AVATAR MEHER BABA PERPETUAL PUBLIC CHARITABLE
Post Bag No. 31, King’s Road, Ahmednagar
- 414 001, Maharashtra State , INDIA
SHRI. V.S. KALCHURI - CHAIRMAN
March 16, 2006
TO PILGRIMS WITH SERIOUS ILLNESSES WHO
PLAN TO TRAVEL TO INDIA
Dear Baba Pilgrims,
Since Beloved Avatar Meher Baba
dropped His body in 1969 to forever dwell in the hearts of His lovers,
an ever-increasing number of Baba-lovers have been coming for pilgrimage
to His final resting-place and home in India . As the number of pilgrims
to Meherabad keeps increasing; so too does the number of Baba-lovers
who arrive at Meherabad with some serious medical problem.
We are sending this circular to encourage all those
with serious illnesses planning to travel to Meherabad for pilgrimage
to understand the responsibilities that they are taking on as part of
such a journey.
Among illnesses that are considered serious are: cancer,
heart disease, AIDS, emphysema and other serious respiratory illness,
severe asthma, unstable neurological disorders (such as MS), unstable
diabetes, major psychiatric disorders (especially those managed by medication),
handicaps such as paraplegia, etc. If a Baba-lover is suffering from
AIDS and has active infections, or the immune system is deeply affected,
then a visit to India would place that person at great risk. We are not
prepared to manage medical conditions in unstable AIDS patients.
Many people with serious medical conditions have
made a successful pilgrimage to the Beloved’s home without serious
complications. However, it can be difficult or impossible for us to
provide care at Meherabad if adequate preparations have not been made
well in advance.
Any Baba-lover with a serious illness should consult
with their doctor to make sure the condition is stable enough for the
trip to Meherabad and get their approval before undertaking a pilgrimage.
When a visitor arrives with a serious illness that
is unstable, then it can place their life in great danger and seriously
compromises our ability to help.
We need to be informed well in advance about pilgrims
with serious or disabling illnesses (that are in a stable condition)
before they make plans for their trip. When you write to the Pilgrim
Reservations Office of the Trust to inquire about accommodations at Meherabad,
please openly state in your letter (or e-mail) what is your medical disorder
and the status of that illness. We will then be able to start planning
how to help you. The Pilgrim Reservations Office may then forward your
letter to the medical staff that may get in touch with you and advise
you further on how to minimize your discomfort in travel and during your
stay. Your letter would be kept confidential and discussed only with
those individuals who directly need to assist you.
Patients with serious psychiatric conditions
should not discontinue their medication if they are planning to come
to India . The rigors of international travel can place a great strain
on an individual’s
psychiatric condition. Managing a nervous breakdown at Meherabad when
a person has discontinued or reduced their psychiatric medicines can
be extremely distressing to that person and to other pilgrims. Staying
on a stable dose of medication will help keep the condition in balance.
If you are unsure about what precautions you
need to take, don’t
hesitate to get in touch with the Pilgrim Reservations Office or our
medical staff directly. Women planning to arrive in India while they
are pregnant should also inform us. Medical facilities and medical care
at Meherabad are very limited and many of the medical facilities in Ahmednagar
do not even meet the minimal standards of reasonable care. The closest
city where better care is provided is Pune. The hospitals in Pune are
at an uncomfortable three hours drive from Meherabad. Unfortunately,
a fully equipped ambulance with adequately trained personnel is not available.
Despite the significant improvement in roads and vehicles over the years,
the ride is still quite bumpy and in several recent emergencies the pilgrim
has arrived in a critical condition at the hospital in Pune.
Once in the hospital, the patient’s food, drinking
water, purchase of basic medicines, and special care are all provided
by the patient’s
attendants (family members or friends). Someone has to be with the patient
during the day and someone sleeps in the same room at night. Making arrangements
for the transfer to Pune, for round the clock attendants and for the
hospitalisation itself puts a great strain on the pilgrim, their family,
the Meherabad/Meherazad resident staff and the mandali.
We are prompted to send out this important information
to our Baba family by our concern for you in your love for the Beloved.
We know that you will understand that our most sincere wish is to help
as many as we can to come for pilgrimage to bow down at His feet in their
deep love for Him. For that we need your cooperation.
AVATAR MEHER BABA Kl JAI!!!
In Avatar Meher Baba’s Service,
20th August 2014
PROBLEMS WITH RICKSHAW AND TAXI DRIVERS
Baba lovers should be aware that there have been problems with some of the car and rickshaw drivers who service the Meherabad area. Please exercise caution in your dealings with drivers and report problems and irregular behavior by filling out the complaint form available in MPR reception office or PRO office at MPC.
Drivers should NOT eat or drink with their passengers, they should obviously not drink alcohol while on duty, they should not carry their own people along with the paying customer, they should not ask you for any kind of financial help, or involve you in their personal or family affairs at all. Just as you would not invite your New York or Mumbai taxi driver to share a meal with you, you should maintain a reserved customer-driver relationship with the local drivers here. We ask that you not give tips (money or food/drink) to the rickshaw drivers as their rates are negotiated and fixed.
We maintain lists of recommended cars and rickshaw drivers. Please use those lists and remember also that they are not foolproof! Please let us know your feedback by contacting Irene at the P.R.O. so we can improve our recommendations.
Last season a hired car driver (not on our recommended list) was caught stealing money from a pilgrim’s bag. He was terminated by the car owner, but now four months later he is again driving for that same car owner. This kind of judgement call indicates what sort of service the owner is providing. As mentioned, he is not on our approved list.
Some rickshaw drivers who operate rickshaws in the area are not on our recommended list. There have been complaints about some of them driving while intoxicated, asking pilgrims for food and to join them at their table in a restaurant, driving erratically, fighting with other drivers or even with their passengers.
One passenger who noticed her rickshaw driver had been drinking while she was having dinner, refused to go back to MPR with him and the restaurant owner gave her a ride back instead.
This is the kind of sensible and cautious action which will help keep us safe.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Jai Meher Baba!
For more information, contact:
Pilgrim Reservation Office
Avatar Meher Baba Trust
Other sources of useful information are:
Avatar Meher Baba Trust Website > click here
Welcome Home Guide Book > click here