Devotees have started to provide food for those displaced by the conflict
ISKCON Hungary is actively participating in helping those displaced by the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. In addition to keeping up the everyday distribution of food, the Hare Krishna Food For Life program is always ready to help feed the masses who arrive from disaster areas.
To organize the catering operation, devotees have contacted the relevant government agencies and other charities and have already started the food distribution. On request from the Embassy of the Republic of India, devotees provided food for 250 Indian students who were evacuated from Ukraine to India through Hungary.
Although most developing countries’ citizens are being repatriated through Debrecen airport in the East of Hungary which is the closest international airport to the Ukrainian border, the Air India aircraft, because of its large size, had to land in the capital, Budapest. After arriving on a ten-hour bus journey, the students got a warm meal of traditional vegetarian food (prasadam) prepared by the Hungarian Krishna devotees. They also received additional snacks and fruit to tide them over through their journey home.
The Director-General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Sri Kumar Tuhin, who completed his service as ambassador to Hungary only a few weeks ago, was sent back to Budapest on a special mission by the Indian Foreign Ministry to welcome the Indian students in Budapest, to inform them about the repatriation process and to inspire them to carry on with their studies once the conflict subsides.
His Excellency told us that, while other governments are still in the phase of planning the evacuation of their citizens from Ukraine, his government acted swiftly and the Air India charter plane that would take the students back to India was already approaching Budapest airport.
After providing food for the first batch of Indian students, Hungarian Food for Life will focus its efforts in the east of the country. In Debrecen, there are already over 600 Indian citizens in a refugee camp with their number increasing every day, and ISKCON devotees have already started to look after them by distributing prasadam to them.
There are masses of refugees, mostly Ukrainian and Hungarian citizens, arriving at the five crossing points that are open 24 hours a day. Tens of thousands of Hungarians started to send different kinds of support to the borders through non-government organizations or charities, and the hundreds of plates of hot food that Krishna devotees can offer on a daily basis, are warmly welcomed by the mayors of the townships close to the border.
Hungarian devotees are also organizing peace meditations and continuous prayer groups for their fellow human beings and for the peaceful resolution of the present situation.
Today, February 27th, 2022, the Hungarian devotees are traveling to one of the crossing point borders. A mayor from a nearby township explained to the devotees that they tried to cook for everyone out of a local school, but it is never enough so they are incredibly thankful that the devotees can lend food relief and help at this point.
To date, more than 60,000 people have come through the 5 crossing points between Hungary and Ukraine, and still, there are very long lines. It is said that the queue at the border is more than 40 kilometers long currently.
Long term, the ISKCON Hungary devotees are trying to organize not just one car like now, but multiples to aid in relief. They also want to aid all 5 of the crossing points, today they are just doing one. They are hoping to start traveling to the other crossing points by tomorrow (February 28th, 2022).
Any donations to help the refugees are most welcome. Donations may be given by bank transfer to the following account:
Ételt az Életért Alapítvány
IBAN HU55 1030 0002 1063 1840 4902 0019
BIC/SWIFT code: MKKB HU HB