|Dear Dhamma Friends,
As you are well aware, the catastrophe caused by cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma) on 2-3 May 2008, has been surpassed by the catastrophe caused by man, namely, the military junta. The death toll is increasing everyday. Some reputable sources are already saying that the actual toll may already be more than 200,000. The military junta is still refusing to allow foreign experts and experienced disaster relief workers entry to the devastated areas. There are many places which have received no aid even now, two weeks after the cyclone struck. There have been outbreaks of disease. The second wave, due to mismanagement by the junta is sure to be horrendous. It is obvious that the junta gives no importance to the relief efforts. Instead, they are giving top priority to the referendum which will grant them permanent power in the future government.
It is estimated that two and a half million people are facing starvation. Hundreds of thousands of children and women are in need of urgent help. In Kinponn-shun Village, Khayam Township, adjacent to Irrawaddy Delta, the local monastery was running a school for 400 orphans. Now the monastery has become a refugee camp for all the villagers from the surrounding area. The abbot of the monastery has been distributing meager rations to the students and refugees, but he has received no assistance at all from the junta. He informed our staff in Yangon that he is urgently in need of food supplies and may not be able to hold out any longer. There are thousands of such cases facing the same ill-fate due to negligence by the junta.
Young Buddhist Student Literacy Mission, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, a non-profit organization carrying out educational and social welfare activities, including a school and a micro-finance program aimed at women's empowerment, is in close contact with volunteer aid workers inside Burma. In association with Buddhist Relief Mission, we have already sent a shipment of essential medicines along with emergency funds to the worst hit areas in Irrawaddy Delta through our local contacts.
We invite all of our supporters to join us in providing further emergency relief to the victims of this disaster. No donation is too small. The merit from such life-giving gifts is great.
Please visit our websites:
Young Buddhist Students Literacy Mission <www.bmission.net>
Buddhist Relief Mission <www.brelief.org >
Ven. Dr. Nando Batha, Vice President
Young Buddhist Students Literacy Mission,