LJM Donates 100 Oxygen Concentrators to Help Nepal as Part of Its Global Aide Against COVID-19
New waves of the outburst of COVID-19 infections have taken Nepal by storm with the daily count of confirmed positive tests at 30 times its average rate before. Among those tested positive are also Mount Everest climbers and Nepal’s medical system is at capacity, with the lockdown to last until the end of May. Dharma Master Hsin Tao, Founding Abbot of Taiwan’s Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society (LJM), instructed the LJM charity foundation to dispatch timely assistance for its counterpart - the Joy Foundation Nepal - in its effort in building temporary hospitals in the Sankhu region. A total of 100 Oxygen Concentrators and 100 PPEs donated by the LJM have started to be sent to Nepal since May 28 for local use.
Since COVID-19 became a pandemic, monastics and volunteers of the LJM Milarepa Meditation Center in Nepal have included coronavirus-centric sanitation and chanting of the Heart of Shurangama Mantra for their daily routine. In seeking help from LJM, President Raju Shrestha of the Nepali Joy Foundation called on Dharma Master Hsin Tao via video conference on May 11. The Master encouraged Mr. Shrestha and his foundation to keep up their faith and reinforce monitoring of the pandemic while safeguarding monasteries. On top of all advice, Venerable Hsin Tao urged President Raju Shrestha and his colleagues to learn and chant the Heart of Shurangama Mantra for extra merit and help. An English translation of the mantra was also offered to help disseminate and practice. The Master gave instructions to the LJM Foundation to expedite emergency help to Nepal with the guideline of systematic management for optimal efficiency.
When widespread infections first spiked locally, the Joy Foundation mobilized right away to create temporary hospitals to take care of the poor and the underprivileged. President Raju Shrestha is particularly grateful for the 100 Oxygen Concentrators, which have been delivered to Nepal since May 28 by the LJM for acute COVID-19 patients. The 100 PPEs further reinforce the professionalism of frontline medical teams in handling urgent scenarios.
Raju Shrestha further cited past examples of how LJM always extended first aid at the first opportunity possible in emergencies that Nepal witnessed in recent years. The mega quake 2015 was a case in point and LJM dispatched medical groups for timely help and support and stayed on to build the solar public lighting system and the filtering system for water for the regions of Bungamati and Sankhu in 2016. When the pandemic deteriorated in 2020, LJM sent materials most needed at the time, and the Oxygen Concentrators and PPEs followed in 2021. To the people of Nepal, Dharma Master Hsin Tao is the manifestation of Avalokitesvara with great compassion for all hardships. The Joy Foundation had, therefore, commissioned two statues of Avalokitesvara for dedication to LJM to express sincere gratitude. The ceremonial dedication to symbolize everlasting charitable merits took place in 2017 and Ambassador Diego L. Chou, who was then the Director General of the Department of NGO International Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was there to grace the occasion.
Actions followed the Master’s instructions in all relevant directions to get things done in the best ways possible. Dr. Chu Pao-Hsien, Department Chief of Cardiology at Taiwan’s prestigious Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, is also a board director of the LJM Charity Foundation and engaged himself enthusiastically to help handle issues. The Oxygen Concentrators are not commodity items for off-shelf purchase, however, and the fact that the power systems differ between Nepal and Taiwan, posed challenges to the procurement on short notice. The foundation luckily accomplished the mission with help of the PEACEFUL BIOTECH CO., LTD., whose owner and his family are all followers of the Buddha.
The ventilator manufacturer had been approached by other business people but turned down offers for fear of market manipulation to the disinterest of the poor at times of need. Upon learning about Master Hsin Tao’s charitable intent, he made an all-out effort to get the built-to-specs order delivered on time and within budget. Then it was the issue with air cargo pilots testing positive for another snag to tackle. It was with the help of a third country’s air-freighting channel that the delivery was finally back on track.
LJM Charity Foundation CEO Tsai Gao-Zhong said that charitable undertakings are borderless and ‘Heaven always grants people’s goodwill’. Tsai explained that the procurement became possible with a remaining fund from the Foundation’s balance sheet after fiscal book-keeping for the year 2021. The CEO promised that the foundation will continue its support to Nepal after the current round with the Oxygen Concentrators and the PPEs. Tsai further said that to achieve what Dharma Master Hsin Tao instructed on short notice and in full compliance is highly commendable and the credit goes to LJM’s hard work day in and day out. A special thank-you was made out to Mr. Chen Huei-Hsing, who excels at diplomatic liaising as a retired military attache from Taiwan’s overseas representation.
Tsai revealed that the LJM Foundation launched the Pu-Ren Membership drive last year aimed at fund-raising for contingency purposes. The proceeds from that drive can be said as ‘coming in handy’ that didn’t have to be raised after the fact. Dharma Master Hsin Tao wants LJM aids to be both timely and efficient, and the Foundation looks all set to achieve just that with the cooperation of its counterpart in Nepal, the Joy Foundation.
Mr. Chen Huei-Hsing’s liaising went beyond his diplomatic network and moved people in his circle to donate generously for the 100 PPEs. People who reached into their pocket for private help include a business tycoon, an LJM Dharmapala, and a retired admiral general, among others. The PPEs will most certainly be greatly appreciated in Nepal.
Parallel to what is being put together as LJM’s humble support to Nepal for humanitarian purposes, everyone at the LJM Buddhist Society observes relevant government regulations as the Central Epidemic Command Center raised epidemic warning to Level 3 nationwide. Either to be rescheduled or already taken online for digital materialization, all LJM events and activities nonetheless help get the word out that Dharma Master Hsin Tao advises the chanting of the Heart of Shurangama Mantra as a means to help curb the pandemic to relieve the world of calamities.