Close this search box.


Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Distributes Blankets in Bodh Gaya to Combat the Winter Cold

Tzu Chi provide each household with two blankets. Photo by Wen-hui Yang. From

The Taiwan-headquartered global charity and humanitarian organization Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has distributed 822 blankets to 411 vulnerable families in five villages in Bodh Gaya, in the Indian state of Bihar, this winter as they struggled to cope with cold nighttime temperatures.

“When temperatures began to drop sharply during the winter months, Tzu Chi volunteer Raymond Kua from Malaysia felt for the villagers who were struggling against the cold,” Tzu Chi explained in a recent announcement. “At night, many had to layer up with multiple blankets just to keep warm. Kua noticed that most of their blankets were thin and torn. In one village, he saw people lighting fires outside their homes because the thin blankets could not provide enough warmth.” (Tzu Chi Foundation)

Kua and a team of Tzu Chi volunteers distributed two thick winter blankets to households in five villages in January, the coldest month of the year, delivering the blankets by truck on 18–19 January. Arriving at the first village, Jagdishpur, the volunteers distributed blankets, while a medical team went door-to-door with medical supplies.

Tzu Chi distributed 822 blankets to 411 families. Photo by Wen-hui Yang. From

“Even animals were struggling against the damp cold. Villagers often draped them with old clothes or burlap sacks,” Tzu Chi related. “The volunteers had noticed that villagers would burn anything to keep warm, even plastics, which emitted toxic fumes harmful to health. So they took the opportunity to raise their awareness of fire safety and health protection through photos and videos.” (Tzu Chi Foundation)

Tzu Chi recounted the touching gratitude at one home, where the resident Anita expressed joy at receiving two much-needed blankets. Her husband, who was unwell and unable to work, was deeply grateful for the blankets, which they could not afford to buy themselves, Tzu Chi noted.

“Now that we have blankets, we can avoid the cold,” said Anita gratefully. “Blankets are very expensive, and we can’t afford them. We’re very poor, so I used this old shawl instead. Now that we have blankets, we can get through the winter. Thank you!” (Tzu Chi Foundation)

Anita, second from right, from Jagdishpur Village holds up one of her new blankets. Photo by Wen-hui Yang. From

Tzu Chi added that Anita’s simple home, which houses a family of six, was insulated only by a layer of straw on the floor covered by a thin cloth. Anita and her family sleep on beds made from straw and strips of cloth. 

“We use old clothes and saris we find, stitching them together to stay warm in cold weather,” Anita remarked. ”[Now] we’re using the new blankets along with our homemade ones, which keeps us warmer. If we only use the homemade ones, it feels cold. The new blankets are warm, and we sleep better covered with them.” (Tzu Chi Foundation)

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Republic of China, more widely known as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, was founded in Taiwan in 1966 by the Buddhist nun and Dharma teacher Master Cheng Yen. With a focus on “putting compassion into action,” the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a UN-accredited NGO with some 10 million supporters and 432 offices worldwide across 51 countries, undertaking regular activities in the fields of humanitarian aid, medical care, education, and environmental sustainability.

As a global icon of socially engaged Buddhism, Master Cheng Yen has expressed a deeply held belief that all people are capable of manifesting the same great compassion as the Buddha. She has noted that true compassion is not simply feeling sympathy for the suffering of others, but is found in reaching out to relieve suffering with concrete action.

Master Cheng Yen is popularly known in Taiwan as one of the “Four Heavenly Kings” of Buddhism, the others being: Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain; Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan; and Master Wei Chueh, founder of Chung Tai Shan. These four global Buddhist orders, correspondingly known as the “Four Great Mountains,” have grown to become among the most influential Chinese Buddhist organizations in the world.

Master Cheng Yen. From

See more

Distribution of Blankets Warms Hearts in Bodh Gaya, India (Tzu Chi Foundation)
Tzu Chi Foundation
Tzu Chi USA

Related news reports from BDG

Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Breaks Ground on “Great Love Village” in India
Engaged Buddhism: Tzu Chi USA Organizes Disaster Relief for Maui with US$1-Million Matching Fund
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Brings Hope and Education to Malawi
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Says 386 Wells Built in Drought-Stricken Areas of Zimbabwe in 10 Years
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Brings Compassion and Relief to 36,000 Families in Türkiye
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Announces US$1-Million Matching Fund for Türkiye Earthquake Relief Effort
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Mobilizes Relief Effort for Earthquake Survivors in Türkiye
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Marks 25 Years of Poverty Relief and Refugee Aid in Jordan
BBC Names Tzu Chi Founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, among 2022’s 100 Most Influential Women

Related features from BDG

The Compassionate Relief of Tzu Chi – Inspiring Great Love in the United States and Around the World

Related features from Buddhistdoor Global

Related news from Buddhistdoor Global

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments