By Formosa Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
Winters in northern Bangladesh can be very cold. Local residents mainly grow rice to make a living, and some disadvantaged people do not have fixed homes. Concerned for those who experience difficulties in the cold climate, Master lovingly provided US$13,000 in funds, and instructed our Association members to offer assistance to those in need. Our Association members from Formosa immediately formed a relief team and headed to northern Bangladesh. With help from two local friends, Mr. Jaboraz and Mr. Tusher, we bought 2,500 thick blankets and some candy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and transported them for distribution in three districts: Gaibandha, Kurigram and Rangpur. These are remote areas, so relief supplies are not often delivered here.
On the evening of January 9, 2016, our relief team departed Dhaka after loading the truck, and arrived at Gaibandha at 7am the following morning. The weather was cold and wet. We hired a pickup truck to transport 240 blankets and some candy to a riverside village, and then we distributed them to people in need. Many elderly people, children and women were very happy.
Next, we delivered 120 blankets to a second village and distributed them to the residents one by one, with guidance from the village chief. After arriving at a third village in the evening, we distributed 210 blankets to the elders and women most in need. Despite the language barrier, the locals gathered around our truck to express their gratitude. As we were leaving, we waved goodbye to them in response. We then drove to Kurigram District and prepared distributions for the following day.
On the morning of January 10, we gave out a total of 550 blankets to two communities in Nageshwari Village of Kurigram District. The Mayor of Nageshwari, the Honorable Abdur Rahman, came to help distribute. At noon, we gave out another 200 blankets to elderly individuals in a third community.
In the afternoon, we took 300 blankets to a mosque in Rangpur District. When we arrived, the locals asked the oldest senior citizen to accept Master’s blankets first to show their gratitude to Allah. At the next stop, we distributed blankets to 150 financially disadvantaged elders, some of whom were over 100 years old. Many of the elders were moved to tears, as they felt Master’s loving care for them. At our last stop in Rangpur District, due to limited time, we asked a famous retired police chief to distribute 400 blankets on our behalf.
Our friends, Mr. Jaboraz and Mr. Tusher who assisted us during the entire relief operation, wrote a letter to our Association expressing their wish to learn more about Master’s teachings after witnessing Her blessing and compassion. They both have been keeping a vegetarian diet for many years. We are grateful to Master’s blessing, which allowed this relief mission to be completed successfully.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for Winter Relief Work in Northern Bangladesh
|100 bags of candy||218.75||B|
|2,500 bags for packing the blankets||118.75||B|
Throughout the relief operation, our relief team members paid for their own travel and lodging expenses.