Taiwan's Buddhist groups helping with Nepal quake relief efforts

CNA, April 26, 2015

Taipei, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Buddhist groups are organizing teams that will go to Nepal to help with the Himalayan country's relief efforts in the wake of a magnitude-7.8 earthquake Saturday that have reportedly killed more than 2,000 people.

Master Pei Chueh, secretary general of Buddha Light International Association (BILA), which is linked to Fo Guang Shan Monastery in southern Taiwan, said the association is organizing a 30-member team on a rescue and medical mission that will include physicians and interpreters.

The relief team will take food, tents, blankets and other relief supplies to Nepal to extend medical and humanitarian assistance to the victims in the quake-stricken areas, Peiu Chueh said.

The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, headquartered in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, said it has formed a 15-member medical team headed by Chien Shou-hsin (???), the superintendent of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, which will head to affected areas in Nepal Monday to assess the situation to determine what kind of assistance is needed there.

In addition to providing emergency medical services, the disaster inspection medical team will also evaluate what types of supply items and follow-up aids will be needed.

In Hualien, the Tzu Chi Foundation has set up a disaster response command center which has gathered multifunction folding beds, instant rice meals and blankets to be sent to the country to help the people affected by the earthquake to return to normal life early.

Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, which is based in northern Taiwan, has asked its Nepal branch staff to supply clothes, raincoats and food to help with the relief work in its neighborhood to the northeast of capital Kathmandu.

While the society's own branch -- a zen meditation center -- was quite intact, more than 100 houses in the neighborhood crumbled, and survivors are in bad need of assistance, society officials said.

Meanwhile, the Nepal chapters of two Taiwanese religious groups have set up two emergency relief centers in Kathmandu for Taiwan nationals in need after the quake hit.

At the request of Taiwan's Representative Office in India, the I-Kuan Tao offered its Kathmandu chapter office as a provisional liaison office and a shelter for Taiwanese compatriots who need relief aid.

The shelter, headed by Ajita, is located at Rudreshwor Chowk - 5 Narayanthan, Kathmandu. Ajita can be reached by phone at +9779851180452 and +9779841199277.

On Sunday, Fo Guang Shan Monastery's Kathmandu branch agreed to establish the second relief center for the representative office in Nepal.

The branch, titled Sri Pranidhipurnamaha Vihar, Balumbu, Kathmandu, is run by monk Sukha, whose telephone number is +9779841247600.

Taiwan has no liaison office in Nepal. The two countries do not have diplomatic ties.