Attending to the mental, emotional and material needs of those struck by man-made or natural disasters, Sri Sri has designed a three-stage intervention program for disaster relief – Material Relief, Trauma Relief, and long-term Rehabilitation.
Immediate Material Aid and Service: Providing food, clothes, medicine and shelter in the aftermath of a calamity.
Near-Term Trauma Relief: Programs and counseling designed to deal with the emotional and mental trauma victims undergo.
Long-Term Rehabilitation: Building homes, sanitation systems, roads, schools, vocational training centers.
In 2002, communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2000 people. More than 150,000 people were displaced.
Building trust between estranged communities...
In response to the situation, the Art of Living Foundation launched trauma relief workshops in 25 refugee camps. Volunteers also organized a peace rally that was attended by community leaders and residents of both religions. Sri Sri visited Gujarat after the riots and was welcomed by both Hindu and Muslim leaders. Following joint discussions and dialogs, both sides pledged to work toward restoring normalcy and harmony.
Gujarat Earthquakes - Building Lives
On January 26, 2001, an earthquake that measured 8.1 on the Richter scale killed more than 20,000 people and destroyed a million homes. Under Sri Sri's directive, the Art of Living Foundation launched relief efforts within hours of the calamity.
In Nana Dahisara, the Foundation built 24 homes, a multi-purpose community center, a primary healthcare center, a village government center, a primary school, a place of worship, a water tank, a water supply system and a drainage system. A high school, dormitory and 15 temporary schools were also built for neighboring regions.
More than 100,000 people in 120 villages, including children, benefited from the Foundations emergency aid and trauma-relief camps.
Surat, Gujarat, India
In August 2006, heavy floods in Surat, Gujarat, claimed hundreds of lives and affected thousands more. 1500 volunteers provided food and emergency aid, and aided more than 11,000 people through free medical camps. The volunteers worked closely with local government officials, the army, other NGOs and service organizations, to extend assistance to the affected, including people trapped in remote areas.