23 June 2013 - QA 14

Dear Sri Sri, in Germany and some other parts of Europe we have had very recently experienced devastating floods. What is your message towards our environmental duty and how can social media support us in that?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Natural calamities occur and human mistakes add to it. In terrains where we know that such calamities can happen, our preparedness is very low. That is something that bothers me a lot.

In Kedarnath thousands of people have lost their lives in the most devastating flood. It is partly because of our negligence towards the environment. We do not care for the environment as we should. Deforestation is a big problem in the Himalayas. We have been cutting trees in the name of development. In the name of getting more power we have done many things that could have been done in a different way.

Secondly, the pilgrims in India are neglected even when thousands of people go there every year. I would say that they should have made better roads and alternative roads in these areas so that evacuation could be faster. Floods do come, devastations do happen, but at least we can save the lives of people.

In Calgary and Europe not so much harm has been done to people’s lives. We haven’t lost these many lives in the recent years since the tsunami. This is a Himalayan tsunami. Our Art of Living volunteers are there and are providing relief material to the people. Our Volunteers are working in Germany and Calgary as well.

I have not told any of these volunteer that they should go and do relief work. This is what happens when our consciousness rises. Our heart feels the human values. It spontaneously responds to such situations and people just jump in and do their best for fellow human beings.

These are the situations that really test our humanness; whether you are really a human being or a robot. In these situations we have to extend our hands to those unfortunate ones and those who need us. So people should come in big numbers and contribute wherever and whenever calamities happen.

The government should take care. The metrological department is there to predict such calamities in advance and to take care so that people’s lives are saved. A lot can be done in this direction. Disaster management is a science by itself. Well-meaning people should contribute and rise to help in such situations; and they are doing it. I really thank all those who are putting their effort to make the lives of the victims better.

Here also I would thank the Indian Army and the jawans (soldiers) who have risked their lives to help the people. Their dedication and help is invaluable and we must thank them for their efforts.