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Devastating Cyclone in Kutch, India

Sadhus inspecting cyclone-affected area

Distributing food packets to cyclone victims

Distributing food packets to cyclone victims

On 19 and 20 May, winds of upto 240 km per hour hit the coast of Kutch from the Arabian Sea. Fortunately, as the winds penetrated inland, their speed decreased. But the districts of Abdasa, Lakhpat and Naliya were hit by winds reaching upto 150 km per hour. The coastal winds resulted in high tides of upto 8 metres. 20 inches of torrential rain added to the havoc. There was widespread destruction. In 120 villages, over 40,000 cattle were killed by the cyclone. Government agencies had helped farmers to escape the impending cyclone. But their cattle, homes and other possessions were destroyed.

Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, sadhus and volunteers of the BAPS rushed to the afflicted area with aid for the victims. Under the guidance of Devcharan Swami, sadhus and volunteers managed to reach over 40 villages, providing fodder for surviving cattle, and food and other household essentials to the villagers. Thousands of food packets were distributed to the victims.

In the days following the cyclone, over 100,000 kg. of fodder was collected and distributed for cattle by the Sanstha.

Between 21 and 30 May, travelling upto 700 kilometres daily, the Sanstha’s sadhus and volunteers reached out to over 7000 families to provide them with food and other emergency essentials.

Visiting the worst affected areas of Naliya and Lakhpat, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai Patel accompanied by the Health Minister, the Forestry Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Relief Commissioner, said, "Wherever there are natural disasters like this, Pramukh Swami Maharaj's Sanstha is always there to help. His sadhus and volunteers are amongst the first to arrive. The Sanstha's work is of a high calibre."

© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith