Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - August 2013  

Uttarakhand Disaster Relief

 “I want to provide medical benefits in the remotest areas of the Garhwal Himalayas. Everyone cannot reach the Himalayan Institute Hospital. Let the Institute reach everyone.”

- H. H. Dr. Swami Rama

“From 14 to 17 June 2013, the Indian state of Uttarakhand and adjoining area received heavy rainfall, which was about 375 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon. This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River which led to heavy floods near Gobindghat, Kedar Dome, Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Western Nepal, and acute rainfall in other nearby regions of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Tibet… The heavy rains resulted in large flashfloods and massive landslides. Entire villages and settlements… have been obliterated...” - 2013 North India floods on Wikipedia

Swami Veda wrote,

“I cry. 
Do not cry with me. Please give what help you can. I will recommend to HIHT that your funds be used mainly for medicines and for food since so many have walked without food for days and have gangrene.
Oh, how I wish humanity would stop playing so cruelly with the environment.
Love to those who give; love to those who only pray.”

A Flow of Loving Kindness

In a flow of loving emails, prayers, thoughts, and monetary donations, the sangha responded. Our hearts grow larger, and our ability of love expands with such giving.  It has truly been a pleasure to feel this flow.

As of 30th July 2013, we (through Swami Veda Bharati and Dhyana Mandiram Trust) have donated Rs. 4,930,800 to HIHT (Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust), and as of 26th August, we have approximately Rs. 1,408,557 more that will be given to HIHT.  Our global family has been able to help in this small way. Donations were given by individuals and by groups; sometimes fund raisers were initiated to raise funds. In keeping with Matthew 6:2, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets…to be honored by others,” we have not published the names who have donated. These kind donations for disaster relief in Uttarakhand are very much appreciated and will be put to good use helping those who are suffering.

What is HIHT doing to help?

Here is a report of the HIHT Relief Work that can be found on their website:

“The tough terrains of Uttarakhand are often posed with natural calamities viz. floods, earthquakes, landslides, cloudbursts etc. Once again nature displayed the power of its fury with a heavy downpour for days that resulted in landslides and flash floods washing away virtually everything that came in its way.

Immense loss of life and property was reported from all parts of the mountainous regions as vehicles, homes, shops, hotels, roads and bridges were swept without leaving a trace. The Kedarnath and adjoining areas were particularly the worst hit by the havoc as they were cut-off from the rest of the state. Thousands of pilgrims were stranded as the ‘Chardham & Hemkund Sahib Yatra’ come to a grinding halt as the Dev-bhumi Uttarakhand witnessed its worst ever disaster.

“The Institute had earmarked 250 beds in the Hospital exclusively for the victims of this calamity with everything (Investigation facilities, Treatment, Surgeries and Medicines) provided free of cost. 340 victims were brought to the hospital. A team of doctors along with 4 ambulances worked at the Jollygrant Airport for providing primary treatment to those who were airlifted. A team was sent to the Kedar valley to help the Government Agencies with DNA sampling. Another team of doctors was stationed at Rudraprayag for providing health facility to the victims.

“The Institute decided to adopt 50 villages in the affected area. In these 50 villages, the Institute will work on issues related to health, education, water and sanitation and livelihood. Children who have become orphans due to the calamity will be adopted for furthering their education.

“The Institute had implemented the drinking water scheme in 165 villages out of which in 28 villages (22 affected majorly and 6 with minor damages) the scheme has been damaged by the calamity. The institute has decided to re-construct the water scheme in these villages.

“As an immediate measure, relief packages consisting of food, utensils for families, schools, community at large in addition to first-aid and medicine kits are being provided. The interventions being undertaken are healthcare (delivery facilities at HIHT for high risk mothers, health camps, package for chronic diseases, package for people with disability), education (scholarship & school health), & livelihood (fruit trees/fodder, farming tool kits etc).”

Here are two videos on the work being done (to watch the videos, please click on titles):

The Rural Development Institute (RDI), a part of HIHT, was started by Swami Rama in the early 90's.

This is from Rural Development Institute Update for June-July 2013:

“Disaster Relief Initiatives

“The second week of June brought catastrophe to the entire Kedar Valley region. Heavy rainfall, cloud burst and flash floods affected pilgrims and the local population.

“HIHT’s mandate to provide relief and restoration towards normalcy is being undertaken by RDI in 50 villages. The immediate work that is being undertaken is to provide kits for affected families as well as the community at large. These kits contain essential provisions: food, grains and essential supplies, utensils, clothes and medical kit. Restoration of water sources in 28 villages is underway.

“Relief work has already been started in several affected villages of block Jounpur of district Tehri, block Rikhanikhal of district Pauri, and block Chakrata and Kalsi of district Dehradun.

“Orientation on using chlorine tablets for safe drinking water, distribution of ORS packets for diarrhea patients, and bleaching powder spray for prevention of various diseases was given to ASHAs, Asha facilitators and Block Coordinators in disaster affected areas of Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Dehradun and Haridwar districts. Sensitization for ensuring safe delivery services for pregnant ladies of the affected areas was also done.

“The Annual Plan for 2013-14 for Tehri district was prepared and presented to all district officials.”

More details about the HIHT’s relief work can be found at their website: http://hihtindia.org/

“Love to those who give; love to those who only pray”
      — Swami Veda Bharati in Disaster Relief

Editor’s Note:

We invite you to enjoy these two videos, which feature Swami Rama (click on title):

And to visit the HIHT website: http://hihtindia.org/


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