Since the Pandemic began, SINI has been providing food for 200 hungry families in Sarnath every full moon. On the occasion of Saga Dawa 2021 our dear Tsering Nyima, who manages the Institute, received funds from SINI donors for a relief effort, to distribute much-needed food and supplies. Because all of India is in lockdown at this time, there are many complications and steps that must be taken to clear the way for safe food distribution. He describes the conditions in India as unimaginably miserable, with massive unemployment, all the stores closed, and public gatherings prohibited. To provide good things for people, he had to secure permission from the local police in order to find those people who are most in need, to make the purchases, and then to distribute the dry goods. The heat in the afternoon is extreme this time of year, so Tsering Nyima traveled the city in the mornings and evenings to accomplish his tasks. As many elderly and handicapped populations cannot travel easily, he visited old age homes and homes for the blind. We are so thankful for Tsering Nyima’s dedication to serve the poor, and for carrying out these good deeds on behalf of our caring community.
At a Bangladeshi refugee camp he visited, Tsering Nyima found people who were starving, and was able to provide food and cash assistance to them. Around 50% of those receiving food on Vesak were handicapped, elderly, and refugees.
After that food was delivered door to door in Sarnath.
“But to give food is not enough,” Tsering Nyima tells us, as these people have no money for basic needs. With the generous contributions of SINI friends around the world, Tsering Nyima was able to give 1,000 Rupees in cash to each recipient to help pay for doctor visits, medicine, and travel costs.
To find a location where they could gather 200 people in one place during lockdown is very hard. After managing to secure a location and the permissions, SINI staff arrived at 7 am packed with food for the families. There was rice, flour, chana dal, salt, and cooking oil, plus the 1,000 Rupees per family. Two hundred families, traveling from as far as 15 km away were served on the Full Moon in one location, in addition to the others who received deliveries in their homes.
Tsering Nyima says, “People were very happy to receive food plus money. And I felt very happy to see their smiling faces!”
He has been thinking about the people who contributed their hard-earned money. “I am doing hard work in a hard climate,” he tells us. “But with your kindness, support and effort, we can contribute to these poor families. When I think of the benefit to them, I feel proud of our joint effort.”
After delivering food, the monks chanted mantras and made prayers, offered Tsok, and illuminated 2000 butter lamps at SINI for the well being of others. Here is a short video of the monks chanting in the SINI Temple.
At 9:20 pm, the khenpos and lopons were still chanting mantras and prayers. Their prayers include the donors, praying for the well being of others, for the poor families, for successful, happy and cheerful lives. Here is a video with audio of the recitations into the night.
If you would like to help provide food to hungry families, click here: