Wednesday, December 29, 2004

All India Movement For Seva : Relief work

Your help is needed this minute.

All India Movement For Seva (AIM For Seva) is actively involved in relief work in India. Please read below for details. I have organized the information in the following categories:

(A) Appeal by Swami Dayananda Saraswati
(B) Examples and reports of courageous actions
(C) How to give
(D) Organizations to avoid
(E) Prayers

(A) Appeal by Swami Dayananda Saraswati
The devastations caused by the tsunami are all over the media. Any
help has to be through a committed team of people engaged in the very
areas where the people need various forms of attention and help. The
All India Movement for Seva people are very much right in Chennai,
Pondicherry, Nagapatnam district and other coast areas doing relief
work. Our Swamis, all over India, are collecting materials and funds.
This work is going on, on a war footing.

All India Movement for Seva is appealing to everyone to contribute and
also to raise funds through others. We need help right now! It is
urgent! AIM for Seva is going to rehabilitate the people besides
providing food and medicine.

Your active participation is very valuable at this time of need. One
thing All India Movement for Seva assures you is, literally every cent
goes to this work.

-- Dayananda Saraswati

(B) Examples and reports of courageous actions

An army headed by Sanyasis is at work. I present 3 snippets here:

------Story From Jaishankar Narayanan, AIM For Seva,
------who himself barely escaped the brunt of the Tsunami
------at Kovalam beach near Chennai

All the people who were living near the coast have fled their homes and
are living in Govt schools, temples, Marriage halls etc. in interior
areas. Yesterday I went along with my friends and we bought food
packets and water from a nearby hotel and distributed 250 packets of
food and 200 water sachets to people living in Kelambakkam Govt School.
We also visited the Kovalam village and surveyed the damage. The shore
temple which was renovated recently in intact. Many houses which were
adjacent to the shore have been damaged and damaged boats are lying far
away from the coastline. I talked to some fishermen and they said that
they have lost their livelihood as boats and nets have been lost. It
may take a month to put together something and venture into the sea
again.

From there we went to Pudupakkam Hill where there is an Anjaneya
temple. Many panic stricken people (more than 1000) have taken shelter
in this hill. The temple has some utensils (big ones) as annadana is
done here during auspicious days like Hanumatjayanthi. Some nearby
industries had donated stoves and LPG cylinders. They wanted provisions
for the evening meal and clothes. We gave the clothes, which we had
collected during the day, to them and bought provisions like Rice, oil,
spices etc. for Rs. 2800 and donated to them. I went there in the
evening again. They had really done a good job of cooking sambar rice,
tomato rice and Curd rice with pickle ( I tasted some) and were
distributing the food to the people. I went up the hill and talked to
the people there. Many old people wanted some warm clothes and
bedsheets. Someone had donated bedsheets but all of them did'nt get it.
The people there told me that they have'nt got relief from the Govt
yet. Only NGOs like Saisamitis and other local people have been helping
them out.

I expect the people to slowly go and settle down in their villages
today, if there are no more aftershocks, but they still require
provisons, utensils and other household items. Srividya had called up
all her friends,students and the people we know during the day and they
all have agreed to donate provisons, clothes and some money. We will
collecting all those materials and distribute it in the coming days. I
will also be talking to the village elders today and find out what can
be done for the longterm so that they can start their livelihoods
again.

-------Message from Swami Pramananda, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Combatore----------

Our venue is In Koradacheri. We have a kalyana mandapam there where we
are cooking and feeding food for over 3000 people every day, and medical
care is being given. We are near to Nagapatnam. Unlike in Chennai where
there are industries helping, in Nagapatnam there is no local support.
The local authorities Tasildar and others are looking to AIM for Seva
for support.

Manjakkudi Ramachandran and his team of about 60-70 villagers of the
area near Koradacheri has been doing phenomenal work in preparing and
distributing food materials since Sunday. They have offered shelter to
over 2000 people since the evening of the disaster, also.
The situation is very bad there. Our people have gone to the site and
found dead bodies in the hundreds below the thatched roofs of collapsed
huts. The stench now fills the air.

AIM for Seva at the all India level is organizing its human and material
resources to be sent to the Koradacheri area.

-------------From Swami Tattvabodhananda, Pondicherry, 4 days ago--------------

Here in Pondicherry, karaikal area more than 300 people died and 2500
people lost their homes. I had visited Ariyankuppam, Veerampattinam,
Kottaimedu, Vaitheekuppam, and Kalapet in pondicherry and tomorrow i
will be visiting kariakal area.

Today we had surveyed to give away the cloths to the affected people.
we need the following items immediately for the needy (for one area)

Sleeping mats minimum 2000 nos
Blankets atleast 2000 nos (it is very cold during night)
Vessel for cooking rice
rice, sugar, wheat powder, (atta) maida, kerosine, edible oil,

Namaskaram.
Swami Tattvabodhananda

-------------From Swami Siddhabodhananda, Coimbatore--------------

As an emergency relief yesterday, Swami Dayananda Educational Trust,
Manjakkudi, rented a Kalyana Mandapam and gave food, milk, lodging and
medical aid to 1,000 women and children. These villagers will be
returning to their villages by 29th December.

By the end of this week, AIM for Seva will make a consolidated effort in
providing ongoing food and human resources for reconstruction and
rehabilitation of the affected areas.

We at the Gurukulam will be organizing containers of supplies at the
National level to be sent to the affected areas in coordination with
Manjakkudi Centre.

---End of Courageous efforts

(C) How to give

If possible family including children can be asked to go door to door
to collect funds.
If you are living in the US:

Make a tax-deductible donation on-line @ www.aimforseva.org
[Note: please check "Tsunami Support" after clicking the "DONATE NOW" button.]
or Send your check/Credit card info to:

All India Movement for Seva
c/o Janet Falk
PO Box 639
Saylorsburg, PA 18353
Tel: (570) 402-1244
usaoffice@aimforseva.org
If you are living in India:

Send your donation (cheque or Demand Draft) to:
All India Movement for Seva
c/o R. Venkatramani
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
Anaikatti Post
Coimbatore 641-108
Tel: 0422-265-7150
In Chennai, you can also get in touch with:
Bri. K. Chandra
Coordinator, AIM for Seva Corps (Tamilnadu)
78/10 Kala flats, Dr. Ranga Rd, Mylapore Chennai 600 004
Tel: 044-24997857 :Mob-98404 63989
kchandra321@vsnl.net

Or

Smt. Krishnaveni
gayathrihariom@yahoo.co.in
Phone: 24454388
(D) Organizations to avoid

Avoid giving to Chief Minister's relief fund, PM's relief funds etc.
Indian Government is slow & corrupt. Enough said.

There are organizations like IDRF and AID that are channeling funds to
local agencies. If you support them, please suggest that they get in
touch with AIM For Seva. AIM For Seva is in the front-line.

(E) Prayer

If you are able to provide physical help, by all means do. You may
contact AIM. or other local agencies, including AID. I was checking
AID website and Prof. Ravishankar (IIT, Chennai) is leading relief
efforts.

Finally, Pray, Pray, Pray. Invoke God's Grace to help the helpless,
and to give strength to the hundreds of thousands of sevaks who are
providing hope to the needy. Chant or write a japa (for e.g.
'Vighnaharaya Namaha') as many times as you can.

Open your heart. Give to your brothers and sisters.

With most heartfelt prayers,
Jayakumar

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