(Our Bureau, June 11) Bahrain-based B Ravi Pillai, founder of the $7.8 billion RP Group, has announced that he will donate ₹15 crore ($2 million) towards Covid relief efforts in India. Of this, ₹5 crore ($684,000) will be handed over to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan for state-specific relief work and the rest will go to Covid-hit families, the Indian businessman said. Gulf News quoted Pillai, who has a net worth of $2.5 billion, as saying that the donation will also cover expatriate Keralites living in the UAE. The money will be used towards helping families facing financial crises due to the pandemic, medical expenses, wedding expenses, and also for financially strained widows.
“I understand that this is a period of profound crisis when one is expected to take care of the needy and the underprivileged. Hence, to me, easing their pain is of utmost importance,” he said.
Kerala-born Pillai, who received the Padma Shri in 2010, said that he wanted to give the entire relief amount before Onam in August. The RP Group has interests in construction, hospitality, steel, cement, and oil and gas industries; it also holds a stake in the Leela Hotel, Kovalam.
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