Vrindavan or the land of Krishna has been a holy place since time immemorial. Lord Krishna spent his childhood in this town and even today the place is replete with stories of the naughty kid that Krishna was.
An array of temples and historic structures dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort, Radha, makes this place a sought after tourist spot. Travelers from India and abroad throng this holy place for pilgrimage.
Immediately after COVID19 pandemic hit the world, Vrindavan suffered a major setback, since this place is solely dependent on tourism and hospitality. Several residents and families of Vrindavan earn their daily bread from tourism and other related industries. Due to the pandemic businesses have been stalled and the situation created dire difficulties for the families residing in and around Vrindavan. Tarun Mishra was a member of the ISKCON Vrindavan, and he witnessed the perils of the people of Vrindavan and came up with a solution to provide help to all. Soul of Braj Federation , a nonprofit organization founded by him, started serving the people in and around Vrindavan and its neighboring villages, especially Braj, since the last few months. The organization deals with community affairs and services for the greater good of people.
“During and post lockdown, I along with my team distributed food, clothes, essential and other items to the people living in and around Vrindavan. 15k plates and over 200 food kits were distributed among nearly 250 families. We have taken special care of the children as cases of malnutrition exist here. Another issue that has been taken care of is distribution of sanitary napkins to all women of the villages because it is still an issue which remains in the dark in Vrindavan. We are happy that many donors and supporters insisted on donating sanitary napkins and we could donate more than 2000 napkins to the needy women. We also introduced awareness programmes for women health issues which are still a taboo here, hence, a matter of concern,” says Mishra
“The Poshan Maah or the Nutrition week was celebrated everywhere around the country and the Government has extended support in the matter. This Poshan Maah in Vrindavan was a Government aided programme, and we visited more than 15 different villages and helped more than 1k girls in Braj itself.
We gave them essential items and to some very needy women, we also donated one year’s stock of sanitary napkins so that they did not have to worry about their menstrual hygiene,” he adds.
Soul of Braj Federation is already on its way helping the masses and the organization plans to open a sanitary napkin bank in every village where women can buy the napkins at an affordable rate. Also, after the Hathras incident left a deep mark in the nation’s conscience, Soul of Braj Federation further planned to open dedicated centres for women, where they can speak about their issues and share problems. The village heads would take responsibility for any such matter on the basis of complaints. Also awareness programmes would soon begin to curb such heinous acts on women.
Tarun Mishra shares that social work requires a lot of dedicated effort. Anything from the scratch requires utmost patience and cooperation. “The organization has not yet applied for CSR funding and is expanding. Also, Reckitt Benkizer and Amplus Solar supported us in Covid-19 Pandemic and Niine Hyegine & Personal Care came forward to help us too. We will have to apply for funds in near future. Currently, with support of the individuals and entities we have come this far. It makes me feel really happy that Soul of Braj could serve and help the people of Vrindavan at the debilitating times of COVID19. At Soul of Braj Federation we believe ‘serving people is equivalent to serving Lord Krishna’, and we will go ahead with that motto in days to come,” concludes Mishra.