On Nov. 30, 2008, four days after the attacks had begun Ratan Tata, the chairman of the Tata Group, which owns the Taj Mahal Hotel, appeared on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN. An excerpt:
TATA: I think my message would be that this has been a terrible blow to us, but we will, in fact, overcome the challenges that are ahead. It has not, in fact, diminished our commitment to go ahead with what we had in our minds, and that we will rebuild what has been damaged or destroyed, and that we will only come out stronger and, in fact, more determined than we were before this very unfortunate event took place [full transcript here].
Less than a month after the attacks, the Taj and another hotel damaged in the attack, the Trident, were open for business (the Oberoi has not yet reopened and may take six months to do so). From a Bloomberg report by Debarati Roy and Subramaniam Sharma:
Diplomats, religious leaders and victims of the attacks attended prayers and services to remember those who died. Others came out of curiosity or to dine at the reopened restaurants, which were booked out for the whole evening. For some, including an Aeroflot flight crew that checked in at the Trident, it was simply business as usual.
``I was in Room 602 and the terrorists had rounded us up to use as a human shield,'' said Chennai-based K.R. Ramamoorthy, chairman of ING Vysya Bank Ltd., smiling in the lobby and recounting the night of the attack. ``I came today to attend the memorial service and am staying here.''
Terrorists carrying guns, grenades and explosives entered the luxury hotels on Nov. 26, killing, destroying and spraying bullets. Twenty-five days later, the 105-year-old Taj Mahal Palace & Tower and the Trident Hotel reopened their doors after working day and night to repair damage.
Outside the Taj, a traffic jam of arriving guests snarled the road near the Gateway of India as part of the street was blocked for security. Guests walked past a sandbagged bunker of soldiers to have their bags screened near the steps of the hotel, before passing though a metal detector to enter the lobby.
Meanwhile, below is information about how you can help the families of hotel employees killed in the attacks.
The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust
During the unprecedented attack on Mumbai between November 26 to 29, 2008, many people from the security forces, the Police, Fire service, hotel employees, guests of the Taj and general public were killed or wounded. In the aftermath of this terror attack, the Taj Group has witnessed an outpouring of emotional support from well-wishers in India and across the globe, both for the restoration of the hotel and to offer relief for those affected by the attack. In response to this, the Taj Group has set up a public service welfare Trust fund named - “Taj Public Service Welfare Trust” (TPS Welfare Trust).
The objective of the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust is to provide immediate relief to all victims of the recent attack, including to the families of those who were killed - be it the general public, the security forces, employees of the Taj or employees of other establishments affected by the terrorists. This Trust will continue to discharge its mandate in the coming years, specifically covering relief to victims of sudden acts of violence, natural disasters, and other tragic events that inflict damage to life and property. Applications are being made to obtain various approvals including Government approvals for receiving foreign donations so that the Trust can commence immediate relief measures.
Besides IHCL, the Sir Dorab Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust
have committed a significant initial contribution to the Trust. A
Board of Trustees has been formed for this Trust comprising of the
- Mr Ratan Tata
- Mr R.K. Krishna Kumar
- Mr N.A. Soonawala
- Mr R.N. Bickson
- Mr A.P. Goel
- Mr A. Mukerji
Intended beneficiaries of the Trust as well as individuals or companies
wishing to donate are invited to send their requests/proposals to the
address given below:
The Taj Public Service Welfare Trust
Mandlik House, 2nd Floor
Mumbai 400 001
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We have been overwhelmed by the concerns shown for the families of ten of our team members who lost their lives in the tragic events in Mumbai. Many guests and colleagues have expressed a desire to make a financial contribution. We have established "The Oberoi Care Fund" with Give India and Bombay Community Public Trust, renowned Non Government Organizations, for this purpose.
"The Oberoi Care Fund" will accept contributions till March 31, 2009 by cheque or demand draft. Alternatively, contributions may also be made through Visa or Mastercard credit cards.
These contributions will be collected by Give India and then disbursed to families by Bombay Community Public Trust.
Should you wish to make a contribution, please click here.
For transparency, names of the donors and their contribution amounts shall be updated regularly on this page and on www.giveindia.org/give/pledgepage/oberoicarefund
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai shall reopen to guests on Sunday, 21st December, 2008.
I would like to recognize the heroism shown by the law enforcement agencies and by my colleagues during the tragic events. We must not allow such acts of terrorism to disrupt our normal daily lives. I am sure you agree that all of us must come together and face this challenge with fortitude.
My team has worked round-the-clock to ensure that Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai opens on 21st December. The restoration work at The Oberoi, Mumbai is currently underway and should be over in a few months.
I reiterate our commitment to the highest level of efficiency and caring service that you have come to expect of us at both hotels.
My team and I look forward to welcoming you at Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai.
Executive Vice President – Mumbai
The Oberoi Group
For information and reservations call toll free or call +91 11 23890555.
E-mail: email@example.com Visit us at www.tridenthotels.com
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