The southern Indian state of Kerala has been witnessing its worst flooding in the past 100 years, with scores of people killed and displaced from their homes.
Indians, in the country and living abroad, have stepped up pouring in funds to help the victims of the flooding. Even children have also donated what they can, from bicycles to birthday cakes.
While a birthday cake might not seem like a huge donation for flood victims, this was not just any cake.
Pranathi Vivek, a Dubai-based Indian girl, was gifted a half kilogram, 22-karat solid gold cake by her father, Vivek Kallidil, for her 12th birthday.
Yes. A solid gold cake.
The cake, costing a whopping DH1,00,000 ($27,224), was reportedly given as a gift to all three of Kallidil’s daughters, along with Paranathi, who is one of the triplets. Kallidil is a businessman and managing director of Pravathi Building Contracting located in Dubai.
"I gifted a gold cake to each daughter for their 12th birthday. Varnika, Dyuthi, and Pranathi were all given a cake each. The girls are triplets," the father explained.
Although it is difficult to fathom the need for a 500 gram gold cake for a 12-year-old’s birthday, the absurd gift came as a disguised blessing for the millions of people in need of imminent funds in Kerala.
Kallidil’s office staff was collecting valuables and funds for the Kerala flood victims when his daughter chimed in, saying she also wanted to give away clothes and shoes.
She later decided the ludicrous gold cake sitting on her room’s shelf would make for a much better donation.
"She (Pranathi) saw that the rest of our family and I were exhausted and upset with what was happening in Kerala. The staff in our office were collecting essential supplies as relief material,” Kallidil told The Khaleej Times.
"Pranathi came forward and said she wants to donate some clothes and shoes. I agreed and asked her to select some materials that she wants to give away. She disappeared into her room and after much thought, returned with her cake and said she wants to donate this instead,” he said.
The cake was reportedly handcrafted by Malabar Gold jewelers in Dubai.
“A month went into the creation of the cakes. Our designers hand-crafted the delicate- looking cake,” the branch manager for Malabar Gold said.
Many of the cake’s flowers and decoration were imported from Turkey.
Pranathi said she was glad her “cake” could help people facing the worst of natural calamities in India.
"I donated the cake because I felt the cake did not have much value sitting on a shelf. However, its value increased only when I realized it could wipe the tears of a few thousand people,” she said.
The 12-year-old was hit with the realities of the devastation caused by the floods after learning of her father’s office employee’s family.
"One of my dad's office employee's family was stuck on the roof of their home without connectivity, food, shelter, or even an umbrella. She was standing on the roof with her two-year-old kid. I was apprehensive about the family as it must've been horrifying for them," she said.
However, Kallidil said this was not his daughter’s first act of charity.
"When we were in Kanchi Kamakodi Trust Hospital in Chennai earlier this year, she saw a 15-year-old child struggling for hospital consultation charges and asked us to pay. We helped with the surgery of the child that cost around Rs 3 lakh ($4,300)," he told The Khaleej Times.
"Pranathi has shown interest in business as well as architecture. But I believe children today need to trailblaze in all aspects of their life, including sports, personal and financial independence. Most importantly, they need to learn to give to those in need as much as they can,” he added.
The cake would be bought back by Malabar Gold and its wroth in money would be donated to the Kerala flood victims.
While its mind boggling to bestow a gold cake to a 12-year-old, in the long run it would help those in need.
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