Bihar monk provides free ration to poor amid Covid-19


By Manoj Pathak

Gaya, May 17 (IANS): A young Buddhist monk from the ancient city of knowledge -- Bodh Gaya in Bihar's Gaya district -- is providing free ration to the needy across villages in Gaya. The monk, Bhanta Vishal, is distributing packets of food to the poor, spreading the message of humanity.

Vishal, along with his fellow monks, has been visiting villages in Gaya district and providing ration to the poor.

During the second wave of Covid-19, businesses came to a halt, migrant workers also returned to their villages and farmers stopped ploughing the fields but Bhanta Vishal became a messiah for people by arranging rations for them.

Bhanta Vishal told IANS that he has distributed ration to the needy in Bans Dih, Tika Bigha, Khajawati, Bataspur, Surajpura, Gourbigha, Sewa Bigha and many other villages, and Vishnupad temple as well as Mangla Gauri temple.

He claimed that under the banner of 'Namoh Buddha Temple', rations have been delivered at the doorstep of many poor families.

He said that he has taken permission from the district administration for this service. Vishal said that he started providing free rations from April 15 which continues till date. The food packets are prepared at night and reach the poor people in the villages the next morning. He claimed that 100 food packets are being distributed every day.

He said that each packet contains five kg rice, five kg flour, two kg potatoes, two kg sugar, two kg pulses, mustard oil and one soap. This packet is also being made available to the needy living on the roads and footpaths.

Neeraj Giri, Secretary of Namoh Buddha Temple, says that during the Covid-19 crisis, there were many people in the village who had no food to eat. Livelihoods have been hit during the Covid-19 crisis so the migrant workers and daily wagers are not getting employment either. In such circumstances, our institution reaches villages across Gaya and provides ration to such people.

Bodh Gaya police station officials Deepak Kumar and Sachin Kumar often accompany Bhanta Vishal to distribute rations in villages across Gaya district. Deepak Kumar says that today Vishal visits many villages and provides ration to the poor people while following the necessary Covid-19 guidelines. He says that when ration reaches the doorstep of the poor there is happiness and peace visible on their faces.

Vishal says that since childhood he felt happy to serve the poor and the destitute. It was for this reason that after leaving home at an early age, he found refuge in Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi Temple and after renunciation became a monk.

He said that during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and imposition of a lockdown across the country, when there was no food being cooked in the houses of daily-wagers, rickshaw pullers etc, he and his colleagues started providing food to them.

Money for this was collected through donations and the cooperation of the people. He said, "The money collected from donations cannot be utilised better than this noble initiative."

Bhanta Vishal has planned to provide ration to the needy in several areas of Patna as well as the bordering villages of Jharkhand. He said he is also working on a plan so that oxygen cylinders are delivered to Covid-19 patients.

He said in future he plans to open a school and a hospital in which the children of poor families could study for free and their families could undergo free treatment in the hospital.

 

  

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