Mysore Citizens’ Forum (MCF)
The citizens of Mysore have always extended their support to victims of natural calamities. The Mysore Citizen Forum (MCF) was formed to provide relief to the victims of Tsunami in 2004.
Mysore Citizens Forum is an informal umbrella agency involving prominent citizens of Mysore, philanthropists, donors and voluntary organizations functioning in the district under the leadership of His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswamiji, Pontiff of Sri Veerasimhasana Math, Suttur and President of JSS Mahavidyapeetha, Mysore. It aims at setting up a consolidated Mysore Fund from the contributions pooled by its members so that a substantial sum becomes readily available for major rehabilitation work in the target area, and the benefits of the funds reach genuine targets directly and effectively. It would also, of course, lead to concerted action in achieving the objectives of the mission and would provide a new roadmap for replication of similar experiments in its own backyard, the city of Mysore, for management of disasters and other critical aspects of civic life.
After the 2004 tsunami devastation, the forum decided to provide all help to Tsunami-hit Modaliyarkuppam village in Tamilnadu State. Accordingly, the MCF distributed food cloth and other necessary things to the village as an immediate measure. Thirty boats were later given to the families of fishermen to help them lead their lives. The school building of the village was repaired and 92 houses were built as a permanent relief measure. After this, with the assistance of the Government of Karnataka, MCF built another 160 houses in the second stage. Besides providing relief to the victims of Tsunami, the Forum also contributed its mite when earthquakes occurred in Latur (Maharashtra) and Bhuj (Gujarat). For all these activities, the forum has always received external support and encouragement from various institutions and organizations of Mysore. At times of providing relief measures like this, the volunteers have utilized the entire amount for relief works only and no amount was utilized even for their personal expenses.
Our aim is not just providing mere material help to unfortunate fellow-men. It goes beyond reconstruction with a vision of fostering fraternity and enlightened existence. We look forward to integrate man-making education for the children, forming of self-help groups among women folk, economic sovereignty among the men folk and as a whole implementing community welfare programs in the village.
Members of the governing council of MCF meet regularly at an interval of one month to discuss the rehabilitation work. Within this period also, there were numerous informal discussions on various subjects which were kept updated to other members either through telephonic discussions or e-mail.