The nerve-Centre of the Indian economy, the Shanghai of India, the Metropolis par excellence, the Most Populous Indian City, the Financial Capital of India - the ways to describe Mumbai are as numerous as the skyscrapers that dot its skyline. And there are good reasons for this.
More than 40% of the government's corporate tax collections come from this city. The headquarters of India 's Central Bank - the Reserve Bank of India, the biggest Stock Exchange of India [BSE], and the corporate offices of over two hundred thousand companies are located in this city. No wonder then, when the city came under a sheet of water on the 26th - 27th July, 2005 it was described as a national calamity. In a matter of 24 hours, the city recorded an unprecedented world record rainfall of 94.4 cms!
It was indeed a national disaster. For, Mumbai city, with only 0.015% of India's land area, contributes 5% of India 's total GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Some feel it was an international disaster, considering that international investors have pumped in $5 billion into the commercial capital of India and there are a billion eyes on this city every moment.
The Mumbai deluge did not affect only the people of low lying areas or about 50% of population that lives in the slums and shanty towns. All the 17 million people of Mumbai were affected, more or less acutely.
With the government declaring a two-day holiday, the situation only became worse. There was distress and despair everywhere. Along with this came a great need to render help and solace. And this is exactly what the Sai workers in Mumbai did. They did it on a massive scale and beyond all expectation. For example, in a single day, on the 7th of August alone, more than 8000 people were given medical help and over 6000 food packets were distributed all over Mumbai.
"The spirit of selfless service of the Sai workers, conducting camps day in and day out for week after week…not bothered about their meals or personal needs, was truly inspiring," says Dr. Agarwal, who along with his wife, was sent by Swami to Mumbai to render medical help along with the Sai workers.
What exactly was the work that the Sai workers carried out? How did Swami come to the rescue of these dedicated workers? Why did it flood in Mumbai, in the first place? And what does Swami say about this? Was it a natural disaster? Could it really have been prevented? To find answers to all these and many more, read our cover story.
The Education Minister of UAE, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, visited Prashanthi Nilayam on the 28th of Aug, 2005 . You will find pictures of this visit and a detailed report of the human vales conference that was held in Dubai a few months ago in our feature article. It also carries a letter of appreciation from the Sultanate of Oman for the SAI (Serve and Inspire Group) consisting of Sai devotees, for their wonderful work.
There is a lot happening in the Gulf States. We also have an essay competition again on human values, conducted for school children by Sai devotees in the miscellaneous section. In the same section, you will also find the transcription of a very inspiring talk given by Mrs. Geeta Mohan Ram, a long time devotee of Swami, now residing in the USA and a wonderful pictorial report of "Walk for Values" organized in Canada every year by Sai devotees.
If the month of August was an eventful month in Prashanti Nilayam with the Conference of Eminent Educationists on Educare and the Alumni Meet of all MBA students of Swami's Institute, the month of September is going to be even more exciting. There is an International Medical Conference in the first week of September and then the festivals Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam. Welcoming this, we have a nice article on Ganesha on the feature article section and a beautiful photo album of Swami during festive occasions. Do not miss that.
Before we leave you to walk around this issue, here is some good news. Our Sai Inspires (the daily inspirational email service) subscription is over 3000 now and growing everyday. It really gives us a great sense of fulfillment whenever we read the encouraging responses of our readers. In fact, it only motivates us to stretch ourselves a little more in spreading the message of love and peace of our beloved Swami.
Let everybody live in love and peace.
Let everybody live in Sai.
In Sai Service