sent a team of volunteers from Calcutta. They were one of
the first relief teams to reach Orissa with emergency aid.
A survey was conducted and by 2 November, truckloads of
relief supplies from Calcutta reached Erasama with a team
of qualified doctors and more volunteers.
(14 villages, Total population: 8,023) – Jagatsinghpur
Andhari – wards 1,2 & 3, Bada Billari, Baulapara,
Bhitari – Andhari, Bholpada, Guwamunda- wards 1 & 2,
Jalao – wards 1 & 2, Jamukan (Harijan), Jamukan
(Savarna), Kodakana, Nava Ratanapur , Potak (Harijan
+ Savarna), Rasakdapur – wards 1 & 2, Uchanawaga-
wards 1 & 2.
(12 villages, Total population: 5,695) – Jagatsinghpur
Balaipur-wards 1 & 2, Banipat-wards 1 & 2,
Barbatia, Billa Pokhariapada, Chakulia, Danda Sahi,
Digitari-wards 1 & 2, Gurugudia, Junamath, Nalkani,
(6 villages, Total population: 3,340) – Jagatsinghpur
Aligarh, Baragpur, Balituth, Bhitari Shri Chandrapur,
(11 villages, Total population: 6,358) – Jagatsinghpur
Chattua, Chattua (Pathanshahi), Janardanpur (Arjun
Kund), Janardanpur (Jhailya), Manput – wards 9, 10,
11, & 12, Nachipur, Narendrapur, Panjarkoti, Parapada,
(3 villages, Total population: 9,261) - Jagatsinghpur
Dhinkia, Govindipur, Trilochanpur.
(2 villages, Total population: 2,183) - Jagatsinghpur
Garai Panchayat (20
villages, Total population: 11,920) – Jagatsinghpur
Bailo, Bharda Shahi, Bhat Shahi, Bhramar Kola, Bila
Shahi, Chandapat, Dardia, Dardia (Harijan), Gabhadi,
Garai, Kath Mulla, Kothia Shahi, Lathang, Naliyapad,
Okala, Pota Nahi, Repur Patna, Sirod, Shashan, Tota
Japa Panchayat (1
village, Total population: 985) - Jagatsinghpur
(5 villages, Total population: 6,162) – Jagatsinghpur
Bhejiwari – ward 11, Kanagoli, Khurant – wards 16 – 22,
Kunjkothi – wards 13, 14 & 15, Pachera.
(1 village, Total population: 6,000) - Jagatsinghpur
Naugan – 16 wards.
(4 villages) - Jagatsinghpur
Bhat Shahi, Billa Shahi, Chandanpur, Nuhadi
(1 village, population: 255) – Jagatsinghpur
(1 village, Total population: 440) – Jagatsinghpur
Garadpur Block (3
villages, Total population: 1,050) – Kendrapada
Basupur, Nankar, Shrutipur.
A total of 190,495 kilograms of food items were distributed.
For a period of 45 days, starting from 12 November, BAPS operated
a relief kitchen in Chakulia, feeding hot meals to over 600
homeless people daily and providing food pockets to countless
more in neighbouring villages.
BAPS sent a special medical team consisting of qualified doctors
to a total of 32 villages in the Erasama and Kujanga Blocks
of Jagatsinghpur. 47 medical camps were organised in which
3,507 patients suffering from acute diarrhoea, vomiting, gastric
problems, foot fungus were treated.
|Water purifying tablets:
||Tablets: 1,75,500 (fever,
vomiting & diarrhoea)
|Tetanus injections: 2,000
||Electrolyte powder: 4,200
|Syringes with needles: 29,700
||Scalp vein sets for saline:
|Antiseptic tubes: 2,000
||Anti fungal tubes: 1,000.
A total of Rs.360,000/- worth of medicines were distributed
BAPS also treated 30 flooded villages with disinfectant powder
to prevent an outbreak of diseases.
CREMATIONS, BURIALS & YAGNAS
There was one horrifying
sight and smell that greeted anyone who walked into Erasama.
The entire place was scattered with either dead people or
dead carcasses. Village folk were too superstitious to touch
the dead they did not know. And so, a BAPS team consisting
of volunteers undertook the task of cremating and burying.
A total of 700 cremations for people were performed with
full vedic rites and over 3,500 cattle carcasses were buried.
On Monday, 6 December and Sunday 12 December 1999, two special ‘Pitru
Tarpan Yag' were held in the villages of Chakulia (Erasama)
and Gabhadi (Tirtol) of Jagatsinghpur,
Orissa. The purpose of the Vedic Yagna was to offer special
prayers for those who had died in the devastating cyclone,
a special request by the villagers. Over 6,000 people had
participated in the yagnas.
HOUSEHOLD MATERIALS DISTRIBUTED
These village people had lost everything in the cyclone. Their
entire homes were completely blown away or washed away. Here
there are no such things as insurance claims. Relief from others
is the only way for survival. BAPS provided household materials
that would help these victims piece their lives together once
|Plastic Tarpaulin (9 ft.
x 12 ft.): 2,600 pieces
||Match Boxes: 5,300
|Utensils: 22,109 pieces
|Kerosene lamps: 1,800
||Buckets: 150 pieces
|Kerosene stoves: 250
||Kerosene: 14,485 litres
Kid's wear: 3,300
Salwar Khamis: 3,200
Used Clothes: 32 trucks
A total of 67,305 new articles of clothes were distributed.
ORGANISING & MANAGING
RELIEF DISTRIBUTIONS OF OTHER ORGANISATIONS
BAPS organised and managed total
relief distribution of materials sent by Sant Baba Man Singhji
of Pehowa Wala (Haryana) and K. Vora & Co. in 260 villages,
helping 159,850 individuals.
COUNSELLING AND UPLIFTING
Physical aid can
relieve pain to a certain extent. Beyond that, psychological,
emotional and spiritual counselling helps a victim overcome
a variety of traumas. BAPS volunteers have understood the
importance of this intangible, yet indispensable, form of
support and have actively counselled thousands of victims
in the aftermath of the cyclone. Many recovered from the
mental shock of the disaster and are now living normal lives.
BAPS also distributed 520 toys, games, puzzles and full cricket
kits to orphans and poor children to help them overcome psychological
traumas caused by the cyclone.
RECONSTRUCTION & REHABILITATION
In the aftermath of the supercyclone, The Government of Orissa
approached BAPS to adopt completely devastated villages for
reconstruction. In January 2000, BAPS adopted 3 villages: Chakulia,
Banipat and Potak in the Erasama Block (District: Jagatsinghpur).
A total of 200 cyclone-resistance concrete houses for 200
homeless families would be constructed together with 2 schools,
2 village tube-wells and also to cater for their agricultural,
educational, ecological, and spiritual needs.
On 10 February 2000,
the foundation stone laying ceremony for the first of 200
houses to be built was performed in Chakulia.
14 months later,
BAPS completed construction of a total of 141 cyclone-resistance
houses, measuring 21 x 12 feet with kitchen, in Chakulia
(69) and Banipat (72). The unique structural design and foundation
would resist future cyclones of similar magnitude.
On 10 June 2001,
the inauguration ceremony for both Chakulia and Banipat was
performed in the holy presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj together
with The King of Jagannathpuri: Sri Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingh
Dev, Sri Naveen Patnaik (Chief Minister of Orissa), Sri Biswabhusan
Harichandan (Minister of Revenue), Sri Surendra Nath Naik
(Minister of Panchayat Raj), Dr. Damodar Rout (MLA).
laying ceremony for the third village: Potak, was performed
on 29 October 2001 and construction began in January 2002.
On 10 May 2002, Potak was completed with 59 cyclone-resistance
houses and other amenities. Chief Minister of Orissa: Sri
Naveen Patnaik along with MLA of Erasama: Dr. Damodar Rout
and other dignitaries inaugurated the reconstructed village
A total of 200 cyclone resistance houses in 3 villages:
Chakulia, Banipat and Potak were completed and handed over
to the people by May 2002 with the following amenities:
BAPS installed 2 tube-wells 600 feet deep in Chakulia and
Banipat to provide pure drinking water.
The nearest good school for children living in this Block
was 18 kilometres away in Paradeep Port. BAPS constructed 2
schools: one Upper Primary School and one Higher Secondary
School in Chakulia that caters for children living in 7 neighbouring
villages. Both schools were inaugurated on 10 June 2001 by
the Chief Minister of Orissa: Sri Naveen Patnaik in the holy
presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the King of Jagannathpuri:
Sri Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingh Dev.
BAPS manages the
Higher Secondary School that caters for students from class
VIII to class X.
The Upper Primary
School is built by BAPS but managed by the Government of
BAPS also provided
2,917 students in other villages with Orissa's TBW Examination
Guides, notebooks and pens to sit boards examination in the
aftermath of the cyclone.
To save farming families from poverty and to help them rebuild
their livelihoods, BAPS provided help to farmers in the following
One tractor with
ploughing blades and trailer;
Two power tiller
tractors with ploughing blades and trailer;
4 water pumps to
help farmers irrigate their land;
4,500 kg. of special
rice seeds for sowing;
3,000 acres of land
were ploughed twice by BAPS to help farmers remove saline
and cultivate their lands for sowing.
T o compensate for trees lost during the cyclone, BAPS planted
5,700 mango, coconut, neem, lemon, jackfruit, jambu, potas,
guava and tulsi trees in 5 villages.
By special request of the people
of Chakulia and Banipat, BAPS constructed a mandir “Shree Swaminarayan Mandir” between
the villages that has become a hub for spiritual and social
BAPS engineers ensured that both villages had adequate roads
and ample spacing. A 2 kilometre stretch of pucca road was
constructed by BAPS that connected Chakulia and Banipat with
the main Erasama Road. The Government of Orissa inaugurated
the road as “Swaminarayan Marg” .
ON BAPS RELIEF & REHABILITATION
WORK IN ORISSA
“Your organisation is
massive. Every volunteer in dedicated, disciplined and devoted
to the cause. Every volunteer is educated. Some are doctors
and engineers. If it wasn't for your organisation, we would
not have been able to distributed our relief materials here.”
Sant Baba Man Singhji, (Pehowa
Wala – Haryana)
“Many have come here with relief
and some have also helped with rehabilitation. BAPS has also
done that but also something greater. Through its swamis
it has instilled moral and the character building values
in our lives. This is something extraordinary that will go
on and build a better society.”
Shree Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingh Dev (King
“I am extremely delighted to
know how well BAPS has served Orissa during the cyclone disaster.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is doing praiseworthy work in a
variety of fields that help our society morally, culturally,
medically, educationally and socially. Although the Sanstha
is based in Gujarat, it has come this far to help us rebuild
our lives by rebuilding our homes and livelihood. I take
this moment to thank Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his organisation
for all that they have done.”
Naveen Patniak (Chief Minister,
“I have seen the work done after
the cyclone in many areas by many different organisations,
but I have not seen such perfection anywhere which I see
Biswabhusan Harichandan (Hon.
Minister of Revenue)
“BAPS has shown
how one should serve people in need. The selfless service
that the volunteers have performed in the super-cyclone
areas of Orissa like Astarang Block, Erasama Block and others
are beyond words. BAPS has served with a caring heart and
we can all learn from this.”
Surendra Nath Naik (Hon. Minister,
Panchayati Raj, Orissa)
“The Government of Orissa acknowledges
your timely help in providing relief aid to the people of
the cyclone affected Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts
of Orissa. Moreover, your rehabilitation work in Chakulia,
Banipat and Potak are praise-worthy and an ideal model for
Aurobindo Behara - IAS , (M.D.
Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority)
“BAPS was the first organisation
to bring relief in this area. Not only this, but the Swamijis
stayed behind to gift us with pucca homes and schools for
which we are extremely grateful.”
Damodar Rout (MLA - Erasama)
“We can not rule out the fact
that your organisation was one of the very first to reach
the most devastated area in Orissa. Your organising capabilities
and heart to serve people of every caste, creed and community
in the most remote parts of Jagatsinghpur are praiseworthy.”
Navin Chandra Das, (The then
Hon. Minister of Commerce, Orissa)
“If you want to
know how one should serve mankind, then go an see the Swaminarayan
sadhus serving in Chakulia.”
S. Mohanty, (District
Collector of Jagatsinghpur – 2000, Orissa)
“We gratefully acknowledge your
timely help in providing relief and succour to the people
of the cyclone affected districts of Orissa. Your service
has helped the people to over come their trauma and grief.”
L. Kindo ,
(Relief Commissioner Incharge, Cuttack, Orissa.)