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Love and Light

Devastation in the Balkans

In recent weeks, the Balkan region of South East Europe has been ravaged by severe floods caused by unprecedented levels of rainfall. Large parts of Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia have been flooded, even causing major land slides in several regions. Almost one million people have been evacuated or relocated from their homes in a matter of days.

Our brothers and sisters of the Sathya Sai Organisations in these affected countries are actively helping with the relief efforts alongside various government agencies and other charities. They report an enormous need for food, drinking water, blankets, clothing and medicinal supplies in the immediate phase in these regions. Also, the task of rebuilding and rehabilitation would be a mammoth one in the coming months.

Needy people are being housed in temporary shelters (schools, gyms, other public spaces and areas) where they are provided medical help and are served food, water and other elementary items. Although these items can be bought in markets and shops, many are unable to afford it due to poverty.

The waters in some areas are receding, leaving behind a trail of destruction - mud, ruined houses, landslides, dead animals, terrible smell, swarms of mosquitoes etc. Our local Sathya Sai leadership has established that there exists a high risk of contagion. People are coping with this terrible situation as they can. Many of them visit their houses during the day, do some cleaning, burn stuff, and then return to the shelters in the evening. Professionals and institutions are doing their best to cover the basic needs. The countries affected are poor, not formally a part of the EU yet, and have been hit hard with an enormous calamity. The Bosnian and Serbian governments are doing their best, but help and support from various bodies is essential in the attempts to meet this gigantic need. This is where the Sathya Sai Organisation has been playing a big role.

A very good communication and cooperation has been established with institutions and professionals who work locally, so our leadership in these areas can exchange information and organize actions and activities according to the need.

As a natural response to such calamities, and in conjunction with our beloved Bhagawan’s teachings and divine example, the Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation (SSSWF) has extended full support immediately to the relief efforts on behalf of all the Sathya Sai devotees in the world. As part of this effort, the Sri Sathya Sai Charitable Trust (UK) has immediately transferred funds for the purchase of essential items locally.

The relief and rehabilitation efforts undertaken by our fellow devotees in these countries are ongoing and indeed heart-warming. We therefore request and encourage all the members of our Sai family in UK to participate wholeheartedly in these efforts in a spirit of oneness with our fellow beings, and in love and service to our beloved Bhagawan.

First and foremost, let us pray to our beloved Lord Sathya Sai, collectively in all our Sai Centres, to shower His Divine Blessings on all those affected by this natural disaster and to alleviate their suffering. Through His Grace, let us also serve those in need with humility and dedication.
For those who wish to voluntarily contribute funds towards the relief efforts, please send a mail to balkanrelief@srisathyasai.org.uk for further details.

It is only to demonstrate this principle of love that I have done this housing project in Orissa. We should love and help each other. The calamity that has befallen them can happen to anyone. When you make them happy, you will also be happy. Therefore, we should all be united.

Let us all move together, Let us all grow together,
Let us all stay united and Grow in intelligence together,
Let us live together with Friendship and harmony. (Telugu poem)

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (SSS Speaks 42-07, 42-09)

Dr. Kiran Patel,
Chairperson, SSSSO UK Central Council