sunnuntai 7. huhtikuuta 2013

The floody relief stories

There was heavy flooding when Dada DV arrived amongst many other workers to Tiljala headquarters, in Calcutta, India. Sarkar had arrived earlier in the morning. Dada had to walk from the main road to our compound with luggage over head in order to keep it dry. Many villagers of the area were leaving. Their houses and belongings were totally soaked with water. When Dada arrived to our four story building, there were many villagers taking shelter besides our own 500 members were packed in the building due to various meetings Sarkar had called. Our workers promised to the villagers that they would soon get relief materials, but at that time our storages were almost empty.

Electricity and fresh water supply went off. The water was rising further, one had to swim or come by boat which were very rare, but everyone was in good mood and challenged to stand the difficult circumstances. The water was filthy, covered with oil, as you can imagine in Calcutta, where there was no proper savage system.

Sarkar was having constantly meetings, like nothing unusual was going on. Otherwise he never referred to the flood, but kept on inquiring hourly reports of our relief operations for the village people. At first food was finished even from our own people. Just then a boat load of rise flakes and unrefined sugar arrived. This was our only food for that day, and the same was distributed to the villagers. Our relief workers were also building temporary shelters for the village people.

By evening, the number of receiving food aid increased to 18 000. Government assistance had not yet arrived. Three days later the rain finished finally. When Sarkar was about to leave by boat, everyone was watching on the roof, if not accompanying his boat on the deep water, which reached onto their shoulders. Sarkar's boat negotiated its way between the flooded houses.

Few orange clothed monks were sitting in the boat with Sarkar, some others were walking in the deep water keeping their orange uniforms on the top of their heads. What a beautiful sight it was when the sun came out. Dada's mind was flashed by thought: Sarkar came to serve the masses, even the poorest of the poor.

A dog joined the monks swimming around the boat. When they shooed him away, he climbed on some roof top sticking from water. He watched Sarkar passing and wagged his tail. When Sarkar's boat reached the main road, there were about few thousand villagers waiting. For most of them it was the first chance to get a close look at the man, whose fame had spread throughout the world. Sarkar stepped out from the boat to the higher main road, all villagers holding hands in Namaskar greeting in total silence.

Sarkar had instructed some workers, including Dada DV to follow him to his other house in central Calcutta. There they heard that finally the government’s relief food had arrived, but villagers had been extremely angry, shouting, that without Sarkar's relief team they had already died without food.

The politically motivated news media sometimes expressed suspicion towards our relief finances. And indeed how did we get enough money for the relief operations? It was not easy task to provide, food, medicines and other assistance to 18 000 flood victims. Though our relief department promised the public minimum necessities, the fact was that our relief team had almost no money at the beginning.

All depended on Sarkar's supervision. The team approached all the margies and workers for donations. Dada gave also what he could but heard the team leader wandering first evening, how they would manage each day. Next day he was smiling and mentioned: “I ran one ofter richer villagers, who owns car, which we saved from the flood waters. I expressed our financial situation, and he gave me enough money for the entire day's supplies”. He added: “In relief work, we are forced to count on at least one or two miracles a day.” (There is a video which shows Sarkar sitting in the middle of boat with some workers around him and many more in water. It is really special video with all the orange colors and flood water. It might be somewhere on Youtube).

Sarkar: You know sevá, that is, service. Service is of four kinds: Shúdrocita sevá is serving with your physical body, rendering physical service, rendering medical service. Then kśatriyocita [martial service] is security service, helping the weak. Then vaeshyocita sevá [economic service] is relief work, feeding the poor, helping the needy. Then viprocita sevá is preaching morality, teaching, preaching the ideology, doing dharma pracára [spiritual service].
Once I was myself in Calcutta and there was also flood. I remember us walking in water which reached on our waist level. I was shocked about all the dirt flouting on the water and wandered how I could manage without getting sick, as we western people used to get sick easily in India even in normal conditions. There was also near by the well known large garbage dumping ground, which probably brought some more mess with flooding waters. But I didn't get sick, while ideating, that I will be protected as I also had to carry homeopathic medicines for the needy. And specially I remember that our mood was good and we took it just as a challenge. Our Indian people were mentioning also that government itself was the cause of the yearly floods...can't remember though why it was so.
Didi Annapurna

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti