A group of monks from a city Buddhist monastery distributed personal protection equipment to doctors and health workers on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on Thursday.
At least 100 sets of PPE were handed over to the MR Bangur Hospital authorities on behalf of the 70-year-old Tollygunge Sambodhi Buddhist Monastery.
The Buddhist monks celebrated their annual mega event by helping frontline Covid fighters. The monastery has contributed Rs 25,000 to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
“These are trying times. Lord Buddha teaches us to serve mankind. Hence we decided to serve the people who, right now, are the backbone of humanity,” Arunjyoti Bhikkhu, president of the monastery, said.
Since PPE sets are single-use items, no number of kits is enough, a health department official said. “We can do with as many kits as possible. We are glad that the monks thought of this.”
Customarily, monks go about seeking alms for a month before Buddha Purnima. The money collected, along with other donations, is spent on celebrations. This year, the monks used the money to buy PPE sets. As word spread, people of various faiths from across the state started contributing.
The kits have been procured from a village near Santragachhi in Howrah where tailors, who have lost their jobs because of the lockdown, are engaged in manufacturing PPE sets.
Sahir Laskar, who leads the group of tailors, owns a garment company. Now, he is into manufacturing and selling sets of PPE. “I was told about the monks’ plans by one of my contacts in Calcutta. I got in touch with them and they placed the order,” Laskar said.
Every year, the monastery arranges an iftar for Muslims on Buddha Purnima. This year a maulana from Malda donated Rs 10,000 to the monastery’s fund when he got to know of the plan to distribute PPE sets. “Lord Buddha binds us all irrespective of the paths we choose,” the monastery president said.
Source: The Telegraph