Amidst ongoing relief work, Sri Sri to visit the relief camps
October 28 2014
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today called on government officials in Europe, United States of America and India to address the situation of thousands of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar Mountains In Iraq.
“This is the one of the worst genocides of the 21st century. Yazidis are an ancient community on the verge of extinction. Several members of this community visited me here in the United States and pleaded for help to rescue the people from the ISIS onslaught. Christians, Yazidis and Kurdish Shias are languishing in camps in Erbil, Duhok and Khazir. Yazidis who were a community of 23 million have now been reduced to 1 million over the years.”Sri Sri said.
Throwing light on the condition in the strife-torn land, he added, “Thousands are trapped in the mountains with no food or water. 7000 Yazidi girls, aged between 9-35 years, have been taken captive by the ISIS. We have rescued and rehabilitated a 15-year-old girl victim of gang-rape and we are rescuing many other women who are trapped and are being sold by ISIS for as little as $10. Food, water and other basic needs are being distributed in the camps.”
Urging Kurdish and Arabic people people to come across and help, Sri Sri said, “I have planned to visit these relief camps soon. I would also like to invite anyone who speaks the Kurdish or Arabic language and who’d like to help to contact me.”
Since the early stages of the ISIS insurgence in Iraq, over 1.5 million Iraqis have been internally displaced or forced to flee across borders for their safety. The Art of Living and International Association For Human Values team of The Art of Living has been working to bring relief to refugees and internally displaced people (IDP). From its base in Erbil, the team has brought relief in the form of food, water and hygiene products to 5 different camps, each camp sheltering 550 Iraqi families. IAHV has reached more than 2,000 families.
Additionally, some Kurdish Members of Parliament who recently participated in IAHV’s TLEX training in late June 2014 also came to the aid of refugees visiting the camps, meeting refugees and assessing their needs and distributing relief items.
“The living conditions of the refugees are extremely poor. In Duhok there are 100,000 refugees, and only one small camp. Most of the refugees are not living there but on the streets or in unfinished buildings because the camp is in terrible condition. It is very unhygenic; there are no blankets, coolers or food. There are no bathrooms or toilets. The children are all getting skin disease because of the unhygienic conditions. Currently, they lack even the most basic items for survival, such as food, clothing and hygienic kits. They are in a very poor psychological state. One such example is of a refugee who had 37 people in the family taken by ISIS. Thousands of women are abducted, gang-raped and sold in markets. Duhok needs additional camps with conditions that meets the basic human needs.” shares Mawahib, Volunteer with the Art of Living.