Scientology Volunteer Ministers for West Bengal Help Victims of Bihar Floodby: Jessie Corona
When flooding devastated the State of Bihar last month affecting some 4.6 million, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers of West Bengal, India mobilized their members to personally help those in need.
The Kosi River has become known as the Sorrow of Bihar, and this year it once more earned its name when it broke its embankment and engulfed huge sections of North Eastern India. Floodwaters submerged entire towns and villages leaving 1.2 million homeless. Further, broken power lines, damaged roads and immersed railroad tracks balked the rescue effort.
Hearing of the devastation the Scientology Volunteer Ministers of West Bengal, India recruited a team of doctors and paramedics, raised $5000 for emergency medicines and traveled over 30 hours by van from Kolkata to Bihar, the area that was hardest hit by the flooding.
In Bihar, 85 per cent live in rural areas; more than half the population is below the age of 25; poverty is widespread with many surviving on 46 cents a day. Thousands who lost their homes and made it to pockets of dry land, waiting to be evacuated to camps, had no margin of survival. They needed supplies on an urgent basis.
In coordination with the National Disaster Response Force, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers team traveled by boat to distribute food, water, clothing, mosquito nets and other urgent supplies to stranded villagers.
They set up a charitable medical camp where doctors administered emergency medical care to many thousands of survivors.
Next, trained Scientology Volunteer Ministers provided Scientology assists to the victims relocated to temporary shelters. Assists help a person overcome the emotional, mental and spiritual effects of trauma.
The volunteers also conducted health education sessions in the shelters to reduce the spread of disease.
In creating the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well."
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers who helped the victims of the Bihar floods passed that test, and were acknowledged by Colonel Mansi Distt-Khagaria of the Indian Army, and by Somentra Nath Mitro, a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, who thanked them on behalf of the many thousands they helped, for their "outstanding volunteer work."
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