Mission of Mercy for the Aila Cyclone victims

Kolkata FOM Chapter on a Mission of Mercy for the Aila Cyclone victims
Date:21st June 2009  
Venue: Ramakrishna Mission, Sarisha, West Bengal

Aila cyclone struck West Bengal and Orissa in late May 2009 and effected areas have not fully recovered from its impact. The Kolkata chapter of FOM visited the Ramakrishna Mission in Sarisha on a mission of mercy for the cyclone victims. Rajat Da and Stuti Koner report.

Kolkata FOM Chapter on a Mission of Mercy for the Aila Cyclone victims


21st June 2009

Hi, Friends of Max!! It is a bright sunny Sunday morning in June.

Officially the monsoon is supposed to set in, but excepting few casual aimless clouds , nothing could be seen on the blue canvas above us.

At 9’O clock a few members of an enthusiastic crowd can be seen trying to lift the shutter of a Café and almost forcefully occupy the restaurant – to have whatever was available for a break fast.

These were the FOM – Kolkata core group being led by Neel, Naren, Subir, Dhiren da and finally joined by Anshu and Navin. I was observing from a safe distance, and when the operation was successful I joined and thanked them as if I was the Coach of the team.

So it came to happen that as planned we meet on 21st June , sharp at 9 am at Garden Café , one of the most famous restaurant in Alipur, to have our break fast and then move for Sarisha .It is a village 36 Km south of Kolkata to donate whatever we could collect for the victims of the cyclone that left so many homelss.

The owner of the Café was very helpful . He managed to serve us the steaming Dosa, Idli, Bada etc, the flavour was so delicate , and the taste was heavenly that the consumption superceded all our calculation and it looked as if we were the victims of Flood affected area. Suddenly we heard a big sound , sounded like a terrorist attack. But soon we realized that it was the comfortable and satisfying expression after food and a joint effort by Subir and Dhiren da “ E-a-a-a-a-U-U”.

Report by Dada ( alias Rajat Mazumdar)


I would love to share a beautiful experience of a trip that we took to Ramakrishna Mission in Sarisha. It was in the morning that we started our journey. Excluding me others had a feast on South Indian delicacies for breakfast. I had to excuse myself for some prior commitments. So around 10:30 my husband, Prof. Koner and I were picked up from a convenient point.

We had three cars traveling in a row. Neel’s car was guarded from both sides by the two rented cars. Neel, the most handsome man in our group deserves it, say what! Thanks to Rajat da that he had booked AC cars, or else I am sure to have aborted my trip half-way.

As we drove leaving the busy roads behind and taking the roads on the outskirts of Kolkata, the greenery was amazing. On the way we enjoyed Subir da’s interesting and humourous stories that kept us entertained through out the journey. And finally, we reached our destination, the Ramakrishna Mission.

The Mission is one of the voluntary organizations who are the first one to reach the places badly affected by natural calamities. It’s a very old and prestigious organization who has extended their help in various ways. It has several branches in India and abroad. Sarisha Ashram is built on acres of land with a sprawling campus. The place is quiet and calm. We then met the Maharaj who is a wonderful and down-to-earth person. We had carried groceries (100kg Rice,50kg pulses,30 packets Biscuits etc), old clothes and some food items for the Aila victims. We also donated some monetary aid (Rs.30,000/-).

The disaster, the loss that they have suffered is unbelievable, unbearable. God give them strength. We on our part have tried to be by their side, to be able to help them in our small ways.

We were invited to have lunch at the Mission. Unfortunately, the Mandir was closed, so we could not enter. We were taken around the place. There is a huge ground with plenty of palm trees, the place looked rather romantic. We took a spot decision of holding our next meeting here and arranging for some outdoor games. But it has to be in the winter or else not a single soul will turn up. Later we decided to go to the “The Fort” hotel which was close by. But a few of us had to leave due to some engagement, so the rest of us proceeded to Raichak. “The Fort” is built on a huge area with manicured lawns, lakes with full blossomed lotus, with modern architectural patterned buildings. S

eeing the clean, deep blue swimming pool Rajatda repented on not bringing his swimming trunks. There were some beautiful bunglows with modern structures on the banks of the Ganga, known as the ‘Ganga Kuthir’. To tell you frankly, I or rather we all felt happy to be completely cut-off from the noisy city life. It was so quiet that our voices seemed like loud noise, and knowing our gang, we always happen to make commotion everywhere we go.

We had someone special this time, Manish, Neel’s newly wed brother. He seemed to be enjoying and very generously lending us a helping hand in times of need. In spite of the unbearable heat and humidity nothing could stop us from enjoying. And now the time has come to part. On our way back we stopped for some tea. Whenever we meet we always felt sad to leave. Time just flies with everyone around. Our bonding only gets stronger and stronger with every meeting of ours.

Report by Stuti Koner