30th March 2020
Harih Om Tat Sat. Day before yesterday afternoon, our local devotee and sevak Jagannivasan (Lalu), telephoned me: “There are migrant labourers (Govt. calls them guest workers) staying in our Panchayat. They have no ration card and hence are not entitled to any food benefits, that Govt. is providing during the present Lockdown. Panchayat President is wondering whether the Ashram can extend some assistance in the matter.”
I instantly replied: “If people are starving, we shall certainly help. But we must have full details of those who are to be fed, and what is the means of relieving their distress.”
He told me that the Panchayat Ward Members would visit the people and gather details. “Will it be done soon, as the people are without food? He said “yes”, adding he would speak to the Panchayat President further.
Today Lalu gave me a list of 126 people located in different wards of the Paralam Panchayat, identifying the State they come from, and their requirements for the next 10 days. Later the Panchayat President came to me with a list and a formal request in the matter, duly prepared and signed.
So, after making enquiries, we ordered rice, atta, dal, oil, sugar, tea, potato, onion, pulses, etc., to be reached to 17 locations in Paralam Panchayat. The articles arrived in the Ashram around 4 pm. I felt like going to Tapovan Vihar, Building No.2, where the articles were being unloaded in the shed. A sack full of ripe mangoes from Ashram garden were also added.
Lalu with his two sons Alkesh and Prabodh and nephew Hari did all the job of unloading and packing of rice into bags. The supplier had packed the rest of the items. How heartily did each of them work in arranging all items! Mithun had brought his Tipper Lorry so that all the items could be taken together for distribution at various areas in the Panchayat.
Along with Mithun, and his Tipper driver, Dhinil, Lalu and his team then loaded the provisions after spreading sacks on the truck. A very clean and orderly task, well done.
By the time the lorry accompanied by Sreekumar (Ashram resident) left the Ashram with the supplies, it was 5.40 pm. They returned only at 9.00 pm after completing the distribution. These supplies will meet their requirement for 10 days. We have no idea of what is next.
Meanwhile, the Panchayat as instructed by the Government has opened a Community kitchen to prepare the midday meal and serve those who have no access for meals anywhere. They are beggars, utter destitutes and those who regularly eat from hotels. Due to lockdown they are without any means. We have sent supplies for them also.
We are happy that we could do at least this much for those who desperately need help. Where there is a will, there is the way. I am now told that two more Panchayats need similar assistance to meet the needs of the guest labourers residing in their Panchayats.
Love and ashirvaad. Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha and Ma Gurupriya send loving good wishes.
Venginissery, P.O. Paralam, Trichur, Kerala - 680 563
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