An update from Art of Living Volunteers on ground.
A rather long post, I would appreciate if you can post this on your blog. I understand your blog may have more footprints than mine and I want this to reach out to whosoever is interested. These have been extracted out of AOL group mails.
Tapan Vaidya - a software professional working at Intel in Bangalore and a Art of Living teacher was doing seva (voluntary work) in Cuddalore. He came back yetserday and this is what he has to say:
What can I do for Tsunami victims?
This thought troubled me for few days last week, until Friday, when I decided to go to Cuddalore with a group of volunteers and some relief material. Thinking there
is no better way to start the New Year than to be doing seva (service) where it is required the most.
Mostly what we got from 2 days of survey in the Tsunami affected areas is that there are a lot of well-to-do fishermen in the area, who lived a respectable life, and have lost their houses, occupation, and dear ones. Some of them are still mourning and do not want to go out for help nor want to talk to anyone. Some have the courage to fight the situation, and want to restart earning and continue with their business
but do not have the means. There are some who never wore second-hand clothes or never begged for anything and would not take any help if you are distributing things
out of your vehicle and expect them to come there and take it. And, there are some who were not affected at all but want to use the situation to accumulate as much a possible, and such situations are going to prevail.
Immediate requirement there is a lot of individual counseling from all Tamil speaking people, if you speak Tamil and if you can just reach a few people and talk to them and support them that might bring a big relief to people. We were able to conduct a couple of meditation/Prayer sessions in the places where relief work was going on and a lot of people were relieved of their emotional outburst. Ample food is available, but if you still want to, please send it to relief camps for now, since the affected people do not have houses. There are places where epidemics have spread, and doctors are of a great help here.
Long term requirement in terms of housing, boats for fishermen and Navchetna Shibirs to cope up with the trauma and fear of sea. All of these needs a lot of organized efforts. There are various centers of Art Of Living around the world who have started collecting contributions, If the Volunteers from Tamil Nadu and surrounding states get together and adopt some villages in terms of housing and providing boats too fishermen we would be able to impact a lot. Art of Living has already been identified as the only NGO to provide Trauma relief.
Seva is just being available where the need is, and from what we saw the need is enormous. Let us all coordinate our efforts and work fast on this. We are planning to send a group of volunteers ever week to the affected areas, also there is a huge need of people who can stay there for 15 â 20 days and interact with the locals and get the long term projects of housing, navchetna shibir etc started. Funds of course will be needed in ample here, and we have a big family who is more then willing to support the cause. Let us be useful in whatever little way we can be.
Further to this note above, here are the next steps:
For those who are in Bangalore and would like to do some seva, we're going to send buses every weekend. There's one that will leave this Friday night (from Bangalore) and will come back Monday morning. From our last experience, this team will have 2 doctors, 10 people who can speak Tamil and 10 people who are AOL teachers or have done AOL phase 1 alongwith relief material. Phase 1 fellows/teachers who can speak
Tamil are a bonus.
For now, all those who would like to be on this trip can send their names to me by Thursday 5.00 pm. (email@example.com, 9886452620) I'm in touch with the Bangalore team (Subbu, Jayanagar), who is in touch with IAHV. Translate This Post: