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Flood Relief

Flood Relief   Flood is a natural calamity causing severe damages to the basic survival of the people. The primary damage is the destruction of the people’s dwellings, leaving the people with no choice apart from moving out from their broken dwellings. Then they try to take shelter anywhere and everywhere, on top of the trees or on broken buildings or even above their thatched roofs or on the roads above the flood levels just to protect themselves. And they suffer without food. Children, women, old people, the diseased and the disabled become totally helpless. Food becomes a major problem!
The flood water spreads all over the land putting a stop to electricity, basic communication amongst people, medical help, drinking water supply, and food transport. Apart from this, the price of the available food items hikes up. This makes it all the more unaffordable for the people prone to flood. Without sufficient medical help, the children and diseased people undergo severe physical suffering. Arrangement of food becomes the major issue at that time. This pathetic condition forces some good citizens to steal food for their hungry family members. The struggle for survival makes people learn and practice illegal means to earn their living. Will such attitudes help the society and the nation? So how will the flood-prone people survive? Apart from the human beings getting affected from the flood, domestic animals also get affected. Innocent animals like cows and buffaloes which provide milk to the human beings develop diseases due to the flood water and many of them die without food!
Flood Relief   Having noticed a crisis amongst the people in the flood prone villages, ISKCON Mayapur has organized a project named Flood Relief. Within the last 30 years, some part of West Bengal has been affected by the flood waters of Ganga almost every year, either in small scale or large scale. From 1978 until now there have been at least 4-5 major floods apart from the smaller floods! The major floods are disastrous!

Food for Life Mayapur has been on site in action, launching extensive relief efforts to cater to the needs of the flood affected people.
When there is a threat of a flood, ISKCON attempts several precautionary measures to prevent it such as
Sand bags are put across the roads
Sewage gates are checked
Roads are checked and repaired 
Medical facilities are arranged
The local government and villages are kept informed about the flood situation
  Flood Relief
Local residents are given precautions to store food and prepare for surviving during flood And once the flood sets in, the stranded villagers need the following:
And once the flood sets in, the stranded villagers need the following:
Prasadam: Cooked food such as khitchari, and dry food such as flat-rice (chira) with molasses (gur)
Drinking water
Medical facilities: Volunteer doctors, assistants and medicines
Food for children such as biscuits and milk powder
Fodder for cows
Tents and other essential materials for survival
  Flood Relief
Emergency rescue team
Help to transport their essentials from their home to a place of shelter
How is all of this provided by Food for Life Mayapur?
Flood Relief   About 300 full-time volunteers from ISKCON dedicate their time and energy to help in flood relief. Some of them cook food from morning to night on a daily basis, while others distribute it to various surrounding affected villages. Experienced field-workers and dynamic senior team leaders meet on a daily basis to strategically plan the entire flood relief operation based on input from their village networks on population, affected spots, potential places of distribution of food, etc.,
specific requirements and current availability of resources. Specific service teams are organized, supervised and dispatched to specific localities in consultation with local governmental authorities. Each daily meeting is preceded by a review of the previous day’s efforts, and the challenges faced are noted and deliberated upon.
On an average, more than 3000 plates of cooked food and 3000 plates of dry food are served to the stranded villagers. The affected villagers have repeatedly expressed their honest appreciation and gratitude to ISKCON Mayapur for their services.
After the flood
Once the flood waters recede, there is still a lot of work to be done to resettle the villagers back into their normal life. These include:
Help to transport the flood victims along with their possessions back to their homes
Their houses need to be repaired
Flood Relief
Since their fields are not fertile and adversely affected by the flood, they are unable to produce their own foodstuff; so they still need food to survive
They, especially women and children, need clothing
The flood affected areas need to be disinfected
Further medicines and health-awareness programs need to be conducted to reduce and stop epidemics due to the flood In order to do the above, we need your help and support.
In order to do the above, we need your help and support.
Flood Relief   Lord Chaitanya flooded the whole world with the holy names of Krishna. Helping to serve the residents of His holy abode is a powerful means of receiving the mercy of Sri Navadvipa-dhama. Join us in receiving the mercy of Sri Navadvipa-dhama as per your capacity.

Help us help the flood victims. Periodic floods in Mayapur and surrounding areas is a reality. Let us help the villagers overcome their challenges at this crucial part of the year.
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Feeding Villagers with Harinam Party

Feeding Villagers with Harinam Party   "A person is considered no better than a crow if after receiving some food, he does not divide it among guests, old men and children, but simply eats it himself, or if he eats it without performing the five kinds of sacrifice. After death he is put into the most abominable hell, known as Kamibhojana."
                                        - Srila Prabhupada. (Srimad Bhagavatam 5:26:18)

“Rantideva, after going without even water for forty-eight days, somehow obtained some food and water, but then some beggars came and he gave it all away to them. ” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10:72:21)

“So that is the duty of every temple. There we're feeding not only Hindus and, only, but Muslims also. Anyone. Anyone come here and take prasadam. And the whole village is so satisfied with these activities.” (Srila Prabhupada, Lecture,Kolkata 1973)
Mayapur is situated 110 km North of Kolkata, and most of the people living in its surrounding areas are below poverty level, earning an average of less than $1 a day. Such people naturally find it difficult to survive with such very low income.
Despite the fact that we are living in the modern age with high technology (‘computer age’), is this age making any difference to the poverty stricken people? Rather we see that prices for all the provision, stationary, etc. are high. In any 6-member family, 70% of the earning goes for food! It is extremely difficult for people with very low income to properly cater to minimum necessities of family life and social intercourse such as proper shelter for living, medical needs, etc. This is their life, day after day. Generally, their children are also similarly poor, and due to insufficient education, lack of proper vocational training and good health, they are unable to adjust to the contemporary needs of the rapidly changing modern society.
Feeding Villagers with Harinam Party   Therefore, we humbly request you to kindly consider their situation and ask ourselves, “How can we tolerate this inequality between the affluent us and the poor them. Though it is impossible to mitigate the problem of poverty altogether, it cannot be denied that at least we should feed hungry members of our community. According to the scriptures, the civilized man considers the entire world to be his community and family: vasudhaiva kutumbakam. Feeding these persons is not only a charity to them; it is our duty and obligation to them. Vedic culture exhorts all householders to worship the Supreme Lord and feed others, especially the poor, to the very best of his capacity. Since all of us are Krishna’s children as spirit souls, it is our obligation to feed these financially incapable brothers and sisters.
Our village prasada distribution party goes by boat to surrounding villages once a week. This is organized by His Grace Shastra dasa Adhikari and his team.
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Feeding school children

School Children (100 Mid-day Meal)   Today’s children are our future. Everyone is Krishna’s child, whether they are rich/poor, dark/fair, educated/uneducated. These differences don’t matter in the long run. Hunger exists in everybody. And when even adults cannot tolerate hunger, what to speak of children?

The children who are born to the poor are undernourished even when they are in their mothers’ wombs, what to speak of when they are grown up. Poverty leads to hunger, and it is very heartbreaking to see such children suffer from hunger.

Such children are somehow sent to the nearby schools to get basic education, but often come to school without any arrangement for lunch. Very rarely they might bring some dried flat rice or puffed rice! This is not because there is no food but because they don’t have money to buy the food. As a result of this, several such village children are undernourished and they drop out from school.
Sometimes this causes them to be prone to diseases and finally death. Why should these children be allowed to suffer like this?
School Children (100 Mid-day Meal)   It often happens that such illiterate and poverty-stricken parents who cannot afford to feed and educate their children properly have many children, and naturally to participate in earning the basic necessities of the family, the children turn to labor (child labor). This does not improve their family’s financial situation, and so their poverty leads to hunger generation after generation. Such situations often incite them to engage in antisocial activities, thus disturbing the country’s peace.

But there is a way to help these children become free from hunger: midday meal prasada to school children.
The school children can thus get healthy nutritious food and spiritual benefit, and thus become good citizens of this country.
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Feeding Child Labour

Child-labor School ( 25 students group)   Child labour is very common in rural areas. Little children from the poverty-stricken families engaging in labor works is child labor. Because their parents are penniless and shelterless, children have to work hard for their own livelihood. The parents due to poverty are not able to afford to the many children they have, not able to educate them, not able to give them even the basic necessities of life. So they send their children to earn the livelihood from the very young age.
Hard labors like breaking the rocks, preparing beedis, etc, make up for the clothing they wear. The government and several welfare societies are trying to uplift the downtrodden condition of the children in these areas, and are to be commended for their endeavors.

We are planning to make arrangements to provide prasada to rural children in and around Mayapur. You can be the first to support these children.
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Youth and Students retreat program

Youth and Students retreat program   Sometimes, during their vacation, in order to relieve themselves from the tremendous study load and pressure, groups of students from various schools and colleges visit Sri Mayapur to become spiritually empowered, and participate in retreats during their vacation. Such retreats are conducted by expert and senior devotees, and the students also attend the morning program, japa, etc.

They refresh themselves in the Ganga and visit various holy places connected to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. They also listen to the pastimes and teachings of Lord Chaitanya and receive practical training in character building,
personality development, cultivation of the four chief virtues--truth, cleanliness, austerity and compassion--as well as the importance of celibacy as well as family values.

But as young students naturally lack money for various expenses, we often arrange for nutritious and wholesome prasada for them. Srila Prabhupada also desired that the students of India take up spirituality, and become competent and moral leaders for the whole world. Please step forward and give us a helping hand to nurture these future leaders.
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" No one within ten miles radius of ISKCON Mayapur temple should go
Srila Prabhupada
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