The recent floods in Orissa during mid-July, instigated by unusually heavy rains, caused rivers like the Mahanadi and dams like Hirakud to overflow, resulting in mass flooding of over 9,000 villages in seven districts and affecting some six million people. There has also been a heavy toll on livestock and millions of hectares of croplands have been destroyed. This was the worst flood disaster in Orissa's recent history.
Hearing about the devastation in Orissa, Pramukh Swami Maharaj immediately instructed the Sanstha's Kolkata centre in West Bengal to begin relief work in the affected areas.
Gathering essential and emergency relief materials, the Sanstha's team of sadhus and volunteers reached the Tirtol and Kujang Block of Jagatsinhpur District, Orissa - one of the worst scenes of the flooding.
From 21 July to 6 August, truckloads of relief supplies full of foodstuff and medicines were rushed with a team of professional doctors and volunteers from Kolkata by Sadhu Purushottamjivandas, Sadhu Purnaprakashdas, Pitambar Jena and Tamil Pradhan.
Using boats and wading through waist-high waters, BAPS volunteers provided relief to over 37,000 survivors in 107 flooded villages in Jagatsinhpur and Kendrapara.
The relief operation was coordinated by 67 BAPS sadhus and volunteers, systematically and with pinpoint perfection.
Appointed by the Government of Orissa, BAPS
concentrated its efforts in the areas of Jagatsinhpur (Blocks: Kujang & Tritol), Kendrapara (Blocks: Mahakapada & Marshiaghai).
Aid was provided in the following ways:
Chira (Flattened Rice), gur, rice, dal, biscuits, salt.
BAPS has sent a special medical team of experienced and qualified doctors to the affected areas to treat patients suffering from acute diarrhoea, vomiting, gastric ailments, infections and fever. Furthermore, BAPS doctors and volunteers organised medical camps in 18 flooded villages in both districts, treating some 1,500 patients.
Medical Materials Provided
Water purifying tablets, tablets (for vomiting, diarrhoea, etc.), vitamin drops, electrolyte powder, antibiotic ointments, glucose powder and mineral water were distributed.
Village Clean Up
Both wards in the village of Kath Kot were submerged in 4 feet of water. BAPS provided 8 water pumps with volunteers to completely pump out the water from both Kath Kot wards consisting of 102 homes with village roads and avenues. BAPS volunteers also cleaned the tube wells to ensure safe drinking water for the people.
The people of the villages of Kath Kot (wards 9 & 10), Kukurkhai, Barmania and Sharadi (wards 1 & 2) had not eaten a hot meal for 7 days. BAPS organised a kitchen in which a hot meal consisting of rice and dalma was cook and served. Roughly 2000 people had lunch.
"Once again, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has rushed to help the people of Orissa. I thank the sadhus and volunteers, who personally went to every flooded and stranded village in Jagatsinhpur to provide food, medicines and other aid. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is an inspiration to everyone."
S. Mohanty, District Collector of Jagatsinhpur, Orissa