Mumbai, India (July 2005)
Soon after Mumbai was submerged by floods in July 2005, the Art of Living volunteers rushed to the worst-affected slums of Agripada, Dharavi and Kalwa despite chest-high water levels.
Volunteers distributed large quantities of food packets, home essentials, water purification sachets, medicines and ran a community kitchen which fed 2,000 people per day. In order to maintain hygiene and sanitation, volunteers cleaned toilets , sprayed disinfectant where needed and removed truckloads of garbage from the slums.
The volunteers subsequently initiated counselling sessions and trauma relief programmes, which helped people overcome insomnia, anxiety and fear in the aftermath of the flood.
Appreciating the humane way in which the volunteers offered relief, the state government appointed the Art of Living Foundation as a nodal (central) agency in the worst-affected areas of Mumbai.