Nepal Earthquake Relief Work by Sai Organisation
Nepal Earthquake Relief Work by Sai Organisation
A deadly earthquake shook the Himalayan nation of Nepal on 25 April 2015. The Gorkha earthquake (christened thus because of its epicenter being in the Gorkha district of Nepal) left the country ravaged, causing the death of around 8,000 people or more. The earthquake was truly a disaster for the survivors, for as always they were left to fend with shattered homes, landslides, hunger and thirst, apart from grief and shock. But yet again the spirit of humane empathy rose like a wave as help and relief arrived from countries neighbouring to those farthest away.
The Sathya Sai Organisation too, as always, joined in the relief work to do their bit to comfort their aggrieved brethren. The Sathya Sai International Organisation (SSIO) of Nepal jumped into action immediately after the earthquake struck. Sathya Sai volunteers, including the youth, started offering food, water, clothes, shelter and medical care.
Over 6,000 hot meals and drinking water are being provided daily by over 500 Sai volunteers in 12 districts which were hard hit by the earthquake. Some of the remote areas are accessible only by foot and many have not had a morsel of food for days.
The local Sai volunteers also organised blood donations and helped at local hospitals. Sathya Sai doctors and volunteers have been providing medical relief to the sick and the injured, since the time of the earthquake. In partnership with Direct Relief International (DRI), a consignment of medical supplies was delivered by air to Kathmandu, for use in SSIO medical relief operations.
The Sathya Sai Organisation of Nepal erected tents to offer temporary shelter to the homeless and displaced people. The International Organisation has arranged for the shipment of 1,000 tents, each 15-ft by 12-ft, which can accommodate a family of 8 or more. Temporary shelter is one of the highest priorities for the displaced and the homeless in Nepal, after the earthquake.
The buildings of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust of Nepal and the school run by the trust in Kathmandu remained intact. Makeshift shelters were set up in these campuses and many of the homeless were accommodated and cared for here.
The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation (SSSSO) of India has delivered more than 90 tons of food, tarpaulins, hygiene items and other relief supplies. The SSSO, Delhi-NCR dispatched immediate food relief, of which were 1200 individual bags consisting of rice, dal, sugar, salt, milk powder and water. These were meant to sustain families for a few days before more could be reached out to them.
Even as relief from various quarters were pouring in, a news report published on 2 May 2015 (Saturday) described how the Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi had received relief material in plenty but had no manpower to sort and pack the received materials. Sighting the opportunity to serve, the State President, SSSSO, Delhi-NCR called on His Excellency Mr. Deep Kumar Upadhyay, the Ambassador of Nepal on the same day, and expressed the desire of the Sai Organisation to take up the activity of sorting, packing, labeling and loading the relief materials.
The Ambassador appreciated the gesture of the Organisation and accepted the offer. The very next day, 3 May 2015 (Sunday), around 50 volunteers arrived at the gates of the Embassy of Nepal to undertake the massive task of sifting through mountains of materials which donors had left at the Embassy premises.
By the end of the day, Seva Dal had cleaned the premises, put all materials in designated areas and loaded 30 tons of materials into the trucks. The Ambassador had also asked the organisation to set a process for handling arrival of future relief materials. The plan was shared by the evening of Sunday, 3 May. Hundreds of Seva Dal, both ladies and gents worked all through Monday and Tuesday, and in three days the entire task was completed. They left with an open offer to return whenever a need arises.
Meanwhile the second batch of relief material was ready to leave for Nepal by road. Food material, water, medicine and tents from Delhi, blankets from Punjab, and biscuits and flour from Himachal Pradesh. On Easwaramma Day, 6 May, 6 trucks carrying 60 tons of relief were on the move to Nepal.
The relief material were dispatched to 14 districts from the Sathya Sai Centre in Kathmandu. This was achieved with the help of Nepal army and the meticulous planning of the volunteers in Nepal.
On Saturday 9th May 2015 a special bhajan was organised in the courtyard of Kathmandu’s Pashupatinath temple. The volunteers from abroad and from Nepal joined the people gathered, in praying for solace and courage for those afflicted.
The SSIO and the Sai Organisation in Nepal continues to provide humanitarian relief to our brothers and sisters in Nepal. After an initial period of stabilisation, medical camps and meal services, by Bhagawan’s grace the SSIO Disaster Relief Committee will contribute in rehabilitation, educational activities and other services that will have to be provided on a sustainable basis, for the long term.
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