1943 The Great Bengal Famine

[Photo : by courtesy : Ananda Bazar Patrika]

Her Excellency Lady Wavel, wife of His Excellency Lord Wavel the Governor of Bengal in 1944 came to visit Rahara in the afternoon of 17th December, 1944

Thus Spake Swami Punnayananda :-
In this connection, I remember another event. Lady Wavel visited this Ashram on the 17th December, 1944. It was an unusual event, particularly in view of India's status as a dependeant country. There was a great commotion at the prospect of the impending visit of the wife of the Viceroy. I informed that the Ashram was a small affair with no proper roads and amenities available here. The reply came from Lady Wavel that she desired her presence at the start of the Ashram. When she came, she asked me what my problems were. I mentioned only two: one - physical and the other - mental. She saw that the exaciatged children could not digest any food and I told her that the children could not forget the memory of their parents' death through great sufferings and acute miseries . She asked again if I had monetary problems. I said that those were not very great in my view. She asked, :What will be the standard of your success?: To-day at the end of those 25 years I ask myself : To what extent I have been successful in my efforts? I can gladly say that the opportunities and amenities available to-day at this Ashram through the grace of God, were not those that we ourselves enjoyed when we were young. Incidentally, Lady Wavel sent a cheque of Rs.25 thousand on the above occasion. She also told me that before her arrival in India an American friend gave here a small portrait of Swami Vivekananda. She told Lady Wavel, "If you want to understand India, try to understand Vivekananda." Lady Wavel remarked that she kept the picture in her bed-room at Delhi.

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