Bihar, India (September 2008)
September 2008 saw an estimated 3.5 million people in Bihar affected by the flood caused when the Kosi River, engorged by the monsoon, changed its course, following a breach in a dam upstream in Nepal. Around 1,600 villages in the region were marooned, resulting in an enormous loss of life and property.
The Art of Living volunteers and team of doctors worked tirelessly, reaching out to 5,000 people in the Jankinagar Phulwari camp, providing food, clothes, essential supplies, medical aid and education about hygiene and sanitation in these situations. Water purifying machines were installed to provide clean drinking water to help restrict the spread of water-borne diseases. The Art of Living Founcation shipped 1,000 life-jackets to help the rescuers and assisted the Indian Army in rescue operations.
In addition, volunteers conducted stress elimination programmes providing thousands of survivors with much needed relief from fear and anxiety. The Art of Living Foundation provided relief and rescue operations in the inaccessible areas of Jadiabazar in the Suppol district, Madhepura, Batani and other villages in Bihar, reaching out to over 4,000 people including expectant mothers and children.
The founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressed over 10,000 survivors in JVC Nahar Camp, Banmankhi Phulwari on 25th September 2008. Villagers travelled many kilometres from flood-affected districts of Madhepura and Purnia to hear the talk and meet him. He assured them that the Art of Living Foundation would support their rehabilitation by providing vocational training to women and start a literacy campaign in the camps. This is to empower the women and can help in sustaining the family.
has to date conducted relief work worth Rs 100 million (US$2.2 million) in Bihar. It also provided similar assistance during the floods in Bihar and North-East regions of India in 2007.