On Jan 2001 an earthquake in Gujarat left 1000’s injured, orphaned, and homeless. Ramana’s Garden kids organized a benefit day of performances and raised $3000. In the village of Dudai we found 800 children homeless. 200 died instantly when their school building collapsed. Many were suffering from injuries and no aid or medical assistance had come to their village in the 10 days since the quake, mainly because it was a low caste Harijan village.
Indian government refused to even give us a single tent so we rummaged through the relief boxes lying undistributed and pulled out 75 damaged sarees that we stitched into a huge colorful tent. Ramana’s set up our temporary relief camp to house, feed, and provide emergency medical care for them till we could finally arrange other long term assistance 6 weeks later. We actually bought out the entire stock of the only remaining toy stall in Bhuj, because we found the most important medicine of all was to replace tears with laughter. The same scenario repeated itself a year later in our own state after the Chamoli earthquake. We again raised funds for food, blankets, lanterns, plastic tarpaulins, and went in with an ambulance and team of doctors.