18th August 2006
In the monsoon of 2006, the city of Surat in Gujarat was completely flooded due to relentless raining. For four days, 90 percent of the city was completely submerged, with water going up as high as two stories in low-lying parts of the city! The deluge had marooned the entire Surat city and had claimed over 250 lives, in direct and indirect rain-related incidents, besides causing immense loss to property.
On learning about the catastrophe, Amma immediately sent two Brahmachari-doctors to the region with medicines worth 14 lakhs and two nurses from AIMS, the Ashram’s Super Specialty Hospital, accompanied them. The doctors were further assisted by Amma’s devotees living in Surat. Between August 17th and August 25th, the Brahmachari-doctors Dr. Ram Mohan and Dr. Chandrasekhar had seen to some 3,000 patients as part of the Ashram’s flood-relief work in Surat.
The first day itself, they had consulted around 500 people and distributed medicines worth four lakhs rupees, said Br. Dr. Chandrasekhar, one of the doctors. ‘’We were really afraid about the outbreak of communicable diseases, gastro-intestinitis and skin infections but fortunately no cases of epidemics were reported’’, he concluded. Using ambulances supplied by the government, the Brahmachari-doctors had tended to all four areas in each of the city’s eight zones including Rampura, Katagav, Lal Darvacha, Ichapore, Nanpura, Daboli, Singanpore, Amroli, Rander and Bhadpore Village areas. Rampura, Katagav and areas near the Tapi River such as Daboli were the worst-hit areas, said Br. Dr. Chandrasekhar.
The flood had left the whole city a stinking mess with everywhere covered in slush and mud. There was no power in many areas and telephones also remained out of order. People still had difficulty in obtaining food, water and other essentials and many people had lost their medicines in the flood as well. The MAM volunteers were part of the post-flood cleanup and rehabilitation efforts as well because ‘’It was Amma’s promise to her devotees in Surat city to help in whatever way possible in terms of medicine, rehabilitation and reassurance,” said Br. Chandrasekhar.