Breaking the Rules

I saw her early in the morning, a small, tentative woman. She would come close to the truck for a short while then retreat, afraid to have hope. I knew by her manner she would not be on the list for a blanket.

She tried to tell the list-makers ​to include her name also in the list ​ but all in vain.
jk-blanket14

Sure enough, as we gave our final twenty blankets, she was still there
watching, knowing she would again be left behind. Br. Amit saw her too
and quietly found a way to slip her two blankets without drawing the attention
of the crowd.

jk-blanket15

She examined her blankets with care, neatly folded them, and proudly walked away with a huge smile on her face.

​​I swear she stood four inches taller. ​Following “The List” has been very helpful so that we may deliver the maximum number of blankets in a reasonable amount of time, but some times we have to break some rules, especially in such cases.

– Scotti

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

The List

You can not simply drive to a village with an open heart and start handing out blankets. It would cause a riot.
jk-blanket10

Instead, we rely on “The List”, a hand written record of all the village families.
jk-blanket11

Depending on the accuracy and integrity of the Panch (Village Mayor), his list will ensure a fair and reasonably orderly distribution as he calls out the names.
jk-blanket12

Mata Amritanandamayi Math distributed three thousand blankets over three days.
jk-blanket13

– Scotti

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

The end of the road

It is the end of the road. The edge of nowhere. Vast marshland
receding into Wular Lake.

jk-blanket8

Aid comes slowly, if at all to Baneyari. Nearly 10,000 people live
here, scraping a meager existence from the land and water.

jk-blanket7

At first hostile as they thought we were government, but they soon warmed as they realized that someone such as Amma, all the way from Kerala cared about their problems and had sent them blankets which are desperately needed for the upcoming winter season.​

jk-blanket9

About 1600 blankets were given to 800 families in Baneyari.

-Scotti

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

Lahar of Love in Laharwalpora

Laharwalpora was an area that had its structures under water for more many days. Long queue of people gathered in no time as soon as we started or medical camp there. After those dreadful waves of flood, soothing waves of Amma’s love and compassion was reaching out to this village via the medical camp.

jkmedical-31

For some reason, out of the all the people who turned up for the medical camp, women and children were much more in number than men. Our lady doctors and paediatricians were seeing maximum patients for the day.

jkmedical-30

Here in this village there were not many local people who could help translate. But luckily the drivers from the vehicles we had hired volunteered to help with translation. Soon the young boys from the village offered their help to translate. In fact they seemed to enjoy the translation part of it. There were cases of gynecological problems, scabies, allergies, back and joint pains etc., but we had enough variety of medicines to cover all the cases.

I noticed one young guy who was going around asking some people to not see any of the doctors at the camp. Later he came up to me with a disturbed look on his face. With a somewhat harsh tone he asked, “What is your religion?”. Before I could open my mouth, one elderly man came up and said to him, “Shut up! Can’t you see that these people are genuinely wanting to help us. They are not like those who ask you to change your religion for some money or aid. They have come all the way from kerala to help us. I have seen Amma on TV. Such people are above any religion just like Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon*. The only religion of such people is Love”.

jkmedical-32

That was a nice mini-capsule of a satsang dose for me too. I nodded my head in affirmation looking at the young boy who had asked the question. Suddenly the cover photo of Amma’s facebook page, which says the same thing (My Religion is Love), flashed in my mind. I wrote the Facebook URL of Amma’s page on a small piece of paper and asked the boy if he knew what facebook is. He just snatched the slip from my hand and left the scene immediately.

I had a brief conversation with the elderly man before getting back to helping with translations and with dispensing medicines in pharmacy. I was surprised to later find the same young boy helping to manage the crowd and ensuring that everyone is getting the medicines. What a transformation! And such transformation is the natural effect of true religion of love.

– Amit

—–
*Lal Ded (Lalleshwari) and Habba Khatoon are Kashmiri mystic-poets of 14th and 16th century respectively.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

A surge for blankets

The trucks had come ahead of us. Just as the sun was setting, we stepped out into a pool of Kashmiri faces which surged upon us. Concerned for my safety as a foreigner, there were frantic shouts of “Get him back in the car”. Our jeep retreated to the edge of the crowd. What to do? You can not deliver blankets huddled inside a jeep. More cautiously, we stepped out again with Br. Amit and our local videograper explaining why we had come, to any in the crowd who would listen.

jk-blanket6
jk-blanket5

A few obvious leaders from the village and the mosques appeared. There was agitation with the government over the aid this poor village was receiving. Slowly they became convinced we were there independently, trying to bring a small token of aid without politics. They agreed to help us and calmed the crowd as we walked towards the truck. We all climbed to the top, below the banner with Amma’s smiling face, and began the distribution in the dark.

– Scotti

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

Happy Diwali at Kulhama

Kulhama was another village devastated with floods in the Kasmir valley. As the team of our doctors arrived there, the smile on the people’s faces charged us up. A health sub centre at Kulhama was where we were asked to start the medical camp.

jkmedical-25

Some local people offered their help for patient registrations. Soon the slips were being given out to patients.

There were no lights inside the rooms. Some corners were pitch dark. And the space was also quite cramped up. But everyone was so charged up that lack of outer lights and space hardly mattered.   Our doctors, paramedics and pharmacy guys immediately took to their tasks.

jkmedical-26

As they say, where there is a will, there is a way. Our doctors used their mobile phones  to get some light for writing prescriptions and to examine the patients. I could see a sincere effort on their part to work without any complaints. I did not want to complain to the local authorities either, but I was concerned that doctors might feel tired examining patients and writing prescriptions under mobile phone light. Moreover the battery of the phones could also drain out. As I was thinking about Amma’s saying  – “When there is a sincere effort the grace follows”, suddenly a small girl appeared from nowhere and handed me a battery operated mobile light. For a moment I was stunned. I felt Amma heard my prayer. This little girl had a smile on her face, as if hinting Amma’s omniscience.

Soon the dark corners of the room were lit up with this gift of light. Now doctors could work with both hands, rather than having to hold their mobile torch lights with one hand.

Just like other places, the plight of the people in this village was deplorable. At the very least, all our doctors were making sure to share loving and caring words of solace along with the prescriptions, in order to soothe the aching hearts to some extent.

jkmedical-28

As a token to their gratitude, the local people made some tea and offered it to all of us. Almost none of us was having the tea. Some did not even notice.  All of were too busy either with seeing the patients, dispensing medicines, managing the crowd and translating to local language. But after local people insisted on having the tea before it went cold, we had to oblige.
As we left Kulhama, it was getting darker. But within, all of us felt bathed in the light of Amma’s Love and compassion, a Happy Diwali.

 

jkmedical-27

– Amit

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments

Bringing warmth on a cold night

Amma has sent thousands of blankets to Kashmir. Delayed in the same traffic jam that stopped our medical vehicles, they have just arrived as the weather is turning colder. District Magistrate Shah Faesal is directing us to more remote villages where people have received no aid at all.

jk-blanket3

We pass large areas around Lake Wullar were crops have been severely damaged. After driving several kilometers along the top of a canal (I can’t really call it a road), we reached Zurimanz as the sun was setting.

jk-blanket1

We feared a chaotic rush in the dark, but our local helpers were extremely organized with lists of the most needy families.
jk-blanket2

jk-blanket4

Two blankets do not begin to erase the losses these people have faced, but tonight 163 families feel the touch of Amma’s infinite compassion.

– Scotti

 

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Google Buzz

Posted in Disaster Relief0 Comments


Like Amritapuri on FaceBook

AMMA SMS

Join AMMA community ! Send sms ‘Join AMMA’ to 9220092200 (Only for India)