In late January, a devastating mud slide swallowed up the mining town of Brumadinho in Brazil. The mud, sweeping down from a large and unstable mountain of tailings from the Vale mine, destroyed everything in its path. With no warning and no time escape, as many as 500 human lives were buried under tons of mud and rubble in what could be the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history.
As written by Gabriela Antunes,
“The extent of the damage is hard to measure by human standards. As it occurred with the deluge of mud, the harm, the pain, and the damage will also come in waves. First, families will mourn the dead. Then, if they are lucky, they will get to bury them, then a city will wake up to the fact that it will never be as it once was. And finally, Brazil will have to deal with the fact that part of its ecosystem is dead, a large strip of land rendered worthless for generations to come, and the fact that this wound may never heal.”
Brumadinho is very close to Belo Horizonte, where we have a large and active 3HO Sikh sangat. Many of our people have relatives in Brumadinho and the area, and ABAKY, Associação Brasileira dos Amigos do Kundalini Yoga, the Brazilian Kundalini Yoga Association, joined in the relief efforts as soon as was possible.
Guru Sangat Kaur Khalsa, head of ABAKY and the current chairperson of the International Khalsa Council, reports that the town is shattered in every way. Prayers are needed from all the sangat to help clear the devastating aftermath of the tragedy. The ABAKY sangat is working very hard on multiple fronts:
- At the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Belo, volunteers support people when they arrive in Brumadinho, desperately trying to locate their loved ones.
- At the Vale mine site, the Sat Nam Rasayan team has set up an ongoing SNR clinic – treating the fire fighters and other rescue workers, providing them relaxation with the Gong; providing open and safe space for the women to talk and pour out their pain (a lot of listening is needed); and leading meditations to deal with trauma for everyone, including the reporters.
- At the village, ABAKY has been sending a team weekly to clean-up and deal with the trash left by journalist and visitors, working to restore dignity to the village.
- Provided blessings and prayers for the whole area, with 30 gongs playing in concert in the village square to help uplift the vibration and change the horrible frequency of shock and tragedy that pervaded everywhere.
Yogi Products in Oregon is sending cases of Yogi Tea to the sangat to serve a warm and soothing cup of tea in the middle of the disaster zone. Yogi Tea is always a powerful healing touch that 3HO Sikhs bring to the world.
These are the emergency actions of ABAKY, and now the hard work of recovery begins. ABAKY requests prayers from the whole sangat for healing. Please join with our Brazilian family in 11 minutes of Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur for the next 40-days as the people of Brumadinho try to recover their lives.