Supporting SGI’s humanistic movement, BSG members have actively organised emergency relief in India to help the victims of various natural disasters. Some of them are:
Large part of the city of Chennai were submerged following torrential, record breaking rains on 2nd and 3rd December 2015. Roads vanished, electricity shut down, connectivity was lost, food and water were scarce, more than 300,000 people became homeless, and over 500 died. In some localities the water reached the second floor of the buildings. Relief material from Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Salem was dispatched to Chennai, where BSG volunteers hand delivered to the affected populace. Groups of BSG youth volunteers cleared debris from streets and houses, and distributed dry food packets and medical supplies by boat in 30 of the most devastated localities.
Indian Ocean Tsunami
In December 2004, BSG members at very short notice collected and contributed Rs 5 lakh to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Meanwhile, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation and BSG jointly took up a three-year programme to support school-going children of the fishing community who had lost one or both parents in the tsunami. The programme takes care of the children’s annual school fees, their uniforms, etc, and also provides extra nutrition in addition to the school’s midday meals. While MSSRF implements the programme, the cost is entirely funded by BSG.
In February 200I, BSG’s Women’s and Youth Peace Committees identified and collected essential items for the earthquake victims, and more than 20 volunteers distributed them in the 10 devastated villages that had not yet been provided any relief. At least 2,500 ‘family packages’ were distributed among 15,000 villagers.
BSG carried out emergency relief operations in support of cyclone victims in Orissa State, east India. The cyclone, which struck October 29, 1999, claimed 15,000 lives and left 15 million homeless. Most of the survivors were enduring terrible living conditions without proper food, clothing or shelter. The cyclone destroyed harvests in many villages and the outlook was bleak for the coming crop yield because of extensive seawater flooding of farm land. BSG members collected food, clothing and other necessities in New Delhi, Calcutta and Hyderabad and dispatching supplies to victims in eight afflicted villages. BSG volunteers hand-delivered supplies three times to survivors in the villages, sometimes using small boats where roads have been impassable. BSG also dispatched a medical team to those rural areas with shortages of doctors and medical supplies.
BSG members in New Delhi sent emergency relief supplies to earthquake victims in the Chamoli area of northern India. On 29 March 1999, Chamoli was hit by a large-scale earthquake that claimed 100 lives and left 324 injured, and destroyed or damaged at least 16,000 homes. BSG members in New Delhi launched an emergency relief drive; members and other local citizens donated a total of 15 tons of food, clothing and blankets. From April 17 to April 19, BSG’s relief operation team delivered emergency supplies to victims in three villages, beginning with Rudra Prayag.
On June 9, 1998, Western India was hit by the worst disastrous cyclone in the history of the area. It struck the port of Kandla at over 100 K.M. per hour completely destroying buildings and houses and killing about 1,500 in just 6 hours. Over 2000 people were reported dead, and more than 5000 missing. Preliminary survey revealed that at least 50,911 houses and 5000 huts were damaged beyond repair in Kandla and Gandhidham. The destruction of property, mangled ships, ports, industries and vehicle was valued around Rs. 3000 crores.
Bharat Soka Gakkai carried out relief activities to help people affected by the cyclone. BSG members collected relief material in Delhi and Mumbai. Proper care was taken to prevent any damage to any of the items enroute to Gujarat. The BSG relief team, contacted Government officials for identifying villages and after getting authorization, personally delivered relief supplies to over 1421 families across many villages.
The Collector and District Magistrate, Jamnagar Mr. Murmu in his letter to BSG wrote “It was also heartening to know the lengths to which your organisation is going to distribute the sincere donations of the members so that it really reaches people who need it most. — I take this opportunity to congratulate BSG for its humanitarian, value creating and charitable activities, which have been initiated by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.”