Triratna News

Update on India COVID relief

On Tue, 18 May, 2021 - 16:39
Centre Team's picture
Centre Team

From The Abhayaratna Trust, FutureDharma Fund / India Dhamma Trust and The Karuna Trust

The Abhayaratna Trust, Karuna Trust and FutureDharma / India Dhamma Trust (IDT) are meeting every week during this crisis. They are collaborating with Triratna partners in India to coordinate relief to people and projects affected by this devastating wave of COVID. The situation is getting worse and worse and experts believe the official numbers of people dying in India, which has one of the world’s poorest-funded healthcare systems, are hugely underestimated.

This latest update summarises the work each charity is doing. We’ve had some questions about which of these projects to support and what we are doing. Putting it very simply:

Karuna: provides large scale emergency response to 45 organisations across India, Nepal and Bangladesh | both Triratna and non-Triratna organisations with beneficiaries from Dalit/Tribal communities

Abhayaratna Trust: provides emergency funding to individual Order members in urgent need | Triratna only

FutureDharma/IDT: provides funding to Indian Ordination Team and senior leadership to support, counsel and guide the movement through the crisis and beyond | Triratna only

Watch A Coordinated Triratna Fundraising Response

Karuna: update from Padmadaka, CEO
Karuna has large networks to distribute emergency aid, support and advice and we are currently reaching tens of thousands of people from the poorest and most marginalised communities every day.

In Nagpur, Aryaketu is working with Triratna and Ambedkarite Buddhists. With Karuna emergency funding, they’re providing a free ambulance service to some of the poorest people in Nagpur’s slums. The oxygen on board helps keep people alive while they wait in the long queues to get into hospital in 40C heat. They’re saving lives every day.

Karuna is making life saving emergency grants like these every week and we have just sent new relief funds to: 

Nagpur: funding to coordinate a team of 200 medical doctors to work with hundreds of COVID-19 patients and their families in the slums of Nagpur 

Orissa: Livelihoods support (cash for work) to 3,000 families  

Bihar: Food supplies and hygiene kits for 4,000 families

West Bengal: Food supplies and hygiene kits for 1,470 families

Pune: Emergency food supplies and health awareness camps for 350 Tribal families 

Mumbai: Food and hygiene kits, rent and utilities for 40 alumni girls (Girl rescue project)

We want to fund more projects like this and we need your active support. Please do these three things so that we can make sure the most vulnerable families survive this crisis:

Abhayaratna Trust: update from Mahasraddha, Director
In the past two months, we have lost 16 Order members in India to COVID-19; each death is felt in the Order as we unite in deep solidarity with our Indian brothers and sisters and the grief of their families.  

We are hearing poignant and heart breaking stories from India about desperate need, as I am sure you have been witnessing too, either through news broadcasts or from direct contact with friends in India. Many Indian Order members have lost their jobs so have no income coming into their family which is extremely distressing on top of everything else. 

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Triratna Order and Movement, we have raised over £180,000 to give to individual Order members who are in desperate need in India. Money raised in the Appeal is being distributed to Indian Order members by Karmavajra and a Team of very energetic and committed Indian Order Convenors; they have a very well established and extensive network across India to identify Order members in need and to get money to where it is needed quickly, which in life or death situations is vital.

Karmavajra and the Team have managed to get tangible support to hundreds of Order members from the Abhayaratna Trust Appeal funds. Many of those we are helping are now recovering. Our Appeal funds are being put to very effective use by providing money for medical and hospital costs, food, rent and oxygen. 

We are monitoring the situation in India very carefully via weekly Zoom meetings with Indian Order Convenors. They estimate that the impacts of the second wave will continue for at least a year, and we are working with them to put in place short, medium and long term plans so that we can continue to effectively support Indian Order members in need.

Our Appeal will remain live and active for as long as is necessary, and please click here if you are able to give. Thank you. I know that our Indian brothers and sisters are very grateful for our support and show of solidarity, and I think Bhante would have been very pleased to see the vision of care in the Order he expounded in A Case of Dysentery coming so vividly alive. 

Future Dharma & India Dhamma Trust: Update from Nandavajra, Director
In these challenging, distressing and fearful times for many in India, the Buddha’s teachings, the experience of Sangha, and wise counsel and reassurance are vitally important. The Indian Ordination Teams, and Public Preceptors Kula, are supporting the Corona Relief Work, and providing inspiration, encouragement, and counsel to the Order and Dhamma mitras. Our dedicated Indian Youth Coordinators are providing online support and Dharma teaching for hundreds of young people. This crucial work is made possible by the generosity of FutureDharma and India Dhamma Trust supporters and these teams will be a vital resource in our Indian Sangha’s recovery in months to come.

Amrutasiddhi, the India Movement Coordinator, is a key member of the tireless Coronavirus Relief Work Team and he is also instrumental in helping Centres provide Dharma activities online – a source of much needed inspiration and support for hundreds, if not thousands, of sangha members. Again, your gifts make this possible.

Our sangha in India will need ways of coming together and rebuilding their communities when the devastation of the coronavirus eventually subsides. Our emergency funding of the Bhaja and Bordharan retreat centres means they are safe from the threat of closure due to loss of income. We are in communication with the Indian Area Council and Public Preceptors kula and will provide emergency funding for other projects facing financial difficulty.

FutureDharma works in partnership with the India Dhamma Trust. We are extremely grateful for the continuing generosity of our supporters and are committed to ensuring funding for India.  We encourage you to please give to FutureDharma as you will be giving the precious gift of the Dharma to people who are suffering right now. By giving today you will help them build a future in which our Sangha in India prospers and reaches out to more people in need.

Act now
Please do give generously, and if you are confused about who to give to, please give to all three Charities.

From all of us, thank you for supporting all of these appeals and for standing in solidarity with our movement and everyone in need in India during this crisis.

Padmadaka, CEO: Karuna Trust. Mahasraddha, Director: The Abhayaratna Trust. Nandavajra, Director: FutureDharma / India Dhamma Trust. 

Read more about India Covid-19 Emergency: A Co-ordinated Triratna Fundraising Response

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