Wednesday, August 4, 2010


PAKISTAN (AP) – Floodwaters ravaged hundreds of villages in Pakistan’s main province of Punjab on Wednesday, destroying homes, soaking crops, and threatening more lives. Aid workers warned that bloated rivers would soon surge into the country’s south, prompting more evacuations. This year’s monsoon season has caused the worst flooding in Pakistan in living memory and already killed more than 1,500 people. The U.N. scrambled to provide food and other assistance to some 3.2 million affected people in a nation already struggling with an Islamist militancy and a poor economy. After causing huge destruction in Pakistan’s volatile northwest, floodwaters deluged villages and some urban centers in Punjab, the richest and most populous province. The army used boats and helicopters to move stranded villagers in the area to higher ground. Water levels were so high in large tracts of Kot Addu and the nearby area of Layyah in the south of the province, that only treetops and uppermost floors of some buildings were visible.

The rains are falling about 25 to 30 percent above normal rates, Hanif said. The northwest, which has been hit the hardest, experienced “once-in-a-century” rains, and can expect more wet weather in coming days, though at normal levels that should allow some recovery. The vast majority of deaths have been reported in that region. At least 47 people had been killed in Punjab since flooding began in late July, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said. Nearly 1,000 villages have been affected and some 15,000 houses destroyed in the province, the U.N. said. The rush of muddy water over river banks in Punjab threatened to destroy vast stretches of crops that make the province Pakistan’s breadbasket. Rescue workers have struggled to deliver aid because of washed-out bridges and roads and downed communication lines. Numerous crops have also been lost in the northwest.

The arrival of international aid to the affected people, faces difficulties due to the dozens of crumbling bridges, blocked roads and severely damaged infrastructure, in a developing nation which lacks in resources. We should pray for the mercy of the Lord, so that those who suffer can be awakened spiritually and be illuminated through the chanting of the Holy Names.

The living entity is the eternal servitor of Lord Sri Krsna. It is only due to the forgetfulness about Lord Sri Krsna that the living entities are subjected to various types of material distress. Upon constantly listening to the glorification of the Lord Sri Krsna, when the living entity is awakened to his original consciousness about his own constitutional position, then and then only, the root cause of all sufferings will be eradicated. No other separate temporary endeavour for relieving physical and mental distress need be practised. The best award to common people is to awaken in them self-realization by the mercy of the holy names of the Lord. Under the transcendental influence of such a practice, the root cause of all material distress of the suffering masses is eradicated with the least effort.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thākura Prabhupāda :
“Upakhyane Upadesa”
“Is There Any Pleasure and Sacrifice in Devotion?”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

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