Thursday, January 13, 2005

Five glimpses of tsunami relief seva rendered by RSS , Seva Bharathi

Five glimpses of tsunami relief seva rendered by swayamsevaks of RSS-Seva Bharathi, Tamilnadu

This issue of PANCHAAMRITAM was due on Amavasya (January 10, 2005).
This delay, as can be guessed, was caused by Tsunami. All the same, it
provided us an opportunity to present glimpses of the service rendered
by Swayamsevaks of RSS-Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu among the Tsunami-hit
along the Tamilnadu coastline, with emphasis on North Tamilnadu.

January 13, 2005


** RSS - Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu volunteers Valavan and Shastri saved
78 persons from the jaws of death while they were engaged in relief
work in Nagore, Nagapattinam District. ** At Kilinjalmedu near
Karaikkal (Pondichery Union Territory), Gnanasekaran, a well built
Swayamsevak made several trips into the turbulent sea and carried 2
persons every time back to shore. In this manner, he saved the lives
of 25 persons. ** In the same place, Ganesh and Arulmurugan climbed on
to a boat that was being tossed by the waves, rowed into the sea and
brought ashore 6 persons struggling for life out there. ** At a place
near Kalpaakkam, where river Palaru meets the sea, the force of the
current was maximum. Volunteers Ramesh and Mekkavan found two persons
being snatched away by the receding rush of sea water; they managed to
rescue both after a hard struggle (Thus, Swayamsevaks saved the lives
of a total of 114 persons all along the Tamilnadu coastline).


** Paramankeni (Kanchipuram District): Various organisations and
individuals had dumped relief material in this costal village. The
villagers found that blankets were far more than the requirement. They
decided to pass them on to other needy people. They thoughtfully chose
a Harijan hamlet nearby. They carried the bundles of blankets and
distributed them among the worse affected men and women there. ** At
Neelangarai, a fishing village in south Chennai coast RSS-Seva
Bharathi team went round distributing food packets on the evening of
the day when Tsunami struck. The residents of the place requested the
team to serve food to the residents of the adjacent village where no
relief had reached by that time. They said, "We have taken food but
our neighbours are hungry". ** In Aiyambakkam, a hamlet situated on
the Cuddalore-Chidambaram route Swayamsevaks distributed relief
material. They also met families that have lost their near and dear
and consoled them. But the villagers said, "we are particularly sad
that we are not in a position even to provide refreshments to you who
have taken the trouble of coming to share our grief."


** Thirvottriyur (North Chennai): Tsunami afflicted people from many
fishing hamlets in north Chennai in need of relief materials were
requested by the volunteers of RSS - Seva Bharathi to arrange
themselves in rows and sit down. They did. A piece of camphor and
matchbox were given to each. All of them were requested by the
volunteers to light the camphor and pray to the almighty to bestow
sadgati to their departed dear ones. The effect was simply
inexplicable in words. A deep silence that prevailed in the minutes
that followed clearly made those present there feel and experience the
current of profound emotions that was running in the hearts of every
single tsunami hit individual. Soon after, when Swayamsevaks asked the
people whether some of them could come forward to join the relief and
rehabilitation activity, all assembled there spontaneously raised
their hands as a sign of their readiness. Thereupon, Swayamsevaks
selected 3 men and 3 women as volunteers for every hamlet. Thus a
feeling of service mindedness could be evoked even in grief-stricken
men and women by appealing to their innate spirituality. ** Chinnanur
(Salem District): Swayamsevaks and Seva Bharathi volunteers residing
in interior districts provided the most essential supply back up by
door to door collection of relief material. Swayamsevaks of Chinnanur
found an old woman in rags approaching the cart loaded with relief
material collected in the village, trying to say something. One young
volunteer, presuming that she was asking for alms, told her to go
away. But, to his wonderment, the old lady extended her arm holding a
tiny cloth bag (surukku pai) containing some small change, her own
precious savings. She was, in fact, offering her all for the sake of
the suffering sons and daughters.


** Ambattur (Chennai): The management, staff and students of Saraswati
Matriculation School decided to cancel the annual day celebrations
this year and donate Rs. 30,000 being the amount saved thus to the
relief and rehabilitation work of Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu. The
correspondent of the school who came to Seva Bharathi office at
Chetpet, Chennai, to hand over the cheque, was so impressed by the
sincere and systematic efforts of Seva Bharathi that he made,
additionally, a personal contribution of Rs 10,000 on the spot. **
Avalurpet (Vellore District): Many a coastal village in Tamilnadu hit
by Tsunami left behind many children fatherless and motherless.
Swayamsevaks have started finding out establishments that will take
care of these hapless kids. Raja Desingu School is one such school
where a few orphaned kids will stay study. The Swayamsevaks learnt
that the school was already home to a few orphans. But the newcomers
were only more welcome there, indicating the accommodative spirit of
the school management.


** By the efforts of RSS - Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu, seven eminent
Hindu spiritual groups including the AIM of Swami Dayananda Sarawati,
the Ramakrisha Mutt, The Art of Living team of Sri Sri Ravishankar,
Yoga followers of Shri. Jaggi Vasudev, devotees of Mata
Amritananadamayi, etc., came together and formed Tsunami
Rehabilitation Inititative (TRI) and have started working in unison, a
sign of recent Hindu resurgence. ** A district level functionary of
the Congress Party in North Chennai found RSS-Seva Bharati Volunteers
successfully inspiring even the Tsunami hit people to shoulder the
relief and rehabilitation work. That made him feed a hundred such
volunteers at one of the 15 relief camps run by RSS-Seva Bharathi
Tamilnadu, for two days at his own expense. He had come to the camp,
in fact, looking for his grandmother who had volunteered to join
others in sorting clothes received from the public for distribution.
** The Tamilnadu secretary of Communist Party of India Shri.
Nallakannu went round many Tsunami hit places; on returning to Chennai
he told reporters on January 1, 2005, " I found RSS men helping
affected people even in places where the state machinery had not


NOTE: Willing donors may send in their contributions as Cheque /
Demand Draft in the name of "Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu -Earthquake
Relief A/C" at the following address:

Seva Bharathi Tamilnadu,

1, M.V.Street, Panchavadi, Chetpet,

Chennai - 600 031.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Living in Thailand said...

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