Kerala Floods
People can pledge their services and donate the fee, which will be remitted by their clients to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

Kerala has been affected by floods for the second year in a row, and relief and rehabilitation measures are the need of the hour to get people’s lives back on track. 

To this end, the Kerala Designers Collaborative — a collective of designers, illustrators and graphic artists from Kerala, have started ‘Skill for Kerala’, an initiative where designers and other creative artists can pledge a specific number of hours for a certain service and donate the fee. Clients can remit the payment directly to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund and send the certificate of acknowledgement to the person who rendered the services. 

However, pledging one’s services and time isn’t limited to design alone, but anything sellable — including conducting workshops, writing articles etc., things that require designing a solution also fall under this ambit. Services people have offered include photography, wedding invites and logos, UI/UX design, calligraphy, website development and so on. The website lists the name of the person, the number of hours pledged, the services they offer, how much they charge for each hour, a link to their portfolio and contact information. Clients can peruse the page and contact the artist directly. 

At the time of writing, 168 people had pledged 3,646 hours of work.

Speaking to TNM, Hiran Venugopal, one of the people behind the website, said that they are now building a list of people who require these services and will be willing to pay for the same. 

“We are creating another list which will contain a list of those with demands. It might come in a week or two because we need to build the website. I, as a designer, am willing to do graphic design or branding, and I’ve pledged 40 hours,” he says. 

The Kerala Designers Collaborative began in 2016 as a collective of designers from Kerala for online and offline collaboration and included Anoop Sethumadhavan, Sooraj Chandran, Asim KT, Indrajith, Melvin Thampi, Stephen Thomas, Riyaz Usman and Hiran Venugopalan. In just three years, the Facebook group has swelled to over 3,000 members.

The Skill For Kerala initiative can be found here.

Kerala’s death toll due to the floods currently stands at 95, and 1,89,567 people have been rehabilitated to 1,118 relief camps across the state. Meanwhile, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 52 crore as immediate assistance to the state.