The devastating flash flood of 5th and 6th August, 2010, caused massive destruction and damage to men and material in Leh and its surrounding villages. Hundreds of lives were lost, thousands of people displaced and reduced to becoming homeless and landless. Villagers lost their agricultural land which was either inundated, washed away or covered with rubble, boulders and mud slush. It will not be possible for many farmers to cultivate these fields for many years to come. Since immediate relief of rations, clothing, cooking materials, construction of houses and relief for lost lives were taken up by the government agencies, NGOs and international agencies, MIMC immediately focused its efforts on the long-term rehabilitation and rebuilding of property for the displaced families. MIMC decided to form a Flood Relief Committee to focus specifically on this task.
Work which fell under the immediate and urgent categories were given top priority and carried out promptly. As such the debris from internal roads were cleared to make way for traffic/ conveyance of school buses, children and old folks to walk around and or vehicles heading towards the hospital with patients and attendants. The Old Age home had developed cracks in the walls and subsequently, part of it had to be demolished and reconstruction work was carried out to replace it. Due to the short working season, it took two years to complete the reconstruction. The building is built with complete passive solar house design which will enable the old folks to stay in warmth and comfort throughout the year.
We are happy to report that the collapsed walls have now been rebuilt, roads damaged during the flood have been restored with black topping while the herbal garden which was washed away has been restored and fitted with a sprinkler system for irrigation. The destroyed drip irrigation system has also been re-installed. Due to a labor shortage and the short summer season, it took a little longer than expected to complete. Last year we also recognized that the nunnery was also partly damaged by the flood with the backside of the building showing cracks in the wall. Our engineer warned us and told us to move the nuns out of the building immediately, which we did. It is projected that the new structure will be completed by 2013.
The Mahabodhi Flood Relief Committee made an initial visit to the affected villages of Igoo, Phyang, Taru, Saboo and Leh. following the aftermath of the flood. Reconstruction and rehabilitation work have been completed at the various damaged areas. Modalities of allocation and deployment of the Backhoe Excavator (JCB) for the clearance of debris, boulders and mud slush from the agricultural fields were carried out on a large scale in these villages. A total of 17,000square/metersof land was cleared. Excavation work was also carried out in the Ney and Shey villages.
MIMIMC has played a key role in rebuilding houses for flood affected families. MIMC has also helped families to add new rooms to existing house and provide other necessities required by the families depending on their needs. Through the German Agro Foundation, we have also distributed 20 greenhouses to the flood affected families in various villages including those in Saboo, Phyang, Ney, Umla and Igoo. We offer our heartfelt thanks to all individuals and organizations that have come forward to support and lend a hand during this difficult period. Our gratitude and deep appreciation to organizations such as Buddha Haus - Germany, HQ, Buddha's Light International Association - USA, Buddhist Gem Fellowship & Malaysian Desk for Ladakh - Malaysia and many other donors who supported us to implement the various projects.
During the committee's visits to different villages, they came across school children whose families had been severely affected by the flood where some have become orphans or rendered homeless. These children were either admitted into our girls' or boys' hostels or were helped with free education at our residential schools. They have been given sponsorships by the MIMC Flood Relief Committee which takes care of their educational expenses in the form of tuition, lodging and food. A total of 20 such children were taken under the care of MIMC and initially provided with free education for one year. Luckily enough, as there were sufficient funds, we have been able to extend the sponsorships to the children for yet another year.
Venerable Samten of Tseskarmo Monastery, Tingmosang with collobration with Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Devachan invited hon’ble members of Interplaster-Germany to conduct reconstructive surgery at Mahabodhi Karuna Charitable Hospital(MKCH). According to our request, a team of special plastic surgeons of Interplaster from Germany offered their valuable services from 18th to 28th June, 2012 at MKCH. More than 90 major reconstructive plastic surgeries and hundreds of minor have been done. They were very happy that many patients had benefited by their service and promised to conduct again in the year 2013. On behalf of all the patients, we the members of MIMC would like to thanks and Ven. Samtan and the team of doctors of interplaster-Germany to offer their valuable service.
MIMC in collaboration with Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, Mumbai, a orthopaedic free medical camp was organized from 15th to 18th Sept, 2012. Hundreds of medical appliances like wheel chairs, clrustur , hearing aids and artificial limps were distributed free of cost to needy people. We the president and members of MIMC would like to express our heartfelt thank to the President, members and staff of RNCT, Mumbai to conduct the noble camp.