The Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission have been rendering relief and rehabilitation services to the victims of natural and man-made disasters for more than a century. This comprehensive annual report covers such services rendered by the Math and Mission in the financial year 2017-18. The total expenditure incurred for the relief activities during this period was nearly Rs. 44.65 crore (Indian Rupees 446.5 million).
Assam: In the wake of devastating floods in Dhemaji district, Itanagar centre distributed 6000 kg rice, 3000 kg dal (lentils), 3035 kg potatoes, 600 kg cooking oil, 600 kg salt, 300 kg milk powder, 1200 packets of candles, 6000 packets of matchboxes, 600 kg detergent powder and 1200 bars of soap among 600 flood-affected families on 14 September. Moreover, Guwahati centre distributed 1150 buns, 204 bananas, 1050 packets of biscuits, 966 mosquito-nets, 831 saris, 485 dhotis, 100 lungis, 3000 candles and 600 packets of matchboxes among 1101 flood-affected families in Morigaon, Darang and Nagaon districts from 15 July to 20 August, besides providing medical relief to 540 flood-affected patients.
Bihar: In the aftermath of heavy rains and release of water from Nepal, many areas of northern Bihar were extensively struck by floods. Muzaffarpur centre served 2500 plates of cooked food and distributed 1500 kg chira (rice flakes) and 400 kg gur (molasses) among 625 flood-affected families in Muzaffarpur district from 26 August to 27 September. Katihar centre distributed 6530 kg chira, 285 kg sugar, 413 kg gur, 700 packets of biscuits, 350 litres of bottled drinking water, 570 polythene sheets, 4716 candles, 700 torches and 4146 packets of matchboxes among 1866 flood-affected families in Katihar district from 19 to 25 August. The centre also organized a medical camp in this area on 27 August and provided medical service to flood-affected patients.
Gujarat: Owing to heavy rains many districts in Gujarat were flooded. Limbdi centre served 3645 plates of cooked food and distributed 462 litres of milk, 2625 packets of assorted snacks, 500 packets of biscuits, 500 packets of dry food materials and 25 plastic sheets to 1145 flood-affected people in Surendranagar district from 27 to 31 July. Rajkot centre served cooked food to 17,600 people of Morbi district and distributed 600 educational kits (each kit containing a school bag, a geometry box, 3 notebooks, etc.) among 600 flood-affected students in Morbi district from 23 July to 10 September. A relief team, consisting of monastic members from our Vadodara and Rajkot centres, reached the worst affected areas in northern Gujarat and distributed 3000 food packets, 11,959 kg rice, 13,268 kg flour, 3553 kg dal, 2030 kg gram, 1015 kg salt, 1298 kg edible oil, 1015 kg sugar, 507 kg milk powder, 101 kg tea leaves, 536 kg farsan (snacks), 3612 packets of biscuits, 451 kg assorted spices, 12,180 candles, 1015 matchboxes, 1701 utensils, 1015 tarpaulins and 170 hand-carts among 1902 flood-affected families and 1700 educational kits among 1700 poor and needy students in Banaskantha and Patan districts from 28 July to 12 October.
Tamil Nadu: Chennai Students’ Home served 28,040 plates of cooked food to 5982 persons and distributed 5000 kg rice, 1000 kg suji (semolina), 1000 kg dal, 1000 kg salt, 1000 kg tamarind, 1000 kg sugar, 700 kg assorted spices, 1000 litre cooking oil and 1000 mats among 3360 affected families in Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur districts from 7 to 18 November.
Uttar Pradesh: In view of severe floods in Balarampur, Barabanki, Basti, Faizabad and Gonda districts, Lucknow centre served 4280 food packets among 4280 persons and distributed 6500 kg rice, 1300 kg dal, 1500 kg chira, 300 kg sugar, 2410 kg salt, 5000 litres of drinking water, 3324 saris, 4650 shirts, 600 T-shirts, 7251 trousers, 1750 tops, 7791 children garments, 808 mosquito-nets, 7000 halogen tablets, 8 kg chlorine tablets, 12,670 candles, 2535 packets of matchboxes and 606 tarpaulins among 7138 flood-affected families from 7 August to 25 September.
West Bengal: Heavy incessant rainfall and resulting breaching of dams caused severe floods in extensive areas of Cooch Behar, Hooghly, Howrah, Malda, West Medinipur, South 24-Parganas and North Dinajpur In view of severe inundation in Amta, Arambag, Buniyadpur, Chaipat, Daspur, Ghatal, Kaliyaganj, Khanakul, Mansuka, Pursurah, Raiganj, Udaynarayanpur and other areas, our Antpur, Belgharia, Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, Gadadhar Ashrama, Gourhati, Ichapur, Jalpaiguri, Jayrambati, Kamarpukur, Malda, Narendrapur and Saradapitha centres, along with 4 relief teams from the Headquarters, served 22,795 plates of cooked food and distributed more than 156 tons of chira, 16 tons of sugar, 14 tons of rice, 1648 kg dal, 238 kg muri (puffed rice), 1000 loaves of bread, 47,923 packets of biscuits, 8162 kg other dry food materials, 2126 litres of drinking water, 17,865 garments, 2000 blankets, 2444 tarpaulins/plastic sheets, 2208 kg bleaching powder, 9 lakh halogen tablets, 1404 packets of candles, 2000 matchboxes, 2800 notebooks, 700 pens, 700 pencils, 700 erasers, 215 kg cattle feed, 25 water drums, etc. among 84,814 families from 11 July to 2 December. Moreover, medical assistance was provided to 1273 flood-affected patients in this period.
Dhaka centre distributed 850 kg flour, 850 kg suji, 850 kg sugar, 850 litres edible oil, 2000 packets of ORS powder, 1450 saris, 700 dhotis, 1250 lungis and 790 utensils among 1565 affected families in Dinajpur, Kurigram, Netrakona and Sunamganj districts from 23 May to 6 October. Dinajpur centre served cooked food and distributed 90 kg chira and 10 kg gur among 7000 flood-affected persons in various areas of Dinajpur district from 13 to 17 August.
Colombo centre distributed 284 kg noodles, 144 kg sugar, 240 kg milk powder, 23 kg baby food, 723 packets of biscuits, 137 kg of processed cereals, 160 packets of toothpowder, 168 women’s garments, 215 bed sheets, 146 school uniforms, 1044 exercise books, 73 school bags, 191 pens, 87 pencils, 73 erasers, 73 sharpeners, 1020 matchboxes, 140 packets of candles, 292 mats, 85 buckets, 85 mugs, 4 tarpaulins and 92 solar lights among 72 families and 39 needy students in Hulandawa and Akuressa areas in southern Sri Lanka on 1 and 25 June.
Karnataka: Halasuru centre distributed 30 tonnes of cattle-feed to local farmers for feeding 300 cows and bullocks in Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district from 15 April to 15 May.
Arunachal Pradesh: In response to 2 landslides at Kabu Masi and Pak Gumin villages in West Siang district, Aalo centre distributed 27 blankets, 5 sets of utensils (each set containing 4 plates, 4 bowls, two cooking pots, a kettle, a bucket, a ladle, a jug, a tumbler and a mug) and stationery items (notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.) among 5 affected families from 16 July to 1 August.
Arunachal Pradesh: In response to seven accidental fires in West Siang district, Aalo centre distributed 489 blankets, 20 garments and 79 sets of utensils (each set containing a karahi, a pot, a kettle, a bucket, 4 plates, 4 bowls, a ladle, a jug, a tumbler and a mug) among 79 affected families and stationery items (notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.) among 102 students from 1 April 2017 to 11 March 2018.
Assam: Following a fire incident in a colony in Itanagar, 48 houses were gutted. Itanagar centre distributed 216 kg rice, 96 kg dal, 48 litres of edible oil, 48 kg salt, 48 kg chira, 48 kg muri, 12 kg tea leaves, 48 kg sugar, 480 utensils, 48 buckets, 48 trunks, 48 mats, 48 bars of soap, 48 tubes of toothpaste, 192 toothbrushes, 48 packets of candles and 48 packets of matchboxes among 48 affected families on 21 January.
Odisha: In response to an accidental fire in Palputa village in Cuttack district, Bhubaneswar centre distributed 100 blankets and 100 saris among 113 affected families from 1 to 5 January.
On 23 May, Dhaka centre provided a milch cow along with a calf to a family in Thakurgaon district whose house was destroyed by an accidental fire.
Assam: On 7 May, Guwahati centre supplied 63 CGI sheets to 7 poor and needy families at Gotanagar-Maligaon area, whose houses were damaged in a cyclonic storm.
Kerala: Cyclone Ockhi struck southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala causing large-scale damage to life and property. In its aftermath, Thiruvananthapuram centre distributed 2200 kg rice, 220 kg dal, 220 kg salt, 22 kg dry chillies, 110 kg edible oil, 110 kg sugar, 22 kg tea leaves and 220 coconuts among 220 families in Thiruvananthapuram district on 10 and 31 December.
Tamil Nadu: Moreover, Chennai Math served 4200 plates of cooked food and distributed 3000 loaves of bread, 12,500 kg rice, 2500 kg dal, 2650 kg sugar, 1250 kg suji, 1250 kg salt, 875 kg assorted spices, 530 kg tea leaves, 625 litres of edible oil, 1250 packets of candles and 1250 matchboxes among 1400 poor families affected by Cyclone Ockhi in Kanyakumari district from 3 to 11 December.
West Bengal: In the wake of a sudden cyclone, which damaged many huts, Ramharipur centre distributed 28 tin sheets, 618 asbestos sheets, 256 matkas, 388 chalkaths and 457 batams among 46 families in Bankura district from 2 May to 13 June. On 23 November and 21 December, Naora centre distributed 201 tarpaulins among 201 families in South 24-Parganas district.
On 17 November, Rangpur centre distributed 14 blankets, 14 saris and 14 lungis among 14 families affected by a social disturbance in Thakurpara area in Rangpur district.
Tamil Nadu: Chennai Mission Ashrama distributed 21,700 litres of buttermilk from 1 to 31 May and Salem centre distributed 19,500 litres of buttermilk from 23 April to 1 June respectively to thirsty wayfarers.
Telangana: Hyderabad centre distributed 1,68,640 glasses of buttermilk and 1,20,000 glasses of drinking water to thirsty wayfarers in Hyderabad and neighbouring districts of Karimnagar and Mahbubnagar from 28 March to 28 May.
West Bengal: As in previous years this year also, Seva Pratishthan centre organized a round-the-clock medical relief camp during Makar Sankranti Mela at Sagar Island in South 24-Parganas district from 10 to 16 January 2018. In all, 7100 patients were treated, out of which 242 received indoor medical-care. Besides, 180 blankets were distributed among the poor pilgrims and monks. Moreover, the Headquarters distributed 400 blankets to the monks and mendicants of the Makar Sankranti Mela who visited Belur Math on their way to Gangasagar.
Our centres in Bangladesh jointly handed over 5 tons of rice, 1000 blankets and 500 lungis to the district authorities of Bandarban Hill Tract on 4 October for distribution among the Rohingya refugees. Further, the centres distributed 10 bags of rice and 170 blankets among 150 needy families living in refugee camps at Kutipalang, Cox’s Bazar, on 9 October.
In 2017-18, a total of 59,098 blankets and 2,27,429 winter garments were distributed through 102 branch centres in India and 6 branch centres in Bangladesh among the poor people affected by severe cold, flood, fire, etc.
The following centres distributed essential goods among needy people: (a) Chandipur: 6 sewing machines; (b) Khetri: 114 sewing machines; (c) Nattarampalli: 44 sewing machines; (d) Ponnampet: 14 sewing machines; (e) Puri Mission: 14 cycle-carts and 3 cycle-rickshaws; (f) Rahara: 9 sewing machines, 3 cycle-rickshaws, a tricycle and a rickshaw van.
Our newly started centre in Lusaka distributed two sewing machines under a skill development programme for widows.
Tamil Nadu: Many regions of Tamil Nadu faced water crisis due to inadequate rainfall, leading to terrible sufferings for the poor people living in these areas. Chennai Students’ Home desilted 8 ponds and 3 wells, sunk 7 cement-ring wells, 58 bore-wells, 7 deep bore-wells and installed 43 hand-pumps in Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur districts from 2 May to 16 August, benefitting nearly 7485 families and 300 students.
West Bengal: Saradapitha centre installed two arsenic and iron removal plants at Manikchak village in Malda district and Sandelerbil village in North 24-Parganas district. The plants were commissioned on 1 and 23 June respectively.
Tamil Nadu: In the aftermath of the Cyclone Ockhi, Chennai Math distributed 5170 asbestos sheets and 1480 roof tiles among 620 cyclone-affected families from 15 January to 15 February.
West Bengal: Bamunmura centre built a house for a needy family staying near the Ashrama. The house was handed over to the family on 16 September.
In the year 2017-18, 105 of our branch centres (100 branch centres in India and 5 branch centres in Bangladesh) distributed the following items to poor and needy people in their respective areas: 2,59,657 shirts/T-shirts, 1,58,572 trousers/denims, 34,549 saris, 12,621 dhotis, 1851 chaddars, 2411 assorted garments, 3178 children garments, 1026 school uniforms, 9526 school bags, 41,393 belts & wallets, 5405 socks & mufflers, 11,268 shoes, 240 bed-sheets, 2137 mosquito-nets, 247 towels, 11,680 kg flour, 5145 kg rice, 1212 kg dal, 200 kg dalia, 852 kg edible oil, 415 kg salt, 337 kg sugar, 200 kg suji, 40 kg tamarind, 17 kg baby food, 54 packets of biscuits, 22 kg coffee powder, 41 kg tea leaves, 259 kg glucose powder, 336 kg Horlicks, 367 kg nutrimix, 83 kg milk powder, 50 kg garlic, 68 packets of candles, 21,009 notebooks, 4211 exercise books, 1731 textbooks, 16,898 pens, 2577 pencils, 2357 erasers, 1757 pencil-sharpeners, 1127 scales, 125 sets of crayons, 1002 sets of sketch pen, 113 geometry boxes, 125 pencil boxes, 1270 assorted utensils, 40 bicycles, 6 ducks, 3 goats, 5098 bars of bathing soap, 650 bottles of hair oil, 215 kg washing powder, 300 electric water bottles, 330 solar lanterns, 1 lakh halogen tablets, 100 stoves etc.
We express our sincere gratitude to all the volunteers and devotees for their painstaking hard work in these relief activities. We also extend our cordial thanks to all the donors, benevolent organizations, government officials and others for their participation and cooperation in this noble endeavour.
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