Atlanta, GA: Over 6,000 are feared to be dead from the devastating floods, cloudbursts and landslides that took place in the Indian state of Uttarakhand over this summer. Entire villages and settlements were obliterated during the disaster, totaling up to 4,200 affected villages, thus marking it as India’s worst natural disaster since the tsunami in 2004. Many of those believed to be lost were pilgrims on their way to religious shrines, whereas others were local residents of the region.
In the wake of the tragedy in the northern Indian state of Uttarkhand, BAPS Charities partnered with the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in India to provide relief to those affected by the floods and landslides. Immediately, food, blankets and other emergency supplies were sent from New Delhi to Uttarakhand for distribution to the victims.
BAPS Charities and the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha have been partners in times of humanitarian need such as during the Western India / Bhuj Earthquake in 2001 and the Asian Tsunami in 2004 in helping to rebuild lives in South Asia.
BAPS Charities raised awareness about the devastation in Uttarakhand and solicited donations and support. BAPS provided volunteers and dedicated its efforts to ensure that the resources were used in a manner to maximize effectiveness.
Rushing to aid those affected by this terrible disaster, over 645 dedicated volunteers packed and distributed over 8,500 kits totaling 60 tons of food including items such as wheat flour, rice, water bottles, etc. Additionally, 50 tons of household supplies including blankets, flashlights, cooking utensils, soap, footwear, cooking utensils, clothes, and much more were also distributed to the disaster victims.
Expressing his appreciation, HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India said, “We are happy that BAPS and its volunteers are here, working with us for the Uttarakhand relief. By them participating, our organization is benefiting and is being guided by their experience, discipline and efficiency.”
Despite the difficult terrains and the danger of landslides, volunteers and partners personally visited villages to distribute food rations and household supplies in over 30 villages. In total, 1,200 tarpaulins, 230 tents and 14,252 blankets were provided for the disaster victims. These items helped cover food, shelter and household needs.
In addition, the volunteers provided and distributed over 77,685 free medicines and 1,665 first aid materials to needy patients, families and organizations. Volunteer doctors conducted medical camps, offered medical counseling and treated over 200 victims. Further, they distributed 50 medical relief kits to the medical personnel of effected villages and other organizations.
Highlighting the efforts by relief volunteers, Mr. Satyendra Ukashi, relief volunteer of Uttarkashi’s Shri Vishwanath Sanskrit Mahavidyalay, said, “(We were) highly impressed by BAPS volunteers’ level of detailing in terms of execution, practical decision-making and documentation.”
Summary of BAPS Charities Uttarakhand Relief Efforts:
||30 villages (Dists: Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Guptakashi, Bageshwar, Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Tharali, Chinyalisaur, Joshimath, Ukhimath)|
||202 patients treated in medical camps; 50 medical relief kits provided to 25 villages. 77,685 free medicines and 1,665 first aid materials distributed|
||8,500 kits including 60 tons of 24 food items provided, packed and distributed|
||50 tons of supplies with 38 relief items provided, organized & distributed|
||1200 tarpaulins & 230 tents provided for the homeless and needy|
BAPS Charities is an internationally-recognized public charity committed to sincerely serving the world by caring for individuals, families and communities. Most recently, BAPS Charities raised funds for the Japan Earthquake and Disaster. In 2010, BAPS Charities raised and donated $63,000 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in support of the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. BAPS Charities has engaged in natural disaster relief work in the US, parts of Africa, Europe, and South Asia. With over fifty years of experience, BAPS Charities helps relieve and rebuild communities with personalized care.
In addition to relief work across the world, BAPS Charities conducts numerous health, environmental, and educational activities. For more information about BAPS Charities’ humanitarian assistance programs and to contribute to its Humanitarian efforts, please visit: www.bapscharities.org