Miyagi, Japan, May 22, 2011 — Just as small drops make up a large ocean; similarly, the efforts of a few selfless volunteers from Food for Life Japan to alleviate the suffering of the Japanese are growing beyond imagination. People from all walks of life are joining hands with Food for Life with a desire to offer their best service. “What we have seen in the past few weeks is no less than a miracle,” explained Food for Life director for Japan, Shrikant Shah. “This endeavor is no longer limited to just one team, group, or religious group. It truly is a community effort — families joining hands under one banner reaching out to help those less fortunate,” he explained. “Food for Life Global’s financial support, coming from donors from around the world, has also made a huge impact on our success,” he said.
- A brand new mini-van (Suzuki-Every) donated by BAPS charity NewYork
- 47 volunteers from various locations, some as far as 150 km from Tokyo came to assist.
- A separate team headed out to Sendai to perform Kirtan.
- Donations and appreciation from Japanese firms, including the BAPS CHARITY from New York (from Swami Narayan Temple) who generously donated a brand new mini-van, “Suzuki-Every,” to be used by volunteers in assisting the elderly at evacuation centers (FFLG Japan managed the legal transaction). And a Japanese firm, Mitsubishi Tote, donated 359 brand-new handbags for ladies staying at the shelter in Wataricho (picture:http://tinyurl.com/fflbag).
- The local authorities invited a team of Temple priest counselors to perform kirtan to rejuvenate the low morale of the people in three shelters in Sendai.
A total of 42 volunteers from Kofu, Okachimachi, and the Kasai/Nishi-kasai district came together for the program last weekend. Dinner was served to more than 1,000 people staying in three relief camps. The vegan dinner included roti (Indian flatbread), three vegan curries, samosas, and a dessert shahi tukda (Indian cake).
Once again, the elaborate meals were prepared by Govinda’s restaurant in Tokyo, which has provided hot meals every week since the emergency relief started. A convoy of 9 cars and one refrigerated truck loaded with 1000 kg of vegetables traveled hundreds of miles to the relief centers. “These vegetables and fruits we give them will provide breakfast and lunch for the next three days,” explained Shah.
A special acknowledgment goes out to the various cooks and kitchen hands. 1,000 rotis were made by Baid Bhabhi, Neena bhabhi, SangeetaBhabhi, Nikita Mithal, Kavita Sonkiya, Arti Jain, Neha Choudhary, Priyankaji and Surya Restaurant. Manoj Bhandari san, Manoj Jain san ( Bunty san), Navneet Mehta san, Neeraj Kothari san, and Ajit Kumar san donated 150,000 JPY to make the mango lassi, samosas, and snacks served at the Okuna Elementry school.
The following volunteers helped in 1000 kgs loading fruits and vegetables: – Jatin Ji, Jagmohan Ji, Satish Ji, Bhavik Ji, Sandeep Pr Ji, SanjayPr Ji, Raghu Pr Ji Sarwanji, and one volunteer from Okachimachi and one from Ojima joined in.
Anup Agarwal-ji sponsored food for two centers (3 curries, salad, and dessert), Hemant Pandyaji (Jewelex japan) sponsored fruits worth 227,800 JPY, while four Japanese volunteers, Kyoko san, Kazusan, Kaorisan, Yamazakisan conducted yoga sessions. As for today, Food for Life Japan has served hot meals to 4,600 people in Miyagi and fresh fruits and vegetables to provide breakfast and lunch for 16,500 people.