His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday offered condolences to families who have lost loved ones and to communities whose lives have been overturned in the southeastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh by what media reports describe as the worst flooding in the state in 20 years.
In a letter to Adhra Pradesh’s chief minister, Jagan Mohan Reddy, The Tibetan spiritual leader stated, “I pray for them.”
I very much appreciate that the State Government and other agencies such as the national disaster relief teams are engaged in rescue and relief work and are doing their utmost to provide relief to people affected by this calamity.
As a token of our solidarity with the people of Andhra Pradesh, the Dalai Lama Trust (DLT) is making a donation towards relief and rescue efforts.(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
His Holiness observed that had visited Andhra Pradesh several times, including in 2006, when he conducted a major Buddhist teaching at the state capital, Amravati. The state government facilitated the event by providing amenities to accommodate the thousands of Buddhist pilgrims who participated in the teaching.
The Dalai Lama also expressed gratitude for having had the opportunity to visit sacred Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh, including Nagarjunakonda, an area rich in archaeological relics of India’s ancient Buddhist heritage that was once home to numerous Buddhist universities and monasteries.
Andhra Pradesh, India’s 10th-most-populous state with nearly 50 million residents, is a major agricultural center, known as the “rice bowl of India.” Buddhism spread to Andhra Pradesh and surrounding areas in the third and second centuries BCE. The region became a major Buddhist pilgrimage destination and a center for Buddhist learning, notably in the city of Amaravati. The state is home to countless relics and archaeological sites in the form of Buddhist shrines, temples, monasteries, stupas, and universities, a lasting testament to the region’s Buddhist heritage.
A severe depression over the Bay of Bengal brought torrential rains to southeastern India, which have resulted in at least 41 confirmed deaths and thousands displaced in Andhra Pradesh alone due to severe flooding and landslides. Roads have been closed and public transportation services have been suspended in many parts of the state. At least 12 people have been reported missing, amid widespread damage to infrastructure and agricultural crops.
Persistent heavy rainfall from 13–20 November has resulted in villages being cut off from highways, making it difficult for the authorities to conduct rescue missions and send emergency supplies. India’s navy and air force have been air-dropping food and water to stranded communities and rescuing families from low-lying areas. The state government has ordered the free distribution of food staples to flood-affected families.
A senior Indian Administrative Service officer, P. S. Pradyumna, who was overseeing relief operations in Chittoor District, was quoted as saying: “The situation is grim, so we have forewarned the people to move to rehabilitation camps.” (The Times of India)
Expressing Concern About the Effects of Heavy Rainfall in Andhra Pradesh (His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
Andhra Pradesh flash floods worst in 20 years, says CWC (The Times of India)
Andhra Pradesh flood situation grim as toll rises to 41; Tirupati cut off (The Times of India)
Floods bring Andhra Pradesh to its knees, death toll climbs to 33 (The Telegraph Online)
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