By Dilber Shatursun
In her daily Life Wisdom address on May 3rd, Dharma Master Cheng touched on the growing COVID-19 crisis in India. Their tragedy, she emphasized, is one that all of humanity must rally around and pay attention to.
Despite relaxing COVID-19 measures around the world, Master Cheng Yen also stressed the need to continue to minimize our personal risks of contracting and spreading the disease: “with vigilance, we need to quickly take strict preventative measures and protect ourselves against the virus.”
She then recounted the efforts made by a partnership formed with Missionaries of Charity, an organization founded by Mother Theresa, and the Camillians India, founded by Fr. Baby Ellickal. Last year, Tzu Chi sent aid in the form of rice and supply distributions to help families struggling through India’s first wave of COVID-19.
Now, however, Master illuminated the current activities of Fr. Ellickal and his team of 27 priests, nuns, and volunteers. They are currently acting as support staff to care for COVID-19 patients at a local hospital, putting themselves at risk of contracting the virus in the process. Recognizing their selflessness in a time of heartbreaking need, Master was moved with emotion.
While she acknowledged that the nature of the disease would make traditional forms of help difficult (e.g. sending volunteer medical teams and other in-person support), Master did offer important courses of action and explained why.
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Overall, Master illuminated this moving request throughout her remarks on behalf of all those suffering in India: