Saturday, October 15, 2005


Statement by RSS

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh expresses deep anguish and sorrow over the huge loss of life, limb and property due to the recent earthquake in J&K and Pakistan. Nature's fury has left thousands dead, lakhs homeless and millions grieving. We convey our deepest condolences to the victims of the killer quake on both sides of the LoC.

The Jammu unit of the RSS has immediately plunged into action and sent two teams, one each to Uri and Poonch tehsils, to take stock of the situation. Swayamsevaks in Poonch had immediately started relief activity with the available resources and the help of the Army. They rescued several people who were stuck in the collapsed houses and secured their belongings from those houses. Arrangements were made by Swayamsevaks in Poonch area for food, shelter etc for the victims who were left homeless by the quake.

In Srinagar, a team of 4-5 of our activists is engaged in helping the victims at the Children's Hospital. They are providing emotional succor as well as material help to the patients and their families. Milk, fruits, necessary clothing etc are being provided to the victims there.

Immediate challenge is to provide temporary shelters and protection from cold and chill of the on-setting winter. We have sent 1000 blankets to the Poonch area today and another 1000 blankets will be dispatched tomorrow to Uri area.

Our teams have gone to assess the extent of damage etc the report of which will be placed before the National Executive of the RSS which is meeting from 21 to 23 October at Chitrakoot. Detailed rehabilitation plans will be prepared there for all the three affected tehsils, i.e. Poonch, Uri, Tangdhar.

Many refugees in Jammu have their relatives in Mujaffarabad and other areas in PoK, which have borne the major brunt of the quake. They are expressing their desire to go and help the affected brethren in PoK. We will certainly consider extending support to any such initiative.


KASHMIR : International Association of Human Values in Action

International Association of Human Values (IAHV) has started assessment of the earthquake-affected areas in Jammu & Kashmir, India and Pakistan. IAHV and Art of Living Foundation volunteers, including a team of doctors and trauma relief experts, are reaching the hardest-hit areas of Baramulla and Uri, India, where the two organizations will carry out relief and rehabilitation work. The foundation will soon start trauma relief camps for the survivors and conduct special programs for children who are gripped by fear and anxiety.

In Pakistan, a team of volunteers led by Art of Living Teacher Naeem Zamindar, is headed for Balakot, the worst effected area. The organizations have started collecting emergency relief supplies and set up a trauma relief center in Islamabad.

The efforts will not only bring material help to those in need but also tend to the mental and emotional needs of those who have lost loved ones and their livelihood due to the disaster. Volunteers have acquired expertise in disaster management and trauma relief from their experiences in similar disasters in the past.
The foundation continues to provide trauma relief camps in the tsunami-affected areas in India and Sri Lanka, as well as in the US Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It conducted major relief operations in the aftermath of earthquakes in Gujarat and Bam; floods in Mumbai and Indonesia; Orissa cyclone and 9/11 World Trade Center attack.

The victims of the disaster are in urgent need of emergency supplies, such as food, water, shelter, tents, cooking utensils, blankets, etc. A special team has been established which is making an assessment of short term needs and long term rehabilitation requirements. IAHV volunteers intend to build upon their existing relationships within the affected areas to bring short and long-term relief to those directly affected by the tsunami. IAHV is seeking additional partnerships with international humanitarian organizations and relief services that create synergies on the ground.

Monday, October 10, 2005

IDRF Appeal for Relief & Rehabilitation of Earthquake victims of South Asia

URGENT Appeal for Relief & Rehabilitation of Earthquake victims of South Asia

[Tax exempt, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization]

"..Relief & Rehabilitation of Earthquake victims of South Asia..."

More than 30,000 dead and thousands more injured (October 9, 2005)
Entire villages and towns flattened across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan
Balakot (Pakistan), Muzaffarabad (PoK, epicenter) are among the most affected

"My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this horrible tragedy,"
- said Bush


IDRF will disburse funds raised to grass roots NGOs in Asia
with minimal overhead expenses
Raju Datla
Phone: (978) 807-1864
Suresh Deopura
Phone: (510) 573-5100

Vijay Pallod
Phone: (281) 568-4995
or Email:

Please make check payable to ‘IDRF’ (mention ‘South Asia Earthquake’ in the memo) and mail it to:

IDRF, 40 Orchard Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876

Donate online for South Asia Earthquake victims by More About PayPal®

IDRF is soliciting your tax-deductible contribution for the relief and rehabilitation of South Asia Earthquake victims. IDRF is of the largest US based Indian charities administered by volunteers without any honorarium or overhead. Thus, 100% of your contribution will be disbursed directly to the NGO. IDRF has raised more than $16 million US dollars for developmental projects and rehabilitation of victims from recent Tsunami disaster (2005), Orissa super cyclone (2000) and Gujarat Earthquake (2001). Please check out our website for latest information

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Art of Living Foundation started assessment of the earthquake in India-Pak

South Asia Earthquake (Pakistan & India)

New Delhi, Oct 8, 2006: International Association of Human Values (IAHV) and Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) have started assessment of the earthquake affected areas in Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan. Volunteers of the foundation, including a team of doctors and trauma relief experts, are reaching the affected areas, where the two organisations will carry out extensive relief and rehabilitation work. The foundation will soon start trauma relief camps for the survivors, using its proven stress elimination techniques.

Volunteers of the foundation have acquired expertise in disaster management and trauma relief from their experiences in similar disasters in the past. The foundation conducted major relief operations in the aftermath of earthquakes in Gujarat and Iran; floods in Mumbai and Indonesia, South Asian tsunami and the recent Katrina Hurricane.

The two organisations express their sympathy to the families of those killed and the survivors of the earthquake.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Hindus in Houston and Throughout Texas Provide Relief

Hindus of Greater Houston

Press Release


September 25, 2005

Prepared by Beth Kulkarni. Contact for more information: Vijay at

Hindus in Houston and Throughout Texas Provide Relief

Houston, Texas. Putting their faith into action and making use of technology, Hindus from various organizations throughout the Houston area meet Thursday evening, not in person, but through audio conferencing.

First on the agenda was to pray together. And in the Hindu tradition, the prayer, led by Acharya Sonarao-ji of Arya Samaj, was not only for those who might be in the path of Hurricane Rita but for the entire universe. Following that, participants shared plans and the availability of shelter for those who might need it. Hindus of Greater Houston then, through emails and phone contacts, spread the information that might help those still looking for shelter

Keshav Smruti, southwest Houston office of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), announced space would be available for a number of families. Rama Rao and Meera Rao of Svyasa chosed to stay one night there. Manoj Agarwal of Shri RadhaKrishna Temple on Bellaire indicated that the temple would be open to those who needed shelter. The management committee of Arya Samaj of Greater Houston made available additional space. ASGH pledged full support in any crisis, natural or otherwise, to serve the community. VPSS, another temple in southwest Houston, opened its facility for evacuees or for needy people to stay and all facilities including food were provided. This facility was open for any one who needed it regardless of religion or nationality. A number of families did accept the hospitality of the temple.

Senior citizen Padmakant Mehta of Houston was pleased to receive a phone call asking him if he needed shelter. Due to the weakening of the storm in the Houston area, he and his wife Nita stayed at home, but were glad for the reassurance that help was available.

For those who had traveled out of Houston and found themselves without housing due to all hotels and motels already being fully occupied, Arun Sharma of HSS arranged with over 25 families in San Antonio and Dallas to provide shelter.

BAPS Care International already had centers in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Bryan College Station and El Campo providing shelters to those affected by the recent hurricanes. In Houston, a number of families chose to stay at the temple, feeling safer than in their homes.

The Hindu Temple in Irving, Texas, opened its doors for Hurricane Rita evacuees Thursday night and its members and volunteers quickly gathered food, supplies, and other items to meet the needs of persons referred to the shelter by the Red Cross and other agencies. Over 200 people were accommodated by the temple. The voluntary services of local Hindu doctors was much appreciated by several individuals.

Barsana Dham, an ashram and temple in Austin, provided shelter to about 150 evacuees from Houston and surrounding areas during Hurricane Rita. Narendra Zamwar who stayed there with his family reported that “All the arrangements for the stay and food were very good. The temple atmosphere was very peaceful. Many children's activities were arranged including story telling, special movies, art contests, chalk drawings on floor, and water games. Evacuees could really get peace of mind after having driven for12 to 20 hours to cover the distance which normally takes three to four hours.”

In San Antonio, 40 homes were made available for those who needed a place to stay. HSS and Sewa International volunteers coordinated this service.

Sunday evening, September 25, 2005, some of the same community leaders that gathered on Thursday again joined a conference call to pray and review the actions taken by various community groups. Working together they were able to better serve the community.

Although Hurricane Rita did not cause as much damage as expected in the Greater Houston area, it was heartening to see the various Hindu organizations in Houston, Dallas area, Austin, and San Antonio helping to provide shelter and food to those who needed it.
Serving one’s fellow man is serving God according to Hindu thought and practice.