On Tuesday 23 September 1999, 312 mm of rain fell in 12 hours leaving the city of Calcutta submerged in water. The sudden downpour and continued rain over a period of 3 days had resulted in widespread devastation:
* 20 people reported dead
* 35,000 people evacuated from their homes
* 25,000 telephones disconnected
* 70% of the city suffered loss of electric power.
The Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Mandir in Bhavanipore was also flooded. But despite this sadhus and devotees rushed to the aid of others who were affected more severely. They helped others move their possessions to higher, dryer grounds. They provided many households with fresh drinking water and prepared hot khichdi, which was served to the victims. The sadhus and devotees waded through waist-high water, carrying the big, heavy and hot utensils, to serve the victims. As the flood drained away, the volunteers went from home to home to help people clean their premises.