Sarajevo, BOSNIA, 1994—After the shells stopped falling and the snipers retreated from their hideouts in the mountains that surround this small town of Bosnia-Herzegovina, life began to slowly creep back to normality. The three year nightmare of slaughter and terror left Sarajevo a scarred graveyard. The Krishna temple was there since the beginning, offering shelter to anyone who came along and bread and cookies to thousands of others who were afraid to leave their bullet-riddled and blackened apartments. The Food for Life program they started in the most humble conditions continued in Sarajevo for 4 years. Meals were served daily to residents throughout the city as well as to undernourished hospital patients.
Food for Life director in Sarajevo, Janukanyaka Dasi (pictured right), stayed in Sarajevo throughout the fighting to serve tens of thousands of bread rolls and cookies. Many people referred to her as the “Mother Teresa of Sarajevo.”
“People were sometimes making ‘bread’ out of dried leaves! Can you imagine?” – Janukanyaka
Shevko, one of the old-time Sarajevo volunteers, recalls: “We had to go two miles every day just to get water …but it wasn’t easy pulling those big barrels of water up steep hills, what to speak of avoiding the snipers who would pick people off every now and then.” “There was no food, whatsoever,” explained Janukanyaka. “People were sometimes making ‘bread’ out of dried leaves! Can you imagine?”