Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Thailand.
Continuous monsoons that began in October led to severe flooding across 51 provinces, claiming 257 lives by December. Nearly 7 million people in more than 25,000 villages were affected as property, livelihood, and infrastructure were destroyed.
Upon first hearing of the devastating situation, Supreme Master Ching Hai had expressed her heartfelt condolences and prayers as she donated US$10,000 in urgent aid, asking that our Association members please go to help the afflicted. This amount could purchase US$29,000 in materials obtained in the United States, based on Thailand’s cost of living.
As soon as conditions permitted, our Thai Association members conducted initial relief work at the most severely afflicted Amphur Pak Thong Chai in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province. They later prepared more packages with rice, drinking water, soy milk, medicine, and snacks for children, as well as informative SOS flyers on climate change and the effective vegan solution. They then divided into two teams to continue the relief efforts. One group traveled to Phimai District in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, where floodwaters had reached as high as 1.5 meters, inundating some homes up to their roofs. Most of the residents were farmers whose crops had been damaged, with many who were unable to travel to obtain food or medical care as roads had been blocked.
(Interviews in Thai)
Mr. Somsak Prarisutto, Vice Governor, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand (M): Our Nakhon Ratchasima Province, this year, has suffered flooding in all 32 districts, 200 sub-districts. People have suffered tremendously.
VOICE: Our Association members distributed the relief aid to 1,000 appreciative families in the areas most in need.
Mr. Somsak Prarisutto, Vice Governor, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand (M): Thank you for your kind heart to come and help the people of Nakhon Ratchasima today. I think this kindness will help heal the torment in the people and it will be an encouragement for the flood victims.
VOICE: The other relief team traveled to Ayutthaya and Saraburi provinces in the central region of Thailand, where floodwaters had surged up to 2 meters high. They delivered 1,000 sets of the relief packages to families in desperate situations. The villagers wished to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her concern and unconditional love, and for reaching out to them to provide them with urgent assistance.
Victim (M): We are so badly affected. The transportation is bad. To go out and buy things is difficult. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai very much, for your assistance.
VOICE: We, too, are grateful for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s wholehearted support of the disaster-stricken, and for the diligent endeavors of our Association’s relief team. With Buddha’s blessings, may the Thai people be swiftly restored to daily regularity as our gentler care of the environment helps such calamitous events to subside.