One Meal a Day Programme
Behind the scenes of this fight for life due this pandemic, there are millions battling hunger worldwide. While the virus has acted as an equaliser, affecting both the rich and the poor; when it comes to hunger, it is the poor, especially the countless that are living hand-to-mouth who are the worst affected. Most live in fear that instead of the coronavirus, hunger could kill them.
National lockdowns and social distancing measures have dried up work and incomes. Disrupted agricultural production and supply routes and increased price of commodities have left millions to lose sleep for lack of sufficient food on their plates. With the Middle East largely relying on Business and Tourism, the collapse in oil prices and travel bans have led to loss of jobs for a large number of immigrant workers.
The One Meal a Day programme has become a food drive, delivering vital support to hard-hit workers who have lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak and to essential workers who have no choice but to leave their homes to serve society. Despite the lockdown situation, 20 devotees, by the grace of Bhagawan, have been blessed with opportunities to serve over 284 meals to people in desperate need.
While some devotees prepared cooked meals within the safety of their homes and distributed the meal packets through volunteers, the essential workers resorted to the distribution of long life packaged meals to ensure hygiene and safe handling of food. Despite the lockdown and a large majority of the population at home, devotees share experiences of leaving homes with packets of food and coming across someone truly in need of it, within just a few minutes of the drive - truly this being a proof of the pudding. This is also when one realises the Divine hands steering the vehicle, so that one rides on the right path towards divinity. Few volunteers have even shared groceries and pulses with their fellowmen.
‘Make hay while the Sun shines’- Seeds of service has been sown in the minds of young kids and they await for schools/universities to open so that they too can join this bandwagon to share their food with a friend or give a fruit/juice pack to their school drivers, nannies and janitors, to name a few.
Each packet of food served this month was prepared with utmost care and delivered with a lot of love; with the wisdom that all are one and united as they stand in these difficult times.
It might seem a steep and tough climb during this period but with springtime in April, one knows for sure that the top is abloom. Supporting one another as one remembers that the big Lord ensures that nothing dare harm. So, COVID, please GO-VID!
It is the holy month of fasting, of sense control, to cleanse and purify oneself, so that one can always be near to God. Fasting is also called as Upavas. ‘Upa’ means near and ‘Vas’ means living, so one can spend time in the Presence of the Omnipresence!
As Baba says, “Be like the star which never wavers from the crescent, but is fixed in steady faith”. May Eid-Ul-Fitr bring abundant joy and happiness in everyone’s life!