January 2005

Tsunami Disaster

We received numerous e-mails concerning tsunami that hit Indonesia and its surrounding areas on December 26, 2004. Our prayers are with all those affected by the tsunami. We continue to request everyone to donate whatever you can to organizations of your choice.


Many  e-mails expressed sorrow and frustration. Many wondered why we could not prevent such an enormous loss of life and infrastructure. Why were the centres that reported the occurrence of the massive earthquake unable to warn people of the oncoming tsunami? Perhaps someone along the line of communication did not perceive the magnitude? Would the existence of a better warning system have aided communication to residents of the affected areas? How can such a system be developed to prevent a future occurrence of this nature?


This disaster has drawn an overwhelming response of care and concern from countries all over the globe and people everywhere are stepping forward in their desire to aid in the aftermath of this devastating incident. Aid is pouring in from all over the world. Some e-mails expressed concerns regarding distribution of donated goods. Will the donated goods and cash truly reach the hands of those who need it? What about children who have been orphaned by the tsunami? How will they be taken care of?


We believe such concerns must be addressed. But let us NOT delay our efforts to help. Let us do all we can to aid those in immediate need of assistance. Let us also devote efforts to preventing the reoccurrence of such a disastrous loss of human life. Please donate graciously to organizations of your choice.


We have received e-mails and flyers providing information regarding the following organizations where you can send in your donations: 1) TARIC ISLAMIC CENTER, INDONESIAN MOSLEM COMMUNITY IN TORONTO, Taric Mosque : (416) 245-5675, 2) Vishwa Gujarati Samaj, Ahmedabad, India : 011-91-79-26468342, 3) Canadian Red Cross: www.redcross.ca, 4) UNICEF Canada: www.unicef.ca, 5) World Vision: www.worldvision.ca, 6) Doctors Without Borders: www.msf.ca, 7) The (Indian) Prime Minister's National Relief Fund: contact a Consulate or an Embassy of India in your area. You may also be able to donate through your religious organization.


Many fundraising events have already taken place. However, the following are still to occur. Please show your support.


1) MEDALERT : Fundraiser for direct medical support to Sri Lanka. Proceeds will go to the Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province. To be held on Thursday, January 13th at Supermarket 206 Augusta & The Embassy 223 Augusta Avenue. For more info e-mail: info@lalforest.com


2) The Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Canada has set a target of raising $5000 for the Tsunami victims by January 15, 2005. Contributions will be accepted only by cheque or credit card. For your convenience, you may either mail your cheque or credit card authorization or hand it in person to any one of the following volunteers as early as possible. Cheques are to be made payable to "The Prime Minister's National Relief Fund". Please note that no Revenue Canada Income Tax receipts would be provided for contributions to the Indian Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.


a) In the West end (Toronto): Rabiz Foda, 1511 Hollywell Avenue, Mississauga, ONT L5N 4P6, Tel: (905) 813 9372


b) In the East end (Toronto): Ragu Nayak, 21 Tarsus Crescent, Scarborough, Ontario, M1C 3W6, Tel: (416) 283 4271


3) Shahid Ali Khan performs to raise funds for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka on Friday, January 21, 2005, doors open 7PM, Gladstone Hotel, 114 Queen Street West. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For advance tickets contact: Farah Ally Tel: 416-531-3992; Email: fally@pstgconsulting.com. Proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Provinces.


4) The Circle of Young Canadian Leaders of the Canadian International Peace Project is organising a fundraising event on or about January 28th, 2005, in conjuntion with other youth organisations, for the victims of the tsunami disaster. If you are aware of any youth or youth organisation that would like to participate, please have them contact Zubair Patel by e-mail at 03patelz@utsc.utoronto.ca or by telephone at (416) 562-4342.


5) A fundraising dinner / dance / silent auction has been organized on January 28, 2005 with all proceeds going to the Red Cross for tsunami Relief. The federal government has agreed to match ALL cash proceeds from tickets sold by Jan 11 (although tickets will still be available after this date), so a prompt response would be greatly appreciated! Please contact caroline@rogers.com or call 647-290-7953.


Cyril Seeram Raymond, a highly respected member of the West Indian and Toronto community and head of the Raymond Family music band left this world peacefully on January 7, 2005. The Raymond Family was the main feature in many stage shows we organized for several community organizations such as Jain Society of Toronto, India Canada Association, Gujarati Cultural Society of Toronto, Gujarat Samaj of Toronto, as well as private shows. We also participated actively in several charitable and private shows they had organized. They made special efforts in organizing a show to raise funds for the victims of earthquake in Maharashtra. Mr. Raymond was very talented, honest, and benevolent. 

Everyone is welcome to pay tribute to him at the Benisasia Funeral Home 3263 Derry Road East, Mississauga visitation from 5-9 pm on Monday, January 10, 2005 and service at 11 am on Tuesday, January 11, 2005. For details, please call 416-725 0909.

* Swami Dayamrita Chaitnya one of the senior and close disciple of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) is coming to Toronto, on January 28th and 29th of 2005. Everyone is welcome to attend a free public program on Friday, January 28th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will be a retreat - a whole day program - on Saturday the 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You have to be pre-registered  to attend the retreat. The program will include the teachings of Amma, Amma's Bhajans, meditation and question and answer periods. Amma's music tapes, DVD's, CD's, video cassettes and books will be on sale on both days. Amma has established several Ashrams across the world. Swami Dayamrita Chaitnya is the president of San Ramon , California, USA, Ashram and is the director of all Amma Centers in North America. For further details, please contact Prabhakar / Gomathi at 416-287-8285.