Disaster is a great leveller. In a reversal of usual roles following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, India has offered a comprehensive assistance package to the US, the world's largest relief donor. The offer was formally communicated to the White House by Indian ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, on Saturday.
Tapping into its experience in combating large scale disasters, India's three-pronged package attempts to export a combination of materials and expertise. Apart from a $5 million contribution to the American Red Cross, India has offered to fly across Army medical teams to New Orleans. Army, rather than civilian, relief teams are being offered keeping in view the worsening law and order situation in the city.
India reckons water purification will be urgently required in a city where contamination would be rife, causing water-borne diseases. As a leading producer of bulk drugs, India is sending across a large consignment of medicines. After attending to numerous large-scale disasters, including last December's tsunami and last month's Mumbai flooding, India now has acquired considerable expertise in combating such large-scale disasters.
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