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Kanchi Swami visits Gujarat

Kanchi Swami visits Gujarat

Publication: The Times of India
Date: March 7, 2001

Shankaracharya of Kanchi Sri Jayendra Saraswati said that the people of Gujarat are unitedly facing the situation created by the January 26 quake irrespective of considerations of caste and creed.   He stated this in a press release issued by his Mumbai office on Tuesday.   The pontiff recently went on a four-day tour of the affected areas during which he not only distributed relief material to thousands of people, but also performed 'havans' for their general well-being.   Among other things, a team of priests and Vedic scholars from Kanchi performed a four-day Prithvi Shanti 'havan' at Bhuj.

Along with a team from Mumbai's SIES Institute, the Shankaracharya visited nearly 45 villages in four days covering an average of 300 km per day.   The places visited included Bhuj, Loria, Lodai, Ratnal, Anjar, Adipur, Navagau, Sakar Bagh, Kumbardi, Chopari, Barodia and Bhachau.

He also visited several temples and schools which are being held in tents and consoled the affected people.   He dispelled the wrong notion that the quake was an act of God.

During the visit he also held discussions with several NGOs, including the Sri Swaminarayan Trust, Shrujan and RSS, on the future course of the rehabilitation work.   "The Shankaracharya was unhappy to note that in several areas debris remained piled up and there was a serious threat of epidemics breaking out."

There was also a general apprehension in the minds of people that they would lose ownership of their old houses if they accepted alternative accommodation from the government.   The authorities should clarify the situation, he said.

While in Gandhinagar, the swamiji laid the foundation for the Shankar Mutt complex.

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