With fires still raging in parts of Australia the bushfire event is far from over but the generosity and support from the people continues to pour in. The Indian community recently got together to donate nearly $200,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal in a fundraiser organised by Luckee Kohli and Sanjoo Kohli of the Australian Strategy Group. Premier Daniel Andrews attended the event that was held in Mulgrave. “We are very grateful that the Premier could attend the event and the community had an opportunity to personally present him with the receipts,” said the host Luckee Kohli. “We must do things in a united fashion and keep helping our home state of Vitoria, our Premier Daniel Andrews and all the people in need, especially those affected by the devastating bushfire tragedy,” he said. The event was organised under short notice yet received overwhelming support from friends, family, businesses and community organisations. People dug deep to donate collectively or individually and the proceeds went directly to the Bushfire appeal. According to the Kohlis their aim is to try and fundraise a significantly substantial amount as the pledges and donations continue to come in. “Thank you to the diverse Indian community for coming together as proud Victorians to support those who are doing it very very tough,” said the Premier once everyone had the opportunity to hand him their receipts and pose for photographs.
The Sri Durga Temple alone donated $25,000 on behalf of Victoria’s Hindu community. The premier spoke about a series of common threads between the diverse groups within the Indian community. According to him family, friendship, hard work, the importance of education and the importance of looking after those who are less fortunate are common to all Indians Speaking on the aftermath of the bushfire tragedy, he said, “There are many people who have lost everything and it will take months, perhaps years for them to rebuild. We have never seen the fire season start so ferociously before. We already have a fire ground bigger than we have perhaps ever seen, certainly at this time, so early in the fire season. 1.3 hectares of land has been burnt out, hundreds of homes, thousands of cattle, fencing, shedding and tragically we have had three people lose their lives in the bushfires.”
“We send our love and best wishes to their families and best wishes to our staff, volunteers, emergency services and defence forces who are doing everything they can to save lives and property and get us through this very difficult time,” he said in his brief speech before rushing back to where the fires were still raging. He acknowledged the big bodies like the temples, gurudwaras, organisations and individuals for their donations. “I can’t believe how proud I am today,” said the Premier. “Victoria has the largest Indian community in our country and now there will be simply no doubt that Victoria has the best Indian community.”