During the year 1897, Murshidabad in Bengal was reeling under severe drought. When Swami Akhandananda went there, he saw death and decay everywhere. In the villages, he saw emaciated cattle and their herdsmen. Wherever he went, he was surrounded by children crying of hunger. He bought puffed rice and distributed it among them. He felt terrible at not being able to help these needy people.
He later wrote: ‘I carried a picture of Sri Ramakrishna with me. Every day after my bath in the Ganges, I would offer some flowers before it and pray to the Master with tears for the famine-stricken people. Thus I prayed every morning and evening. One day there was a response. I heard the Master’s voice say: “Wait and see what happens.”’
Sri Ramakrishna’s prophesy came true. Help began to trickle for the famine-stricken people of Murshidabad. It was the first organized work of the Ramakrishna Mission which had been started by Swami Vivekananda on the 1st of May 1897 in Calcutta. Swami Akhandananda wrote letters to his brother disciples in Calcutta and Madras requesting financial help and got an immediate response. Mr.E.V.Levinge, the district magistrate, and Mr. Panton, the district judge, also came forward to assist in Akhandananda’s relief operation.