After successfully reconstructing the villages of Chakulia and Banipat, BAPS was urged by the Government of Orissa to adopt a third village for reconstruction in the Erasama Block. Shri Vivekanand Research & Training Institute of Mandvi (Kutch, Gujarat) was also looking to support an organisation which would reconstruct a cyclone-ravaged village. Mr. Tulshibhai Gajera, a representative of the organisation, commented, “First we tried to do the work ourselves but it was next to impossible. Then we searched for an organisation that could do the work perfectly. We found only one organisation that could do it and that was BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.”
On 29 October 2001, BAPS adopted Potak, a remote village which was brutally damaged by the cyclone, and Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami performed the foundation-stone laying ceremony.
In less than 5 months, BAPS completed the construction of 49 cyclone-resistant houses for the 49 families of Potak, which also included 11 Harijan families. Each cyclone-resistant house has two rooms with windows, doors and a solid concrete roof.
On 10 May 2002, the Hon. Chief Minister of Orissa, Shri Naveen Patnaik, Bhagwatpriya Swami and Purushottamjivan Swami, along with the MLA of Erasama, Dr. Damodar Rout, MLAs from Jagatsinghpur and Tritol and other dignitaries dedicated the reconstructed village of Potak amidst Vedic chantings.
Shri Naveen Patnaik immensely praised the work of BAPS, “I am extremely delighted to know how well BAPS has served Orissa after the cyclone disaster. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is doing praiseworthy work at all levels of society, catering to the medical, educational, social and moral needs of society.”
Dr. Damodar Rout, also praised the Sanstha, “When the super-cyclone devastated our lives, BAPS was the first organisation to bring relief to us. Not only this, but these swamijis stayed behind in our very own villages to help us rebuild our lives. These sadhus, without any selfish motive, have done such work that today I cannot find any words to thank them. They have given us everything from food to pucca homes and a school. They have rebuilt our lives which were totally devastated. Today, BAPS is the only organisation to complete the commitment it had taken and we are all extremely grateful to them.”
From the third day after the cyclone, BAPS sadhus, under the instructions of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, left Kolkata mandir for Orissa to help and rebuild. For more than 2½ years the sadhus and volunteers worked relentlessly to complete the relief-cum-rehabilitation work – providing relief to over 61,600 people, reconstructing 3 entire villages with cyclone-resistant homes, 2 schools, a mandir and a 3 km pucca road connecting the villages of Chakulia, Banipat and Potak with the main Erasama road.