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From The Abhayaratna Trust, FutureDharma Fund / India Dhamma Trust and The Karuna Trust.
The Abhayaratna Trust, Karuna Trust and FutureDharma / IDT are working together with our partners in India to coordinate relief to people and projects affected by the devastating second and third waves of COVID in India.
The remits of the three charities are different – the Abhayaratna Trust works with individual order members, Karuna Trust with the wider community and FutureDharma / with Triratna movement organisations and projects but we are working together to ensure that all communities in need in India are supported. Moreover, we are committed to transparency and keeping people informed of our work by providing regular updates on our fundraising activities – and the impact they are having.
Many of you have given to the Abhayaratna Trust, Karuna and other appeals. The solidarity that the Order and Movement have shown to the suffering in India has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated in India – thank you!
At the time of writing, 4 July 2021, recorded cases in India have fallen from a peak of 414,000 per day at the start of May to 48,000. The situation in many parts of India is becoming easier with lockdowns lifting in many areas. However the official death toll has now passed 400,000 and many experts are issuing dire warnings of a third wave later in the year.
1. The Abhayaratna Trust
In response to the suffering arising from the coronavirus pandemic in India, the Abhayaratna Trust set up an Appeal for a Coronavirus Emergency Fund. The Abhayaratna Trust is working very closely with the Indian Order Office and India Order Convenors to get financial support to those individual Order members across India most in need of help for food, housing bills, medicines, oxygen, hospital fees for them and their families.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Order members, mitras and friends from around the world, the Appeal has raised over £190,000 which is helping to alleviate suffering and save lives in India. For example, a grant of £150 from the Abhayaratna Trust India COVID Appeal funds has been enough to help an Order member from Pune buy food for his family of four as well as medicine for his daughter. A grant of £100 is helping an Order member in Delhi buy food for their family of six. And a grant of £100 is helping an Order member in Pune buy food; her husband passed away a few years ago and her son has lost his job because of COVID so little money is coming into the household.
We believe it is the right time to scale back the Appeal as we have raised sufficient funding to support a short, medium and long term plan to support those pushed into need by the pandemic. We estimate that the need for individual Indian Order members and their families arising from the current pandemic in India will continue for at least another 2 years and we want to be able to continue to support them through the difficult process of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods.
There are other communities that have been devastated by the pandemic in India who you may wish to support, or are already supporting, by giving, for example, to Karuna (see below).
Visit www.abhayaratnatrust.org to learn more.
2. Karuna Trust | Karuna Germany
The Karuna Trust makes grants to organisations working with marginalised communities in India, Nepal and as of April 2021 – Bangladesh. Our programmes focus on Education, Livelihoods and Women’s Empowerment. We work through a network of 45 grassroots partner organisations, many of whom are Indian Triratna charities (such as TBMSG and Bahujan Hitay). This large network enables us to reach out to some of India, Nepal and Bangladesh’s poorest and most marginalised communities.
Since March 2020 Karuna has been responding to changing needs of those affected by the virus. So far we have been able to deliver emergency relief, including 29,820 food parcels and 22,580 medical kits, to 223,000 people from marginalised communities across 6 Indian States and 3 districts of Nepal. In the past 3 months alone we have made emergency relief grants in excess of £250,000 GBP.
Watch this video update about Aryaloka
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to large numbers of Order members supporting our emergency relief work and our ongoing projects. Your generous support has made a huge and life changing impact.
However, we urgently need to provide additional emergency relief to unemployed migrant workers, children out of school, women at risk of violence, and people suffering directly with virus infection.
Our first priority is to support those directly impacted by the crisis. This includes:
● Distributing emergency supplies, food kits and sanitation equipment
● Communicating accurate information on preventative healthcare, (including physical distancing, use of PPE and sanitisers, and vaccinations) for vulnerable communities
● Working closely with local Governments to ensure emergency relief and welfare support reaches the most vulnerable
● Protecting women and girls vulnerable to increased risk of violence during lockdown
● Giving direct medical care to covid sufferers unable to access mainstream medical facilities and helping people without internet access to register for vaccination.
What can you do?
3. FutureDharma Fund / India Dhamma Trust
The FutureDharma Fund in partnership with the India Dhamma Trust (and in consultation with the Indian Public Preceptors Kula) funds a number of projects and teams in India, including the Ordination Teams, the Movement Coordinator, and the Indian Youth Teams. Many of these are actively involved in coordinating the distribution of food parcels and other emergency responses to the coronavirus.
The experience of courage, inspiration, guidance and solidarity provided by our Sangha and the Dharma has been crucial in these times of great uncertainty, challenge and fear and the Indian men’s and women’s Ordination teams are playing a vital role in offering spiritual training, friendship, and counsel. In 2020 £72,000 in funding was provided and £62,000 in 2021, including an uplift to help with the financial hardship experienced by members of the team, and it is vital that they can continue their work through the pandemic and beyond.
We anticipate that we will receive requests for financial assistance from Centres and projects and we are in communication with key Indian Public Preceptors and members of the Area Council to identify and assess what may be needed. We are also keen to support projects which are developing new Dharma initiatives for the post-pandemic world, and we expect to launch an appeal in the coming months to help with this.
FutureDharma / India Dharma Trust (IDT) are grateful for their supporters’ continuing and vital generosity and will continue to explore ways of supporting our Dharma brothers and sisters in India.
The Abhayaratna Trust, Karuna Trust and FutureDharma / IDT will continue to meet regularly to review the situation and Amrutsiddhi, Karmavajra and Aryaketu will continue coordinating in India.
Please contribute through our secure websites/giving platforms given above.
From all of us, thank you for supporting this vital work and for standing in solidarity with our movement and everyone in need in India during this crisis.
Mahasraddha, Director: Abhayaratna Trust.
Padmadaka, CEO: Karuna Trust.
Nandavajra, Director: FutureDharma / IDT.
See other posts about the coordinated Triratna response to the Covid-19 emergency in India