If the idea of compassion prevailed then the world would be a better place, at least the hope of a better tomorrow gets strengthened by a compassionate action and thus such is the gist of the #IndiaRiceCharity in Narasimhapatnam (Narsipatnam).
As part of the long standing commitment of Dennis Barbion (Karma Dondub) towards unison of global efforts against poverty, #IndiaRiceCharity is cherished as one among the most impactful charter of action that materializes the ethos of compassion, charity and activism in its purest form.
Thus to contextualize, North Coastal Andhra Pradesh is a region facing severe problems of poverty and malnutrition. Albeit, it isn’t North Coastal Andhra alone, but across the Indian sub continent, poverty in many regions is an omnipresent reality. Despite these problems of deprivation and constraint of resources, people of these regions have been one among the most hardworking people and even enterprising in nature.
Thus our initiative for Narasimhapatnam was part of expressing our gratitude for the most marginalized and economically deprived people for the hard work they engage in despite the problems that surround them.
As part of the initiative and after several months of fundraising, one that was also supported by the Beernem municipality in Belgium which granted 250 euros for the initiative, we finally had arrived at an amount of 63,500 Indian Rupees. The rice that was purchased was premium quality rice, something which was also greatly appreciated by the beneficiaries. The price at which it was purchased was 32 Indian Rupees per kilogram, thus in total 1,984 kilograms of rice was distributed.
In our earlier rice charities we had encountered certain problems in distribution in terms of small conflicts taking place between and among the beneficiaries. Thus this time in Narasimhapatnam, the beneficiaries were asked to bring along their social security cards i.e. ration cards for receiving the rice. Thus 15 days prior to the rice distribution a large scale survey research was conducted within the village to identify the most deprived and economically marginalized group of people, their names were enrolled into our register and prior instructions were given to them for bringing along their ration cards. These cards mention the names of all of the family members and per family, one card is issued. Thus around 200 cardholders were mentioned in the register, after the intensive survey and on an average each represented a family of about five people or so.
So, on 9th May 2015, at about 7:30 a.m. the rice distribution started, the chief guest was the headman of the village who has served the village as the headman for the past 31 years at a stretch.
At the onset before the distribution, two minutes of silence were observed for the victims of the Nepal earthquake by the organizers and the beneficiaries. Later on speeches were given by Mr. G Murthy, the Village Headman and Arnav Anjaria.
While Mr. G Murthy explained the sequence of events and the procedure in his speech, the Village Headman also talked about the importance of charity and about the village. Arnav Anjaria explained the essence of the initiative and passed on the message of Dennis Barbion, Fouder-Director of Compassion-Activism-Charity. This was well applauded by the audiences. Also present during this event was Mr. R. Balaji who accompanied Arnav to Narasimhapatnam.
It took about four hours to distribute the full quantum of rice. What was visible was a feeling of joy and happiness around the place of distribution. Many beneficiaries met Arnav and conveyed their thankfulness and also blessed him and Dennis Barbion la for his initiative.
In totality even those who were not exactly the beneficiaries were also present at the event and they too appreciated the initiative. After the event, the Village Headman invited us to an Ashram that he runs, which is committed for spiritual and compassionate pursuits. The visit was a short one, but as a matter of appreciation for his support and cooperation, two bags of rice were donated to his Ashram by Dennis Barbion – Compassion Activism Charity.
Thus despite certain logistical problems as a result of the transporters strike in Andhra Pradesh, the event was concluded amicably and a feeling of happiness was felt all around.
Compassion-Activism-Charity is the idea propagated by Karma Dondub Dennis Barbion, and these ideas are not only of a theoretical relevance but their context is further established by these events as envisioned by Dennis Barbion, what it does is that it helps restore faith in the individual agency as the agent of change and compassion.
Finally a heartfelt word of thanks to all the people who have supported this initiative, the sponsors, the municipality of Beernem in Belgium and all the others who have contributed. This was the fourth rice distribution. In total, 3,400 kg or rice has been donated already, 1,000 families have received a package of very good quality rice, that means that we have reached about 5,000 people.
By Arnav Anjaria and Dennis Barbion (Karma Dondub), 20th May 2015.
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