On July 25, 2020, a ship ran aground on the Southern reefs of Mauritius, creating an unprecedented ecological disaster for the island. The ship spilled hydrocarbons and an estimated 1,000 tons of fuel into a protected marine park which had pristine coral reefs and mangrove forests that supported endangered species.
A massive clean-up operation was launched in response to the oil spillage. SSIO volunteers in Mauritius were in the forefront and proactively collaborated with the government authorities and local environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to protect the ecosystem and biological integrity of the lagoon during this unprecedented crisis. Hundreds of SSIO members of all ages and walks of life joined hands to manufacture the absorbing floating booms made from sugarcane straw to hold back the tide and absorb the oil from spreading in the lagoon. A special Ekadasi Rudram (Chanting of the Rudram 11 times) session was held on August 9, 2020 at the Sathya Sai Center at Vacoas to offer collective prayers for recovery from the disaster.