HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visits Purnia, takes stock of Bihar relief operations

Alabama, United States
25th September 2008

BANGALORE: Even as relief operations in flood- affected Bihar continue on a war footing, the Art of Living has started trauma relief measures for the victims. Its volunteers have started pranayama and meditation sessions for the victims who suffer from tremendous fear and trauma.

Ever since the disaster hit Bihar, the volunteers of the Art of Living have been working round the clock to provide emergency supplies and bring solace to the victims. They are working in Purnia, Saharsa, Febesganj and Araria, the worst- affected districts.

The Art of Living is running a relief camp each in Purnia and Araria. It’s taking care of 5,000 people housed at the Jankinagar, Phulwari camp, providing them food, clothes, polythene sheets, bleaching powder and torches. A team of doctors is also at the camp providing medical assistance and medicines.

The volunteers are also helping the Army in the rescue operations. The Art of Living has shipped 1, 000 life-jackets from Dubai to assist the rescuers. Volunteers are also training people on hygiene and sanitation. Water purifying machines which can operate without electricity or battery are being installed in different relief camps.

Teams of volunteers, including doctors, have also reached the remote and submerged villages in Madhepura. On Monday a team reached the remote Batani and over 2,000 people housed in the camps are being attended to. The Art of Living is also taking care of 2000 people, including 24 pregnant women and 250 children, who have taken shelter at the Meerganj camp, providing baby foods, clothes and dry foods. Other villages reached are Kumarkhand, Ratanpura, Lakshmipur, Jogwada, Rehta and Murliganj.

As part of its trauma relief programmes, Rishi Vidyadharji, a senior disciple of His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is in Purnia to conduct trauma relief sessions and interact with the victims in the relief camps. Thousands of people attended his session when he visited the Phulwari camp today. They reported tremendous relief after attending the sessions, which including pranayama, breathing techniques and satsangs. The volunteers are also conducting trauma relief sessions in other affected areas.

Truckloads of relief material collected from different parts of Inida, including plastic sheets, medicines, food items, clothes and candles, are being distributed daily to the victims. Tonnes of relief materials are being dispatched on a daily basis from places such as Bangalore, Gujarat, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Punjab. A consignment of 400 kg of medicines and baby food reached Patna from Bangalore on Monday are being dispatched to Purnia.

A team of volunteers form neighbouring Jharkhand has reached Purnea along with truckloads of relief materials. Another truckload of relief material will be reaching Purnia from Kolkata on Wednesday.

In the coming days, more relief materials accompanied by teams of volunteers will be reaching the affected areas.

The Bangalore-headquartered NGO has already mobilised relief materials worth Rs 10 crore through its volunteer network throughout the country. It proposes to raise another Rs 40 crore for rehabilitation of the victims.

The organization has also launched massive to solicit support from all sections of society and appealed to one and all to join in the relief operations.

The Art of Living has always reached out to people struck by calamities anywhere in the world in association with its sister concern International Association of Human Values (IAHV), which has been certified awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence by the Independent Charities of America after meeting the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness and cost effectiveness.