Organization Spotlight: Food For Life Vrindavan

Rupa Ragunath and Food For Life Vrindavan

Rupa Ragunath, orginally from Lucca Italy, is the president and director of Food for Life Vrindavan Society board of trustees and the organization’s International Co-ordinator. He spends two months every year traveling overseas, raising awareness of the plight of the Vrindavan children who he spends the other ten months of the year caring for. Desipite being the director of so many social services, Rupa, can be still found every night at the food distribution program, on the lookout for children in need of assistance and admission to one of his schools. All year round he works tirelessly, for over 14 hours per day, with little care for his own comfort or enjoyment. His caring for others and the pleasure he gets from helping those in need gives him the strength and determination to continue with this essential service to humanity.

 

Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV) is a humanitarian organization that began in 1990 with serving sweet rice to the pilgrims. Today our work includes food distribution, basic medical assistance, training courses for women, drilling for drinking water and constructing water tanks, assistance to the elderly and the disabled, distribution of clothes, environmental projects and education, taking care of cows, providing education for disadvantaged children. FFLV has impacted the life of poor in a big way. It has brought about a socio economic revolution in the life of the most neglected. Spending 95.5% of the income for the cause, Food for life Vrindavan is providing water for 9 villages, medical treatment for 1,000 people per month, education to 1500 children, and serving 66,000 meals a month.

What problem are you solving? FFLV’s primary goal is to help our girls grow into self-sufficient adults who can take care of their own families.  We also help the children’s parents to become more self-sufficient by providing jobs and opportunities for adult education in vocations such as tailoring and embroidery.  All of FFLV’s programs are made possible by the generous contributions of donors throughout the world. 

What is the most valuable resource to you in the work you’re doing? The Most valuable source is the staff and volunteers that are working with FFLV. Being a charity the pay is basic for the staff. The dedication by these volunteers who come from all over the world helps FFLV in various ways.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer someone doing similar work? Be honest, maintain good integrity, be transparent and accountable, be dedicated and stick to it no matter what!

Who has been the most influential person in your life as you are working to make a difference? His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was born in 1896 in Calcutta, India. Prior to coming to the West he spent over fifty years studying India’s ancient Vedic literature. In 1965, he came to America, at age sixty-nine, to fulfill his spiritual master’s request that he should teach the science of Krishna Consciousness throughout the English-speaking world. In a dozen years he published some seventy volumes of translation and commentary on India’s Vedic literature, and these are now standard in universities worldwide. Meanwhile, circling the globe fourteen times, Srila Prabhupada molded his international society into a worldwide confederation of ashrams, schools, temples and farm communities started.

What is an experience you’ve had that has made you stay motivated in the work you’re doing? Lord Krishna’s hand wherever there was a dire need. He was always been there in the tough times. Whenever the doors have closed on me, He has opened one door, which was the right one. We just need to depend on Him and He really takes care.

How can people join you in what you’re doing? People can join in various ways. Every little helps. Infact this organization came into being because of the thousands of helping hands. People can volunteer by writing to us at info@fflvrindavan.org. People can donate money; books, clothes or anything else that they think can help the kids. They can also sponsor a child, which is the basis that helps the organization run.

 

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