SAI HANDS AT WORK…
Serving and Saving Chennai…
Chennai City that earned the unique incomparable blessings at the Hands of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, being the privileged recipient of ‘The Elixir Divine’- pure drinking water, had to endure a severe test off late, facing an unprecedented spell of downpour that turned into a devastating deluge.
It all started on the 9th of November 2015. Unprecedented spells of downpour that began that day continued till 2nd December. Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Chidambaram, and the Chennai Metropolis were facing floods of unimaginable proportions. Lives and livelihood were affected; sky-rise buildings were marooned upto the second floor and the city was ground to a halt.
Soon after the deluge in Cuddalore in early November, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Tamil Nadu, lost no time in sending truck loads of relief material besides providing Disaster Management Team for rescue and relief operations, priority being rescuing the afflicted from isolated areas, providing them with immediate necessities.
Then came the December deluge that brought Chennai city under its deadly grip. What should have fallen in 4 months of monsoon descended on the city in one night, a devastating rainfall of about 50 cm! Heavy release of water from the lakes dotting the city compounded the misery. Rivers and canals were in spate. The city was caught unawares in the dead(ly) night.
God never leaves anyone empty and hapless. In the thick of the trial, even as Chennaites strove to stand up on their feet, there was this white hue of love and peace spreading all around, healing the wounds - the famous ‘White Army’ of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations.
While the State office head quartered at “Sundaram”, the Sathya Sai Abode at Raja Annamalaipuram, planned and executed rescue and relief operations, various Sai centers and units scattered across the city and its suburbs carried out various service measures, that included feeding the afflicted, reaching out to those who stranded in hutments and upper storeys of buildings with food and essential supplies. Worst affected areas have been identified after quick and effective survey with the help of District Organizational units, thus prioritizing the service package. Seventy such locations have been shortlisted, followed up by rush of essential supplies.
Rains abated and floods started receding by 3rd December. It was time for people to go back to their ‘original’ dwellings. The daunting question was… what will they go back to? The flood fury had washed away all and sundry in its course. Now the affected are faced with a dire situation to start afresh, almost from the scratch. Aiding this, a carefully chosen list of 30 essentials that included rice, dhal, oil, drinking water, tamarind, clothes, match boxes, candle, women’s hygiene products, etc. was drawn up.
The work of preparing 20,000 such packs has been going on at Sundaram everyday from morning 9 a.m. till 11.30 p.m. in two shifts. Seva Dal members, Mahilas, Youth, Balvikas children – all have flocked to Sundaram in a spirit of selfless service. They are well aware of Swami’s saying, “The hands that serve are holier than the lips that pray”. By 14th December afternoon, about 11,000 such ‘Sai’ packages have already been packed to needy households.
The call of service comes naturally, from a love filled heart and quite often Sathya Sai’s selfless mode of service turns infectious. In a world rampant with selfish, greedy chauvinism, His ‘White Army’ remains a service model with a selfless agenda, for the betterment of the world at large. The news of the work was carried by social media and the press, which brought in a number of service-spirited college youth and general public to this stupendous rescue effort.
“I came to know about the work through my friends in WhatsApp group. It moved me. I came here with some of my friends” says Gautham, a 3rd year degree student of Vivekananda College, Chennai, with sparkling relief in his eyes. Though his house in Vyasarpadi, a Chennai suburb, was inundated causing huge loss, he chose to travel 13 km to R.A. Puram to join the service activity at Sundaram.
Bhagawan always advocated and trained His devotees in choosing long term measures, while meeting up with such natural disasters. Meeting with the exigencies will have to be followed up by a sustainable programme, to rehabilitate the victims.
The Tamil Nadu Team, in consonance with Bhagawan’s ‘practical’ vision, is planning to go on with their activities till the last person re-commences his/her life. To this sustainable end, frequent meetings are being held to fine-tune and continue with the operations.
He Is The Supreme Lord Who in a trice converted the time immemorial Vedic dictum of “Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu” into “Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu”, exhorting the world to expand. If one minutely observes, every single move in His creation is aimed at this ‘sukham’, happiness, and so called natural calamities are no exception to this truth. Everything comes with a purpose, and now, when Chennai is facing this ordeal of deluge, it is evident that The Divine Hands of Supreme Sai is raising the city and its inhabitants through His protective arm, to this comfortable zone of peace and tranquility once again.