Sri Mayapur is the sacred place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared and inaugurated the Hare Krsna sankirtana movement five hundred years ago. It is also the world headquesrters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON. To memebers of ISKCON the thought of Sri Mayapur brings visions of a sublime abode peacefully nestled by the banks of the Ganges River, and remebrance of Sri Caitanya transcendental pastimes.
But there is another side to Sri Mayapur, that of a backward rural community struggling with the vagaries of nature to eke out a living from simple farming and village crafts. Every year the inhabitants of Sri Mayapur look to the monsoon rains with both hope and apprehension. Hope for enough rain to support their most important crop of the year. And apprehension that those same rains might bring ravaging floods.
Last year, on August 27, their hopes were destroyed with a swift and relentless fury. The Ganges broke over the dikes and bunds holding back her swelling waters and spread quickly over the countryside, sweeping away their simple mub houses and bamboo structures and destroying their crops. Hundreds of homeless villagers rushed to the shelter of ISKCON’s sturdy, multistoried structures. Within hours the water had risen to more than eight feet in places, creating the worst flood in many years.
ISKCON devotees quickly mounted a relief effort. Obtaining boats from supporters, they organized a massive food distribution program. Every day the devotees prepared and delivered to thousands of stranded villagers hundreds of pounds of nutritious kicchri (a stew of rice and beans), a favorite of the local people. The flood lasted more than thirty days, making it the longest in recent history, and throughout that time ISKCON Food Relief was present, serving more than two hundred thousand meals and saving thousands of epople from certain disaster.
Now the flood waters have receded, but the work has just begun. The flood destroyed all standing crops and hundreds of homes. The villagers of Mayapur are on the brink of complete ruin. They need our help.
The food distribution must continue. Many now go hungry except for what ISKCON Sri Mayapur provides. And only through an extensive rehabilitation program can the villagers recover from the devastation. Homes must be rebuilt; farmers need vital economic aid. All of this must be done now. It can only be done with your help. ISKCON Sri Mayapur’s resources are drained. Now others must come forward to give their support.
Sri Mayapur Project, U.S.A., a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation established expressly to support the Sri Mayapur Project, has set up the Sri Mayapur Flood Emergency Relief Fund solely for channeling your contributions toward this effort. Donations to this fund will be sent to a similar fund set up in Sri Mayapur and administered by a committe of ISKCON devotees and life members.
Let us remeber the spiritual significance of Sri Mayapur. And let us remeber the special position of its residents. They need our help now. Please take a moment to complete the coupon and send your contribution today. Your Krsna conscious charity will certainly be spiritually rewarded many times over.