Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lokenath Divine Life Fellowship President Ann Shannon visits the Sunderbans with Baba

Ann Shannon, President of Lokenath Divine Life Fellowship, a branch of Lokenath Divine Life Mission in the United States, was recently a guest of the Self Help Group (SHG) women in the Sunderbans and accompanied Baba on his annual visit.

While there Ann heard many true stories of how incredible the SHG are!

SHG Group Intervenes to Save Village
Family in Time of Health Crisis

When a Gosaba area village woman recently fell critically ill and required Rs. 30,000 for immediate hospitalization and treatment, the family was going to be forced to sell their land, their only means of survival. The local LDLM SHG called an emergency meeting to discuss whether they could lend the large sum of money to the family. The woman was not an SHG member, so this loan would be made outside of the SHG's rules. The group members had to wrestle with the very real question of what would happen if the family could not pay the money back, since that would threaten the very survival of the SHG and its ability to function. Binodini Mondal, the cashier of the SHG since 1997, and Anima Mondal, SHG President, and Sushma Mondal, the Group's Secretary, stepped forward to personally guarantee repayment of the huge sum over time if for any reason the loan was not repaid. The SHG voted to make the loan. The woman received the necessary treatment and is now safely home and well, with her family. Because of the SHG's generosity, the family had the time necessary to raise the funds from other sources. They repaid the loan in only 2 months.

"This is so moving," Ann Shannon said to Baba, "it demonstrates so profoundly the difference that SHGs are making at a human level, the power of their commitment to everyone in their village, and why SHG members are becoming such powerful, honored and respected leaders in their local areas. I cannot imagine a Westerner making this kind of financial commitment to help a neighbor. The power and importance of what SHGs are doing to create a sense of family in their villages is unfathomable.

Share Ann's joy, and help the women and children! If you are in the United States you can make a tax deductible donation to Lokenath Divine Life Fellowship on this site.


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