By India Relief Team (Originally in English)
Parts of the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India have experienced the heaviest rains in over a century. The relentless rainfall that started in early November and lasted through December 2015, has been linked to global warming. At least 269 people have lost their lives, and tens of thousands have been displaced. Although central and local governments and many local NGOs have worked hard to provide relief, further help was still needed. Out of concern for the affected people, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered US$20,000 in relief funds and asked our Indian Association members to assist those in need. In response, we also contributed INR 20,000 towards the fund, and organized a relief operation from December 13 to 16, for the severely affected cities of Chennai and Cuddalore.
Through Reverend Sister Josephine of Servants of Mary Immaculate, Poonamallee in Chennai, on December 13 and 14, our Chennai Association members contributed foods such as rice, flour and seasonings, as well as saris, sarongs, towels and bed sheets to 300 families in Thiruvallur District near Chennai and Ambattur neighborhood of Northern Chennai. Also, we gave her INR 4,750 (US$71) to buy medicine for those who are sick. We introduced the teachings of Supreme Master Ching Hai to these families, and encouraged them to cook vegan meals and keep a plant-based diet – the most effective way to reduce the impacts of climate change. Most of them willingly agreed to start transitioning to a diet free of animal products.
We also contributed 50 women’s dresses to Mr. K. P. Balakumar, a noble relief worker who distributed the clothing in other affected areas of Chennai on December 13. He reported the event to us over a phone call and gave thanks to Master.
On December 15, through the St. Thomas Hospital in St. Thomas Mount, Chennai we distributed 650 buckets as a contribution to the many other household supplies being provided to the flood-affected families by the hospital.
On the same day, more of our relief team members gave more bed sheets, towels and clothing items to 2,000 families in many small villages in Cuddalore. We expressed our appreciation to the volunteers in Cuddalore who worked day and night to help those in need.
On December 28, remaining the funds of INR 28,030 (US$424) was sent to the medical camps of St. Thomas Hospital to purchase urgently required materials.
We pray that those affected recover quickly from the floods, and more people around the world will adopt the compassionate vegan diet to mitigate the effects of global warming.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Flood Relief Work in Southern India
|Food (rice, pulses, wheat flour, sugar, oil, salt, turmeric, curry powder, mustard seeds and biscuits), clothing items (sarongs, saris and women’s dresses), towels, bed sheets and medicine for the flood-affected people||1,298,955||A|
|Cash contribution to medical camps of St. Thomas Hospital in Chennai||28,030||B|
|Travel expenses for the relief team (transportation, hotel, flight tickets and food)||23,999||C|
|Total|| INR 1,350,984