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ISSA to target students in final phase of fund-raiser

Feb. 14, 2001

Campus group has a goal of $5,000 for earthquake relief



India is still chaotic since a major earthquake devastated the western province of Gujarat on Jan. 26. Besides the physical damages, more than 17,000 deaths have been counted, and the final estimates could be as high as 30,000.

The Indian Subcontinent Student Association, whose members sympathize with the victims of the disaster, is mobilizing to raise funds.

'They need more help than ever,' said Roma Shah, a Carrollton senior and president of the ISSA.

So far, the association has raised more than $2,600 from Baylor professors and faculty members after mailing out 2,000 envelopes.

This week, they will try to reach students and persuade them to give money.

'For now, we'll try to show a video at Chapel,' Shah said.

Videos shot by ABC headlines and a religious group in India will mainly show the damage to the region. The video also shows people on the street fighting for food as a way to sensitize students to the Indian cause.

Donation boxes will be put around the campus this week. Shah expressed the hope to gather at least an additional $2,000 so that they will be able to send between $4,000-$5,000 to India.

The first collection of money will be sent to the Lions Club in India by the end of the week. The money will most likely be used to alleviate shortages of water, food and clothes.

'Keep collecting money is the easiest thing we can do,' Shah said. 'Transportation to India is very expensive, and the planes carrying things for free to India are all full.'

Just after the earthquake, some Baylor students with relatives and friends in India could not get in touch with them because the telephone lines were down. The lines have since been fixed.

According to Shah, no students at Baylor declared the death of a member of their family as a result of the quake.

At this time, the conditions in India are more dangerous than ever. Hundreds of thousands of homeless people are now trying to survive under cold weather conditions. Aid agencies are working with Indian officials to provide accommodations to the people. A risk of a massive emigration is threatening the authorities if they do not find a place for the people to live.

On Sunday, India experienced a 4.7 magnitude earthquake followed by nine tremors. No deaths have been reported.