By Formosa Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
Since August of 2017, India has suffered major flash flooding. Mr. Anirudh Kumar, the Additional Secretary of Bihar Province Disaster Management Department in East India, stated that the death toll had reached 367. Mr. Kumar also stated that more than 158,000 people spanning 19 districts had been affected by the flood, and over 776,000 people had been successfully evacuated.
Upon receiving Master’s instruction to provide assistance to the victims in East India, our Formosan Association members organized a relief team and traveled to the disaster area, bringing Master’s US$10,000 financial contribution. Our Association members added US$1,400 to Master’s fund. Bombay, India; Indonesia and Nepal Association members joined the Formosa team for the relief effort. On the night of August 28, the entire team met at the Kolkata Airport, which is the closest airport to the disaster area.
On our way to the disaster area, we came across many places with standing water from the flood, making the trip difficult. On the 29th, we changed the itinerary and traveled to Samastipur Junction station by train, and then by jeep. In the morning of the 30th, we arrived in Darbhanga, one of the disaster areas. We were told that it was the first sunny day they had after days of continuous rainfall.
Through the introduction from our Association members from India, we met Dr. Seema Kumar, the Director of Academics at Springdales Public School at Birdipur in Darbhanga, and her husband, Mr. Rohit Kumar Singh. Our team purchased relief materials, reported to the local authority for registering, and went on to provincial government office to meet Mr. Ravi Jyoti, the Chief Minister of Culture and Affairs. Coincidentally, news reporters and journalists across India were also present at the office. We accepted interviews from several TV stations and newspapers, including Channel SNB, Kamal and Darghanga Bureau and online news Ayachee Times of Darbhanga. Other media that reported the relief efforts are Dainik Jagaran, Prabhat Khabar, Pratha Khabar, Rashrtriya Sahara, India News, BTN News, ETV Bihar, ANI News, Samachar Live, Insight Mithila and more.
Dr. Seema Kumar took the initiative to contact the stores, asking them to deliver the relief materials to her home, including 1,500 kilograms of oatmeal, 585 kilograms of sugar, 1,000 kilograms of soymilk powder, 500 kilograms of salt, 4,416 packs of biscuits, 25 bags of candies, 1,000 plates, 1,000 cups, 1,000 saris and 1,000 dhotis. Teachers from the school volunteered to help pack the materials. With the assistance from all the participants, the packing of relief items was completed on the night of the August 31.
On September 1, we headed for Ekami Village to distribute 500 relief packs, then to Birdipur Village to distribute 400 packs, and finally to Sunderpur to deliver 100 packs. The Chief Minister of Culture and Affairs Mr. Jyoti and his staff made a special trip to pick us up and took us to distribute the materials. Under the scorching sun, many people came waiting, but left with a smile. We put our hands in Namaste position to greet the locals. We sent them our best wishes and expressed thanks to God.
We thank all the angels encountered in our relief work for their loving assistance so the victims were immersed in the love of God. We also thank the media for sharing the loving message of The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief work, thus encouraging more care for those in need.
As the relief work came to an end, our Association members from Nepal and Indonesia took the bus and returned to Kathmandu, while those from Bombay hosted a Loving the Silent Tears musical show, inviting all relief team members and the journalists. As the sun went down, we took the last train heading straight to the airport to return to Formosa, with our hearts filled with God’s abundant love.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Flood Relief Work in Bihar Province, India
|Food (oatmeal, soymilk powder, salt, sugar, biscuits, and candies), clothes (saris and dhotis), plates, and cups for the flood victims||
|Bags for packing||
|Total||INR 726,446 (US$11,400)|
Our Indonesian and Formosan Association members and relief team contributed approximately US$4,500 to cover traveling expenses of the relief team.