who owns the Carron to Mumbai restaurant in Stonehaven, to help.
During the Covid pandemic his business stepped up to provide hundreds of meals to NHS workers, care homes and other local facilities struggling to cope with the pressures and isolation.
Now Mr Hamid is turning to the community to help raise money to aid the unfolding humanitarian crisis in his homeland.
He said: “We did a lot of work during Covid to help the community and we raised money to help the situation in Ukraine, but this is my disaster, this is for my people where I was born.
“We can’t go to sleep at the moment knowing what is happening – there is no dry food, there is no sanitation, they can’t even bury the bodies of people who have died because water is everywhere.
“My uncle died and we didn’t think we would be able to bury him, but thankfully we were able to make some arrangements.
“It’s a disaster. The first floor is gone on my family house, and it is on a hill. There are some three-storey buildings completely covered.
“It’s awful, and it’s not heard by many people here.”
Fundraising events to help Bangladesh flood victims
Mr Hamid has launched a fundraising campaign in Stonehaven with the aim of being able to send £15,000 to support the relief efforts.
Leaflets have been printed to distribute in the Aberdeenshire town.
Within 30 minutes of going door-to-door this week generous households had already donated £250 to the cause.
Meanwhile, cash from takeaway meals ordered from the restaurant will be put towards the total.
And a three-course charity dinner is being organised for Thursday, July 28 to contribute.
Mr Hamid said: “We have had floods in Bangladesh before, but nothing like this. My father saw the floods in 1973, the cyclone in 1993 and the 2004 floods – he’s 100 years old and has never seen anything like it.
“About 97% of the population of my home district has been displaced. I have to do everything I can to help.”
Donations can be made to support the Carron to Mumbai in Stonehaven fund to support Bangladesh flood victims online HERE