Disaster Relief

Uttarakhand Flooding

Led by Pujya Swamiji, IHRF is supporting and sponsoring Project Hope, whose team has been working continuously since the first day after the tragic Uttarakhand floods of June 2013, when the rivers rose higher than they had in over 100 years. The sight of families searching desperately for their loved ones, the knowledge that so many thousands are living without bare necessities, the memory of the thousands who have perished – these propel us to continue and expand our seva day by day.

IHRF is supporting Project Hope in three phases of relief for those affected by the Uttarkhand floods of June 2013:

  • Phase I – Immediate Relief and Rescue
    • Immediate Mass Transport, to evacuate those stranded by the floods
    • Project Hope Relief Camps and Passage Home, where survivors received food, medical care, shelter and help in getting back to their homes and finding loved ones
    • Providing Dignified Final Rites for the Deceased, by providing large quantities of wood, ghee and other items needed for cremation
    • Providing Shelter to Survivors and Volunteers at Parmarth Niketan
  • Phase II – Immediate Relief for Local Residents in the Affected Areas
    • Sending trucks of emergency relief supplies to the affected areas, such as blankets, waterproof tents, tarpaulin, food rations, medicines, water purification tablets, warm clothes, solar lanterns and candles, household daily necessities, cooking utensils and more
    • Assisting medical teams of doctors and veterinarians reach the affected areas to bring relief and medical care to the devastated areas
    • Providing large waterproof tents so that schools could begin on time, and thus help the area to recover quickly
    • Pre- and post-natal care – providing shelter at Parmarth Niketan for pregnant women from the affected areas, as many villages have been cut off as roads collapsed and broke, thus cutting off their access to the medical care needed during pregnancy
  • Phase III – Green Reconstruction & Green Rehabilitation
    • Further distribution of relief materials
    • Surveys and plans to adopt villages, which we will rebuild in eco-friendly, safe and holistic ways in line with Mother Nature and the local culture and traditions
    • These villages will be eco-friendly models, equipped with “green” technologies such as biodigester toilets, water filters for each household, proper solid waste management, organic farming, self-sustainable employment programs, and more
    • Planning for a home for widows, which will not only provide permanent shelter, nourishing food and care but where they will also receive essential training and skills to be productive, empowered and thriving members of their society
    • Planning for a home for orphans, wherein they will be provided with education, including computer education, health care and much more.
    • Planning for an animal care center, where proper food, shelter and holistic care can be provided by veterinarians
    • Expansion of medical care and relief in the devastated areas
    • Planting Smriti Van (“Memorials”), in memory of those who lost their lives in the Uttarakhand floods


On the 30th of December, 2004, Pujya Swamiji, Vivek Oberoi, Sadhvi Bhagwati, Rishikumars from Parmarth Niketan’s Gurukul and Vivek Oberoi’s family traveled down to South India in the wake of the devastating tsunami. Upon seeing the devastation wrought upon the land, they decided to stay and offer both short-term and long-term assistance. The relief work ranged from immediate, emergency measures to the permanent reconstruction of entire villages.

Phase I – Immediate, Emergency Relief Measures

  1. Construction of 100 new, temporary homes
  2. Establishment and running of seven community kitchens where thousands of families received fresh, hot meals, including milk for children
  3. Medical Relief Centers operated at each of the kitchens
  4. Playground for the children
  5. Free Eye and Cataract Operation Camp for hundreds of villagers
  6. Wide-scale distribution of necessities to thousands of people, including food, water, clothing, cooking supplies, shoes, and sheets
  7. Repair of over 100 boats and purchase of 15 new boats
  8. Purchase of over 600 new fishing nets

Phase II – Permanent Village Reconstruction in Pondicherry

Project Hope undertook the reconstruction of villages Pannithittu and Pattincheri in Pondicherry, totalling over 350 homes. Pannithittu, built through the generosity of Rotary International, Sadeh Lok, UK, Himjyoti Foundation and many other generous donors, was inaugurated in December 2005 by the hands of the Honorable Governors of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Uttarakhand.

The village of Pattincheri, sponsored by Shri LN Mittal of London, was inaugurated in April 2007.

Phase III – Cuddalore Town, Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu: Orphanage and Women’s Center

The final stage in the work was completed and inaugurated on May 12, 2007. The orphanage which we built for the tsunami orphans as well as facilities for over 300 children who had been orphaned prior to the tsunami was inaugurated by H.E. the Honorable Governor of Tamil Nadu, Shri Surjit Singh Barnalaji with Pujya Swamiji.

The orphanage includes dormitory facilities, school rooms, a computer center, medical room, beautiful kitchen and dining facilities, a vocational training center and more. It has been built on the same land as the previously existing home for approximately 200 widowed/abandoned women, which we also beautified. In this way, the orphaned children will receive, in addition to the staff, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and older sisters; the women will receive the priceless gift of caring for orphaned children. We have also built a vocational training center for the women, and the new huge dining/kitchen facilities are shared by both the children and the women.

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