By Sankarshan Nitai Das
In Chronological Sequence
24 Sept 06
Floods in Mayapur are usually caused by release of water from various Dams which are about 100km upstream. Around noon, the local government officials informed ISKCON management that they were releasing water down stream gradually. ISKCON Mayapur management immediately swung into action and convened a meeting of the Department heads at 4:00pm to discuss preventive measures and relief action.
The strategy evolved at this meeting was to inform all devotees who are staying at the ground level to shift into one of the guest houses as soon as the Ganges water begins to trickle into the campus. At the guest houses, these devotees would also be provided with prasadam.
ISKCON Mayapur is separated from Ganga by the Bhaktisiddanta Thakur road. However our campus is below the road level. When the Ganges water reaches this road level, the threat of flood is imminent. ISKCON Mayapur management precisely pre-empted this and engaged the services about 100 Brahmacharis who worked tirelessly throughout the night in placing sand bags at the edge of the road to prevent water from flowing into the campus. Such an attempt had successfully prevented our campus from flooding in 2004 when a similar situation arose.
5:00am – There appeared to be no threat of a major flood. Things were well under control.
6:30am – Brahmacaris had by now placed 2 more layers of sand bags (making a total of 3) at the edge of the road.
9:30am – Water began to rise above the sand bags near the service gate and started at first trickling and then gushing into the campus.
10:00am – It became evident that there was no chance to prevent the flood.
10:00am – 5:00pm – Water was continuously gushing into the campus.
5:00pm – Mother Ganga made her entry into the temple courtyard
7:15pm The evening Sandhya Arati was special. As soon as the tumultuous Gaura Arati kirtan concluded and bramacharis began to circumambulate the temple headed by HH Bhaktisidantha Maharaja, Mother Ganga made her way into the temple to have darshan of Sri Sri Radhamadava, Sri Sri Panchatattva & Sri Narasimhadeva.
The devotees offered puja to Mother Ganga with flowers and incenses. The kirtan had reached new ecstatic levels. It was a unique experience for many devotees in the temple hall.
9:00 pm – Ganges water was at knee level in the campus and the inflow was continuing.
Children – Under the care of the parents / guardians the children were playing happily and wading and splashing in the water.
Seva puja for the Deities – Pankajanghri Pr informed us that the sevas were going on steadily and would continue in the same way until water reaches the altar level, if at all!!
Health – The ISKCON Pharmacy has been moved to Chakra building room # 142 to cater to the needs of the community.
Educational Institutions – Bhaktivedanta National School authorities have moved official documents and furniture to the next higher floor of their school building. The school will remain closed for 2 weeks. Sri Mayapur International School’s vacation for their students and staff this year began just before the onset of the floods. It was a timely coincidence. Sri Rupanuga Paramarthika Vidyapith has declared a holiday for its students.
Goshala – Gaurahari Pr has confirmed that the cows are safe and are well above the water level .
Transport to/from Mayapur – Buses and Vehicles are plying from Baman Pukur Bazaar – near Chand Kazi Samadhi. This is about 3 km from our campus.
Security – Jagadartiha Prabhu has informed us that the security situation is under control and no untoward incidents have happened.
Electricity / water – Presently the electric power supply, phone lines and Broadband internet access are not disrupted.
For some of the Flood pictures, please click here www.Mayapur.com and visit Photo Gallery. We’ll keep updating you about the flood situation if we continue to have Internet access.
Written by Sankarshan Nitai Das