SEWA INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES 2015 YUVA FOR SEWA SUMMER INTERNSHIP
Sewa International has launched its annual Yuva for Sewa (YFS), 8 to 10-week volunteer summer internship opportunity for college students to travel to Bharat to contribute their time to serve humanity. Since its inception in 2006, 52 YFS youth interns have volunteered their time for healthcare, education, environment, women's empowerment, rural development, and microfinance. Interns work with community NGOs to serve and engage in an empowering self-transformative experience to make an impact in their chosen field.
Thirteen RSS swayamsevaks at Shastri Nagar in Chennai on March 1 joined a seva activity of cleaning the Siddha Hospital campus. They segregated the waste into bio degradable and non bio-degradable ones. They heaped the bio-degradable waste around the trees and used ‘Ghana Jeevamritham’ spray on it for faster degradation. It was a highly satisfying experience for all.
LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE AND MOVE AHEAD
“Before doing any work, one should analyse what will be its impact on the society. Ekal has completed its 25 years and it’s time to analyse what we have done in all these years and how we have to move ahead on this path. Learn from the experience and move ahead,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat while addressing the concluding ceremony of ‘Parinaam Kumbh’ organised at Golf Ground of Dhanbad to celebrate 25 years of Ekal Vidyalaya.
Shri Bhagwat appreciated the work being done by Ekal volunteers. He said it is the education system, which would lead the country to holistic development. He said Ekal Abhiyan is not just an educational initiative but it is a people’s movement for all round development of the Vanvasis living in remote villages.
The seed of Ekal Vidyalaya germinated at Ratanpur village under Tundi block of Dhanbad. From this village it spread all over the country and then in many countries of the world. Today it is India’s largest non-governmental education initiative, which provides education to children in rural areas. It works on the concept of ‘Ek Shikshak, Ek Vidyalaya’ (one teacher, one school). In Ekal schools local youth teach in regional languages using various methods like story-telling, folk dramas and songs. Apart from education, Ekal also imparts moral education, health care education and farming techniques.
VHP patron Shri Ashok Singhal while speaking at the function said once India was repository of education but today we lack a lot in this field. Ekal schools would prove to be Brahmastra in educaiton and can achieve what we have lost. “Through Ekal, we not only provide education but also try to make India of our dreams. Time has come to recognise our strength and return to the roots. We have to again make Bharat Vishwa Guru,” he said.
Founder of Vatsalya Gram Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara stressed the need to come together like a river for development for Bharat. “Children are the future of Bharat. Through Ekal we can secure their future by providing education and inculcating in them the moral and cultural values. There are many hurdles in the way but we have to overcome them to achieve our goal.” she said.
Global coordinator of Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation USA Ramesh P Shah while talking to ‘Organiser’ said, “I have been associated with Ekal for the last 15 years and feeling blessed after being part of it. We have a five-point agenda Bal Shiksha, Swastha Shiksha, Gram Vikas Shiksha, Sanskar Shiksha and Jagran Shiksha.” He pointed out that they operate around 54,000 Ekal Schools in India, about 1500 in Nepal. Now Afghanistan has also contacted them to start Ekal Schools there.
Shri Shyamji Gupta spoke on the vision for next 25 years and said Dhanbad is like pilgrimage for Ekal karyakartas. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Chairman of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited Subhas Chandra and many more dignitaries also attended the function.
About 50,000 Ekal workers from all over India and also from overseas countries like USA, Australia, Canada, Dubai, New Zealand and Germany attended the three day event.
The grand procession taken out on this occasion was joined by about 40,000 villagers including women. These people belonged to the villages of Ekal schools. The speakers energised the workers tracing the successful journey of the Ekal. The presentations by various workers highlighting heart touching experiences were highly inspiring.
ENDEAVOUR FOR HARMONIOUS AND PROSPEROUS BHARAT
Our ancestors thought and acted for the welfare of entire universe. That is why our sages and seers, since centuries, have been praying: Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramaya Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Maa Kashchid Dukhabhag-bhawet (let none be sick and deprived in the world). The essence of this prayer is that working for others’ happiness is the best way to be happy in the life.
We have a rich tradition of serving the needy with this feeling. The great saint of Gujarat, Narasi Mehta, called those who feel the sufferings of others as ‘Vaishnava Jan’. The concept of sin and holiness has also been defined accordingly. Sant Tulsidasji has also said, Parahit Saras Dharam Nahin Bhai, Parpeera Nahin Adhmahi.
Amma to inaugurate on April 4
The Sewa Sangam will be organised at Blue Saffire' & 'City Palace' Resort, GT Karnal Road, Alipur, NH1- Delhi) It is expected to witness the presence of more than 3,000 representatives from 700 sewa organisations. It will include more than 500 women workers. An exhibition highlighting the sewa activities of various organisations will also be organised. The Sangam will be inaugurated at 10 am on April 4 by Mata Amritinan damayi Devi. Noted industrialist of Meerut Shri Atul Gupta will be the chief guest. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi will address the gathering at 5.00 pm the same day. On April 5, the Sangam will be addressed by RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat and founder of Wipro Shri Azim Premji. The concluding ceremony on April 6 will be addressed by RSS Sah Sarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale. The exhibition will be inaugurated by Swami Rajrajeshwarashram on April 3.
This is basically the eternal truth. Our ancestors have taught us that sewa should be done with the feeling of duty and worship. Ramakrishna Paramhansa called it Shiv Bhaav Se Jeevsewa, while Swami Vivekananda saw the God in the sick and needy people. He used to say, “I serve God whom the people unknowingly call man.”
This is the reason lakhs of people in the country are serving the needy people recognising them as a form of ‘God’, and that too without wishing any publicity or honour in exchange. Many people are working individually or through some organisation.
Some families are also dedicated to the social cause. Unfortunately, the media today do not provide adequate space and attention to the work of such people or organisations. They give undue publicity to the bad practices or wrong activities undergoing in the society. If we sincerely study the society, we find that the number of good people is more than the bad people. Equally, the number of people who are working selflessly is more than the number of greedy and corrupt. Because the truth does not come out, the atmosphere of depression, despair, apathy and negativity seems to be dominating. It ultimately makes good people inactive. In such an atmosphere there is dire need to bring all the people engaged in service activities at one platform, help them understanding each other and exchange their experience. It will not only boost confidence of the society, but will also lead to right direction.
Therefore, strengthening the work of sewa so that there is harmony in the society and none is exploited is the prime objective of the Sewa Sangam. The Sewa Sangams organised in different parts of the country during the last three-four years have been organised with the same objective. More than 1,35,000 sewa projects are being carried out by 600 RSS inspired organisations in different parts of the country up to village level. There are many other organisations too which render yeoman services. All the sewa organisations are working for betterment of the society and also to make everyone happy.
This Sewa Sangam will prove to be a milestone in the journey of realising the objective of making all the deprived self-reliant, self-respected and full of nationalist feeling. It will be held under the aegis of Rashtriya Sewa Bharati (RSB), an umbrella organisation of sewa organisations active from Prant to village level all over the country.
It is hoped that the three-day event will energise the workers and the feeling of sewa will get strengthened. The endeavour is that the sewa work is collectively expanded to the extent that nobody in urban or rural area is deprived and ultimately the country becomes harmonious and prosperous in the days to come.
On March 2, 2015, Shri Santhanam (55), a farmer from Sriperumbudur, had it all, from hopes to misery to euphoria, in a span of 10 hours. He misplaced a cloth bag with Rs 1.8 lakh cash meant for his daughter’s marriage. The bag had the cash and invitation cards in it; it had slipped from his hand and had fallen on the road. Minutes later, Shri Rambabu (60), living nearby, came to see off his grandchildren to school. He noticed the brown cloth bag on the road, in which he found bundles of currency The man took it to the Tambaram police station and handed it over to the police. Santhanam, who was not sure of where he had misplaced the bag, had approached the police station near his house. On receiving information from Tambaram police, Santhanam went to the Police Station; it was confirmed that he was the owner of the bag and the cash was handed over to him. Rambabu runs a fertiliser store at Padappai, near Tambaram.
Smt Kanthimathi serves food to destitutes battling hunger, poverty and diseases - veg biryani and butter milk - on the dusty pavement opposite an oil store on East Masi Street Madurai (Tamilnadu, Bharat). Kanthimathi, the 64-year-old wife of an ailing tailor, who ran out of business a few years ago, goes on giving. It has become a daily routine for her for the last 12 years. Kanthimathi does not have the means to feed the poor. It was 12 winters ago when she spotted social worker Siva Anbanandan serving food to beggars, street urchins, mentally and physically challenged individuals, the poor and the abandoned. Siva Anbanandan was looking for a cook. Kanthimathi volunteered instantly. Since then, she hasn’t taken a day’s break. Even during illness she prepares the meal and ensures that it reaches the people on time. (She recalls with sadness how on the day Siva Anbanandan died a year ago – in 2013 - , he arranged for rice, sambar and curd. “I served the meal here before going to the cremation ground,” she says). Among the nearby shopkeepers, somebody buys the vegetables, somebody donates rice and oil. And it keeps flowing to meet each day’s requirement. Kanthimathi believes there is God’s hand in arranging the items uninterrupted for so many years. Says Kanthimathi, even passers-by stop to see what is happening and spontaneously donate sweets and fruits; even plates, tumblers and sitting mats.
You cannot find a single cigarette butt, plastic bag lying around in Mawlynnong (Meghalaya, Bharat), a small village 90 kms from Shillong. It was awarded the tag of ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. Pallavi Pasricha, a journalist, describes the village thus: “I reach here and I am stumped. Not only is this village spotless clean but it’s one of the prettiest ones I have seen in the country. I am greeted warmly and taken to the guest house, my home for the night. I walk on cobbled streets bordered with thatched Khasi huts and go past gardens that are full of colourful flowers. To keep the village clean there is a bamboo basket outside every house. After a 15-minute walk I’m face-to-face with one of the most spectacular natural bridges that’s made by twisting the roots of the gigantic trees. The roots make a pathway across a stream, making it easy for villagers to commute. Another interesting thing the villagers have constructed here is the Sky View, an 85 feet high viewing tower that’s made of bamboo. When I reach on top I get stunning views of not just the village but Bangladesh on the other side. It’s simply gorgeous. I realise that it’s the simplicity and warmth of the people that makes Mawlynnong so special getting there.”
An NGO, My Home India (MHI), has successfully reunited 170 lost children who were abandoned in the city, with their families over the last one year. The NGO is now planning to expand its activities across the country. MHI was founded by Sunil Deodhar, who was formerly a full time RSS worker in North-East states. According to Deodhar, the NGO had searches for abandoned children in and around the city. We found that many children were willing to return to their families but could not do so because (they were unable to contact them). Most children were from Karnataka, UP and Bihar.(We have helped to reunite them with thier families). (So now) they are happily living with their families,” he said. The NGO has focused on children who either run away from their homes or are forcibly pushed into child labour in big cities. Deodhar, a former president of the BJP’s North-East cell, said that MHI has sought permission from Centre to spread their search for abandoned children to other states too. “Our duty does not end after a child is handed over to his parents. We also continuously monitor whether he is happy with the reunion,” he said. MHI also tackles issues of security, law and order, social, economical and emotionalalienation faced by the people of North-East states in other parts of the country.
Punsari village, barely 100 km from Ahmedabad (Gujarat, Bharat), could be a textbook case of development. Closed-circuit cameras, water purifying plants, air-conditioned schools, Wi-Fi, biometric machines - the village has it all. And all of it was done in a matter of eight years, at a cost of a mere Rs. 16 crore. The man behind the transformation is its young sarpanch: 31-year-old Himanshu Patel. A graduate from North Gujarat University, Patel had won the panchayat polls in 2006 at the age of 23. Back then, the village didn't even have proper roads, power or water. The panchayat funds were in deficit. Punsari’s turnaround happened when the village sold part of its land for plotted schemes. The money, deposited in government coffers, is used to fund the village’s welfare schemes. The results are obvious. Recently, a team from the Central ministries of rural and urban development had come to study the "Punsari model". But the young sarpanch is already onto his next projects - a unit producing electricity out of plastic waste and e-rickshaws for garbage collection. At the village school, the number has doubled from 300 students in 2006 to over 600. The classrooms are not just air-conditioned but also have computers and projectors."We have managed to attract more children," said teacher Narendra Jhala. Sarpanch Himanshu Patel says, “The main intention was that we should have an atmosphere of a village, but facilities like those in the city”. It’s just that the village has managed its accounts well and has made optimal use of government schemes.
Born in 1979 in Tumkur district of Karnataka, D K Ravi began his career in civil services as Assistant Commissioner in Gulbarga. He lived a simple life and gained people’s trust. He would go meet them at their homes, sit with them and have food with them irrespective of their status or caste. He worked extensively for marginalized communities and was accessible 24×7. He was transferred 28 times in his career span and collected Rs. 138 crore tax dues in just two weeks. Though he flawlessly performed his duties as an IAS officer, he was a much bigger a person who was doing everything possible to help the poor. He was running free coaching classes on Sundays for poor UPSC aspirants and had resolved to eat at one Dalit family’s home every week. It is said that he was under pressure from his department to slow down on investigations as a lot of big names were involved. It is also claimed that he had received many threat calls from the underworld. Recently he was found dead in his residence under mysterious circumstances. The country will surely miss such an outstanding officer but we hope to see many more Ravis coming up and taking on all the corruption is this country like he did. (Courtesy: Panchaamritam)
JAMMU & KASHMIR PEACE FOUNDATION IN COLLABORATION WITH SEWA INTERNATIONAL
Immediately after its 69th annual peace conference at Jammu, a one day peace mela was held at Kund village in Kulgam District, J&K. On this occasion a relief distribution function was organised for poor widows of rural areas. The chairman J & K Peace Foundation Fayaz Ahmed Bhat emphasized the need for promoting deeper understanding, communal harmony and brotherhood for establishing lasting peace which would pave the way for rapid all rounddevelopment and a bright future for the State. He urged upon the people to come forward in a big way to contribute achieving the said goal. He also assured that it will act as a front line organization to provide all necessary relief and rehabilitation facilities to the poor people. Prominent intellectuals and social workers from all sections of the society including Mosin Iqbal Gani, Ashok Sehghal, Habib Hiam, Major Sandeep Singh, Abdul Ahad Teli, Mohd Ibrahim, Abid Hussain, Mohd Abbas Khan were also present on the occasion.
The poor widows of the rural areas were provided relief materials. This relief mission will continue from place to place and village to village. J & K Peace Foundation has been playing a vital role in establishing peace in the state. In the flood rescué operations its volunteers saved lives of thousands of people. The organization will also work for permanent settlements of those whose houses have been washed away or permanently rendered non physical for residential use.
Three day workshop on Vision 2020 Document for STs by Kalyan Ashram and Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini
URGENT NEED FOR NATIONAL TRIBAL POLICY
Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodini jointly organised a three-day national workshop at Keshav Srishti from February 6 to 8. A total of 112 delegates from 12 states discussed various issues concerning the Vanvasis.
Dr JK Bajaj compiled the outcome of three-day discussion into four sections. The recommendations regarding natural resources and mining include formulation of a comprehensive national mining policy, effective efforts to curb illegal mining, safe closer of the mines after mining and sharing profit with the people affected or displaced due to mining.
About forest protection the workshop stressed the need to decide the community forest rights and suggested that this work should be undertaken in a mission mode. The plots granted to the Vanvasis under Forest Law should be recognised as revenue document. The workshop also stressed the need to formulate effective mechanism and schemes for processing of forest products, value addition and sale.
The recommendation regarding propagation of education include special campaign for women literacy, primary education in all Vanvasi areas in mother tongue, connecting education with skills development rather than connecting entire school education with skills development, arrangements for capacity building in higher and competitive exams, and arrangements for patent or protection of intellectual property of the technique, biodiversity and skills associated with the Vanvasis.
The recommendations about administrative reforms include creation of permanent secretariats for Tribal Administrative Councils (TAC) created in the states under Fifth Schedule; national campaign to make the Village Panchayats and completion of National Tribal Policy, which is under formulation for the last 15 years.
RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale said that while talking about employment generation for Vanvasis one should not forget that the topic is not connected with production and employment, rather it is the lifestyle of the Vanvasis and no activity should affect it in a negative way.
Presiding over the concluding ceremony Maharashtra Governor Shri C Vidyasagar Rao assured that he would work for the benefit of the Vanvasis. He said he has already created a special cell in his office for Vanvasi areas. Union Minister Jual Oram said the recommendations of the workshop would prove to be highly effective for the betterment of Vanvasis. He assured the gathering to bring the pending National Tribal Policy soon. He said the recommendations of the workshop would also be useful for the proposed policy.
Kalyan Ashram president Shri Jagdeoram Oraon said the Vanvasis are still following good values of life and it should be ensured that those values should not be lost in the race of
Prominent among those who participated in discussion included former member of Tribal Commission Shri Dilip Singh Bhuria, former Chief Minister of Jharkhand Shri Arjun Munda, Minister of State Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Speaker of Jharkhand Assembly Shri Dinesh Oraon, Tribal Affairs Minister of Maharashtra Shri Vishnu Savra, Shri Ramesh Tavadkar from Goa, former IAS Shri JB Tubid etc. scholars from various educational institutions and research institutes were also present on the occasion.
Earlier on February 6, Shri Vishnukant unfolded the problems and challenges being faced by the Vanvasis. He said the policies formulated by the governments have proved partially beneficial for the people therefore formulation of a National Tribal Policy is the need of the hour for long term benefits for the Vanvasis. He expressed concern that despite recommendations by various Commissions constituted by the government work on the Tribal Policy has not been completed. He said land acquisition, displacement and rehabilitation, forest rights, Panchayat laws are the issues which need immediate attention.
SWAYAMSEVAKS CLEAN BUS STAND IN CHENNAI
Twelve swayamsevaks under the leadership of Vibhag Karyavah Shri Kalyan Babu and Nagar Karyavah Shri Prakash participated in the cleaning of bus stand area at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai as a part of the Sewa Sanghik activity on January 13. The general public too joined hands with the swayamsevaks in cleaning the area. It was decided to involve the local shopkeepers and retailers in keeping the place clean.
IN UP, HINDU BOYS ENROL IN MADRASSA, MUSLIM BOYS IN SANGH-RUN SCHOOL
Breaking stereotypes, 11 Hindu children have enrolled in a madrassa while as many as 140 Muslim boys have joined a Sangh-run school. According to the principal of Madrassa Jameeatul Ansar, it is the parents' love for the Urdu language and literature which motivated them to put their children in the madrassa.
Meanwhile, about 140 children have been enrolled in Saraswati Vidya Mandir, a school run by RSS."As many as 140 Muslim boys have been enrolled in various classes of Saraswati Vidya Mandir Inter College," college Principal Jitendra Singh said. "The day starts for the students with suryanamaskar and singing of Vande Mataram besides vedic hymns," he said. Singh later said all the students take their lunch together.
SANGH VOLUNTEERS RUSHED IN FOR RESCUE OPERATION
Sethu Govindan, a Sangh volunteer and a software engineer of Bengaluru was on his way to meet his family relatives of Pandalam in Kerala. He was travelling in Ernakulam-bound Bengaluru City-Ernakulam Intercity Express on Friday morning.
Unfortunately, the train got derailed near Anekal, the outskirts of Bengaluru. 10 passengers were dead and hundreds injured in the accident.
Including Sethu Govindan, several passengers rushed in for rescue. Sethu informed local Sangh volunteers. They arrived on the spot within few minutes and joined their shoulders for the rescue operation. They also donated their blood for the injured.
BRINGING NAGARVASIS AND VANVASIS CLOSER
Every year vanvasi Kalyan Parishad Hyderabad organizes a two-day Nagarvasi-Vanyatra, which enables the urban dwellers to have firsthand experience of the service projects run by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram. This year the Yatra was organized from January 17 to 18. A total of 64 persons from 26 families, including 20 children, joined the Vanyatra into the deep forests of Warnagal. Most of the families were from RSS IT Milans and Balagokulams run in Hyderabad.
Elders in Bekkinakeri village, 16km from Belagavi / Belgaum (Karnataka, Bharat) have found an innovative way to convince the importance of having toilets to the people practicing open defecation; that is saying 'good morning' to those heading towards answering nature's call at the wee hours. Elders comprising local gram panchayat body, anganwadi teachers and asha workers gather at the popular places of open defecation from 5.30 am to 8am and say 'good morning' to the people heading towards there. While returning after answering nature's call, they are convinced about benefits of having toilets in terms of health, safety of women and self-esteem. Earlier, the initiative became a joke in village but gradually it has started influencing the minds. Belagavi zilla panchayat observed 'Shouchalayakkagi Samara' (fight for toilets) programme. Bekkinakeri village conducted toilet awareness programme for 11 days. Jatha (procession) by the school students, door-to-door visit by the anganwadi teachers and asha workers were the part of programme. Families were warned with blocking government facilities if toilet is not constructed.
Sairam Bhat, 78, is a farmer by profession and an ayurveda physician by descent. Swami builds houses for the poor free of cost, provided they have at least five cents of land. He lives at Kilinjar in Kasargod district (Kerala, Bharat) Bhat’s journey in helping the poor started by cutting short another ‘important yatra’ in 1995. He had been setting aside money to go to Kashi on turning 58. That was when a poor labourer and his neighbour, whose shack was destroyed in a storm, came to him seeking help. He told him, “Son, I will build you a new house,” remembers a genial Bhat, sitting in his living room which doubles up as a clinic. He used the money saved up for Kashi yatra to build a house for Kuntynana. “After that I never felt the need to go to Kashi again,” he says. The word spread fast, and people started approaching him for houses. Since 1995, he has built 224 houses. Initially, he started with Rs 40,000 per house, and then he raised the budget to Rs 1.20 lakh. Bhat does not remember all his beneficiaries, but one name he recalls is Abdul Rahman, a daily wage labourer in Kunjar. “That’s because all other people came to me; in Rahman’s case, I went to him,” he says. Every room in Rahman’s shack leaked, and was shared by seven children. “Rahman’s was my 25th house,” he says.
Shri C Kannan, a teacher at Velliangadu government school near Karamadai (Tamilnadu, Bharat), chose to pay his respects to his hero, revolutionary poet Subramania Bharathi, on his birth anniversary by gifting the fountain pens to all the 750 students from classes VI to XII. For this he spent Rs 20,000. He has already provided students from economically weaker sections with two sets of uniforms. The science teacher says the gesture would also serve as an encouragement for the students who are in the middle of their half-yearly exams. Kannan says, “Sincerity and dedication from teachers motivate students to perform better. Inspiring children and moulding them into responsible citizens are part of the duty of every teacher.” R Palanisamy, headmaster of the school, said that though Kannan was appointed as a BT Assistant to handle science classes for students of classes VI to IX, out of interest, he used to take English and Mathematics classes. Kannan would make the learning process interesting for students by discussing general issues with them before getting into the text books. (Source: Panchaamritam)
Stressing on emotional integration of Vanvasis, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat appealed to the countrymen to go to the Vanvasis taking it as their national duty. He was speaking at the Vanvasi Raksha Parivar Kumbha organised by Shri Hari Satsangh Samiti in Delhi on December 21 in which 40,000 people including leading saints, NGO representatives, tribals and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and RSS karyakartas participated. An exhibition held on the occasion showcased the unique heritage, ethnic diversity, rich natural resources, socio-cultural traditions of the tribals. Tribal Artists from West Bengal presented Mahishasur Mardani while the children of Bhatnagar International School captivated the audience with the group dance performance. He said if the Vanvasis had believed that the entire nation was with them they would not have alienated from the society. “Vanvasis have truly protected the Indian culture and helping them in all respect is the responsibility of the entire society,” Shri Bhagwat added.Addressing the mammoth gathering, Dr. Mohan Rao Bhagwat emphasised on the ideal of providing protection to the tribals who are our own kith and kin. Their glorious lineage must not only be recognised and respected, but also spread throughout the country.
Ashok Singhal, Patron, VHP talked of the Vanvasis of Bharat in terms of population statistics. "A large part of the country’s population lives in the forests. Out of the grand 125 crores population, 9 crores are vanvasis who live in isolated, deep forests and villages". Swami Satyamitranand, founder Bharat Mata Mandir gave a heart wrenching talk on the historical importance of the Vanvasis, right from the Vedic Age. He said one can see the image of Sri Ram among Vanvasis, but we never tried to see that image. Swami Anubhutanand Giri, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Swami Ramdev, Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Dr. Pranav Pandya, Dr. Praveenbhai Togadia, Dr. Bajranglal Gupta, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Dr.Raman Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Amit Shah and Sushma Swaraj graced the ocasion.
SWAYAMSEVAKS CLEAN PREMISES OF GOKARNA BUS STAND
RSS swayamsevaks on January 1 cleaned the premises of historically reputed bus stand at Gokarna in Karnataka as a part of the ‘Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan’. Gokarna is one of most reputed temple town of Karnataka, where thousands of visitors arrive by buses. The sewa work by the swayamsevaks received applause by the local people.
Gokarna is a small temple town located on the western coast of India in North Kannada district. Gokarna means ‘Cow’s Ear’. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the Mother Earth) here. Main temple and deity is Lord Shiva, who is also known as Mahabhaleshwara. This temple houses what is believed to be original image of Lord Shiva’s lingam. There are many other temples all over this small town. Gokarna is historically known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers and is located on what was once unspoiled beach near the estuary of River Aghanashini with its palm trees and other colourful tropical fruits and flower trees.
WORLD RECORD OF LARGEST ASSEMBLY OF JANJATI ARCHERS
The Three-day National Archery Competition organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram for Vanvasi youths concluded in Bengaluru on December 28. The meet created world record of ‘largest assembly of tribal archers’. Speaking at the venue of competition on December 28 Union Minister of State for Sports Sarbanda Sonowal said the tribal youths have to work hard to excel in sports. He welcomed the initiative of the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Vanvasi sports at national level. He assured all out support for the Vanvasi sports.
Rahul Banarjee, Olympian archer said archery is in blood of Vanvasis. The competition was inaugurated on December 26 by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram. Shri Suhas Gopinath, the youngest CEO and entrepreneur of Bengaluru graced the session as Chief Guest. He suggested the youths to realize a dream through sincerity and honesty. A total of 231 archers from 22 State units of Kalyan Ashram participated in the competition.
SEWA BHARATI RELIEF TO THE VICTIMS
Sewa Bharati workers distributed relief material to the violence victims staying in relief camps after the violence of December 23 which claimed the lives of 78 people. So far 81 relief camps have been created and more than two lakh people have shifted there. Sewa Bharati Purbanchal provided immediate relief to the victims. The relief materials include food items, clothes and medicines. The Sewa Bharati has also planned for rehabilitation of the orphan children both boys and girls.
KALYAN ASHRAM MEGHALAYA MEETING
A three-day Chintan Baithak of Kalyan Ashram Meghalaya was organized in Shillong from December 25 to 27, 2014. The meeting was inaugurated by the Kalyan Ashram national vice president Shri Kripa Prasad Singh and Meghalaya State president Shri Rinohmo Sungoh. A total of 114 Janjati leaders attended the meeting.
Shri Rinohmo Sungoh appealed to all the janjati leaders to come ahead for community development. Smt Drimsibon Kharkongor, retired principal of a women college expressed deep concern over the backwardness of women in Khasi villages. She said the Kalyan Ashram can solve the problems of the community. She said single teacher schools are highly useful. Shri Kripa Prasad Singh and Dr. Vishvamitra discussed the working technique of the Kalyan Ashram among different janjati groups. Shri Singh said organic farming, solar energy and hydro projects along with water management for drinking and cultivation are essential for development. Kalyan Ashram Meghalaya is working for health care and educational development of Vanvasi brethren of Meghalaya.
For the past 40 years now, every evening at the Sathyavageeswara Temple, Karamana, Thruvananthapuram (Kerala, Bharat), Sekhar Anna (Shri H. Parameswaran, retired Deputy Chief Engineer, PWD, Kerala) has been taking classes for men and women, from children and senior citizens to professionals and homemakers, all of those who are interested in learning the scriptures. He keeps the classes short, at the most, half an hour or 45 minutes. He teaches two to three batches of students every day. He starts out by teaching them small and easy to understand and memorise slokas and kritis, in order to familiarise them with the intricacies of Samskritam. He goes to Sree Padmanbhaswamy temple to chant the Yajur Veda every morning along with a handful of other devotees. They consider it as an offering to the deity. Apart from this, he takes classes for women on Sundara Kandam, Devi Mahatmyam, Bhagavad Gita and so on, and on weekends, in his house, he hosts a discourse on the Yajur Veda. Says Sekar Anna: “At the end of the day, I too am only a student of the Vedas. I am currently learning the Yajur Veda under Venkatachala Ghanapadigal, an eminent Vedic scholar, one of those rarest of rare people who can recite the entire text from memory”.
Majuli is the largest river island in the world formed in the midst of the mighty river Brahmaputra, located in Jorhat district of Assam. People of Majuli fondly recall Ravi Sir’s seva there. Ravi Sir (Ravindranath Devendranath Savdekar) belongs to Chandwad in Nasik district of Maharashtra. He is the only son of Devendranath Savdekar who is a teacher. Inspired by the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, Ravindranath participated in Vivekananda Bharat Parikrama. He completed the ‘Acharya’ training at Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari in Tamilnadu. Ravindranath Savdekar left Chandvad in 2000. He served as a teacher at Doyang school for two years. He was appointed as Principal of the school to be opened at Majuli island. His school began with 53 students and two teachers in a rented house. The major difficulty he confronted was that of language and then to seek cooperation of the local people to resolve a number of problems. He was not conversant with Assamese language. Then he started learning Assamese. The similarity of words in Marathi and Assamese helped him adopt the language with speed and at ease. Now he was capable of communicating with the local people in their language. The locals were astonished to see him speak their language! In 2004 Ravi Sir entered into wedlock with Poorva from Ahmednagar. Poorva was ready to live on this Brahmaputra island. She also started teaching in the school following her spouse. Today Ravi Sir is Principal of Vivekananda Kendra School at Dibrugarh. “Had I served in Maharashtra”, Ravi Sir says, “I would have become a good teacher but then we could not do what we are doing here to bring these people into the mainstream of Indian culture”.
Smt Lekha Namboothiri (31), a native of Mavelikkara, (Kerala, Bharat) donated one of her kidneys to 35 year old Shafi Navaz, a poor Muslim hailing from Pattambi, free of cost, surpassing barriers of religion. Lekha spurned offers mounting upto Rs 15 lakhs, unmindful of her own poverty stricken background. The transplant took place in 2012. However it was not covered by media then. The matter came to light recently and Lekha was showered with praises. Courtesy: Panchaamritam
‘DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF, REALISE YOUR POTENTIAL’
RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat, accompanied some local Sangh leaders visited a Sewa Basti of Bengaluru on November 14. He offered puja at 'Muttu Mariyamma Temple’ located in the heart of the slum and interacted with the children and women of the Sewa Basti. The trip was organised by the Jagran Project of the Rashtrotthana Parishat at Anganawadi Kendra, behind Mallige Hospital, Siddapura in Wilson Gardens. As the Sarsanghachalak reached the Basti he was welcomed by the women of the locality carrying kalas and offering aarati and also applying tilak. Then Mohanji offered flowers to the statue of Bhimrao Ambedkar and went inside Hombegow-danagara Slum. He spent some time inside the house of Pandian, president ofAmbedkar Sangha and gracefully accepted snacks and milk offered to him. Before leaving the house, he lighted incense sticks and offered to big portrait of Lord Venkateshwara inside the house.
Later addressing a gathering of children and women from Hombegowdanagar slum and nearby areas Mohanji said political leaders come and go but the common man will make a difference in the country. “You are the country. Do not think you are small person. Grow yourself. Become a good person. Do not underestimate yourself. When you realise your potential and get taller in character, country will automatically prosper," Shri Bhagwat added. Dakshin Bharat Karyavah Shri Ramakrishna, Dakshin Madhya Kshetra Pracharak Shri Mangesh Bende, Prant Karyavah Shri Thippeswamy and many other Sangh leaders were also present on the occasion. The Rashtrotthana Parishat has projects in 210 slums across Bengaluru.
NANAJI BROUGHT INTEGRAL HUMANISM IN ACTION
“Nanaji’s thinking was out of box, he always tried to do something extra, beyond his given responsibility. Whatever he did he did with some value addition. He always insisted on ‘self-sufficiency’ approach. Optimum utilisation of local resources was the basis of his vision. He perfectly blended universal science with local technologies,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while releasing a book on Nanaji Deshmukh in New Delhi onOctober 11, the 98th birth anniversary of Nanaji. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, veteran Sangh Pracharak Shri Madan Das, DRI president Shri Virendrajeet Singh and general secretary of DRI Shri Bharat Pathak also shared the dais. Many distinguished personalities including RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, former deputy Prime Minister Shri LK Advani, Governor of Guajrat Prof. Omprakash Kohli, etc were present at the jam-packed Vigyan Bhavan. Speaking on the occasion Dattatreya Hosabale said, Nanaji brought ‘Integral Humanism’ propounded by Deendayalji in action. “When people are looking for models of development on Bharatiya values the one created by Nanaji are the living examples.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABLED PERSONS OBSERVED
A programme was organised by the ABVKA to support the disabled persons in Jashpurnagar on 3rd Dec, 2014 in which disabled persons of Jashpurnagar participated. Try Cycle competition was started by Sri Kripa Prasad Singh, Vice President of Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram where as Prizes were distributed by Srimati Thunni Bai, Chairperson ,Zila Panchayat. Sri Singh told that 12036 disabled persons are registered with DDRC office.He also told that more than half of the disabled persons are living in remote areas. Trycycles, Baisakhi and other equipments were distributed to these people on the occasion.
A BRAVE DAUGHTER OF MADURAI
Dr. Kalyani Gomathinayagam is a young Bharatiya doctor who volunteered to spend four weeks in Foya, Liberia (West Africa) during September-October, 2014, helping those suffering and dying of Ebola, the awful epidemic. She was one of the few doctors, and likely the only Bharatiya, who had volunteered to work in that region. Kalyani is no stranger to practicing medicine in rough situations. After her medical training in Madurai, and working in rural Kerala, she opted to spend a decade working as a medical officer with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police at extremely isolated regions on the border, including remote places in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, as well as a stint, once, on the Kailas-Mansarovar yatra route at Kunji Post.
“The most heartening news is that for the past one month they have not recorded any new case coming from Foya. There are some cases in the periphery -- in other districts. On the whole I think the community has really participated a lot in bringing the epidemic under control in Foya. That’s a good sign.”
BHARAT HAS WORLD’S LARGEST NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS
Bharat tops the charts when it comes to the largest number of volunteers anywhere in the world. Nearly 18.65 crore people in Bharat support non-profit organizations (popularly known as non-government organizations or NGOs) by volunteering their time and effort. In stark contrast, China, with only 6.8 crore volunteers, was fourth on this list. Compared with the previous findings relating to 2012, the number of Bharatiyas volunteering time has shot up by three percentage points as 29 million more people contributed their time in 2013. These findings were released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a global non-profit that compiles the World Giving Index annually. This index looks at three measures of giving during 2013: The number of people who have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.
1.6 LAKH SEVA PROJECTS RUN BY RSS
“Seva – Service is an integral part of sangh work and it was natural that sangh workers came forward to help fllod affected people in Jammu and Kasmir” said RSS sarkaryavaha Bhayya ji Joshi at the press meet on 20th October at Lucknow where a 3-day meeting of its Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari mandal was held. He added that over 1.6 lakh service projects are being run by swayamsevaks all over the country in rural, tribal and urban slum areas.
RSS VOLUNTEERS CLEAN MOSQUE IN CYCLONE AFFECTED VISAKHAPATNAM
Volunteers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) cleaned mosques in Visakhapatnam, after cyclone Hudhud left behind a trail of destruction when it hit the region last week. Coordinator of Visakhapatnam region of RSS, Ram Bahadur, said that the political leaders in the country had created a wrong perception that RSS is against Muslims and Christians. The volunteers were seen using electric saws to cut trees that were fallen inside the mosque complex. They were also cleaning the floors and removing broken glasses that were scattered everywhere. A volunteer of RSS, Kurmit Kaur, said they were merely being human.
BALASAHEB DESHPANDE BIRTH CENTENARY CELEBRATION IN ANDAMANS
Kalyan Ashram Middle Andaman district unit organised a function at District Auditorium Rangat on November 15 to observe birth centenary of Vanyogi Balasaheb Deshpande. Shri Kanda Swami, District president, gave brief account of the activities conducted in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Kalyan Ashram joint organising secretary Shri Atul Jog said Balasaheb Deshpandeji worked tirelessly in janjati (tribal) area for 47 long years. He said today the Kalyan Ashram has work in 53,000 janjati villages. Assistant Commissioner Shri Trivedi as chief guest appreciated the Kalyan Ashram work.
SWAYAMSEVAKS JOIN FIRE RESCUE OPERATION
A handicraft factory at Basani phase I in Jodhpur caught fire in the morning of December 2. The fire assumed gigantic form due to wood and chemicals stored in the factory. Fourteen fire brigade vehicles controlled the fire after about four hours. As soon as the swayamsevaks of morning shakha got the news, they rushed to the spot and joined the fire brigade workers to extinguish the fire.
RSS Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi appeals doctors and nursing staff
TREAT PATIENTS AS A FORM OF GOD
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi appealed to doctors and nursing staff to treat the patients considering them as a form of God. He was inaugurating a blood bank and a 20 room new OPD block at the Bharat Vikas Parishad Hospital in Kota on October 7. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Health Minister of the State Rajendra Singh Rathore and national president of Bharat Vikas Parishad Sitaram Parik were also present on the occasion. Bharat Vikas Parishad runs a 200 bed multi-specialty hospital in the city and treats about 1.75 lakh patients every year. About 50,000 patients are treated as in patient, while about two lakh patients avail the facilities of lab. The blood bank comprises of whole blood, component, platelets, plasma and SDP. The hospital also runs a handicapped facilitation centre, where hundreds of handicapped people are provided with limbs. Apart from it, about Rs 40 lakh are spent on different other health activities like organising camps, distributing medicines and providing free treatment to economically deprived patients.
Bhaiyaji called upon the people to contribute in any of the social activity for holistic development of the country. He said we should develop a mechanism so that nobody should fall sick. He said the hospital run by Bharat Vikas Parishad should be different from others in the service of patients. Smt Vasundhara Raje expressed satisfaction over the facilities in the hospital. Health Minister also appreciated the state of the art facilities at the hospital. BVP president Shri Sitaram Parik, chairman of the hospital Shri Shayam Sharma also spoke on the occasion. Kshetra Pracharak Shri Durgadas, Prant Pracharak Shri Gajendra Singh, Kshetra Sampark Pramukh Shri Rajendra Divivedi and many other distinguished people were also present on the occasion..
BHAGINI NIVEDITA SEWA NYAS DONATES RICKSHAWS TO PAK HINDUS
Bhagini Nivedita Sewa Nyas Delhi, on 11th October provided cycle rickshaws and other basic necessary things to the Hindus who came from Pakistan. Apart from it, 25 families who came recently from Pakistan were provided with various household things like clothes, mattress, etc. Speaking on the occasion, general secretary of the Nyas Shri Mahavir Prasad Gupta assured the Hindus coming from Pakistan every possible help till they are granted citizenship in Bharat. He also applauded the support of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat Vikas Parishad and many other organisations which have been helping the Nyas in this endeavour
SRILANKA GOVT APPRECIATES HSS RELIEF WORK
Kosalandha Meeriapeththa, an estate village in Uva province of Sri Lanka was badly affected by landslide on October 29. About 1,055 men and women including 162 children were displaced to a relief camp in Poonagala School after the landslide. At present, the camp is managed by Ministry of disaster management with the help of Army. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) Sri Lanka volunteers in many districts immediately planned to collect the essential material to help the affected. A group of karyakarthas travelled from Colombo to the affected village to assess the ground reality and planned to work in the relief camp.Within a day, swayamsevaks collected materials worth Rs 20 lakhs. Only swayamsevaks and sevikas are working inside the relief camp other than the government officials and the Army.
NATIONWIDE BLOOD DONATION CAMP OF VHP:
1 LAKH UNITS COLLECTED
In an overwhelming response to nationwide blood donation camp of VHP on 2nd November , thousands of youth donated blood across Bharat, crossing a collection of a total of 100,000 units of blood across the nation. The blood donation drive was organised by VHP and its youth wing Bajarangadal to commemorate the Golden Jubilee year of Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
VHP Chief Dr Pravin Togadia inaugurated VHP blood donation drive at Karolbagh of New Delhi. ‘In Karnataka 62 blood donation camps were held in which nearly 6000 units of blood collected’, said VHP leader Gopal Nagarakatte.
MASSIVE RELIEF AND RESCUE OPERATION BY SWAYAMSEVAKS IN CYCLONE HIT AP
The cyclone, Hudhud, severely hit three districts of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Although, the north-east monsoon affects every year the coastal areas of Bay of Bengal during October-November, this year the devastation is huge. Visakhapatnam is the worst hit.
The devastating winds started blewing from October 11 night with the speed ranging between 180-260 kmph, causing unimaginable damage to the greenery in the region. The fishermen lost their nets and boats in addition to their houses. The roof top of the city aerodrome blewn out completely. Houses were lifted and thrown several yards away. Several industries including the steel plant was paralysed. Nearly 6,000 electric poles in the city and 30,000 in the three districts along with several transformers either got bent, broke or were uprooted. Not a single street is found without fallen trees and uprooted electric poles. Communication towers were also blown off.
The government had taken excellent steps in protecting the life of people. About 5 lakh people from vulnerable areas were shifted to safe areas. The government machinery was pressed into service to provide electricity and water, to restore communication facilities immediately and to supply food, water, milk and other needs to the last man. Several voluntary organisations also joined in meeting the needs of the people.
RSS swayamsevaks started relief and rescue operation on October 12 itself by cutting the trees fallen across the streets and clearing the garbage to facilitate the movement of people and the vehicles. RSS with its several associated organisations like Jana Samkshema Samithi, Sewa Bharati, ABVP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharatiya Vidya Kendram Educational institutions, etc, plunged into service activities from the next movement that they can came out of their houses.
BVK College has become the centre of activity for receiving the material and disbursing to several destinations. Nearly 1,000 volunteers are engaged in the 24 hours run activity. More than one lakh water packets, 25,000 milk packets, several packets of food, bread and biscuits had been distributed in nearly 50 localities far and near in the city. Similar supplies were sent to villages of the district including the coastal fishermen villages. Several dignitaries like Minister Shri Ravella Kishore Babu, Shri Manikyala Rao, Sri Vishnu Kumar Raju MLA, Dr K Hari Babu MP, RDO and others visited the affected areas.
SAMANWAYA GARMENT MAKING CENTRE
The Project has been started under the sponsorship of UPAYA Social Ventures early this financial year in the Mission to help the marginalized and poor, especially the Tribals, to make them stand on their own feet.
Accordingly, in the Kannankode Subcentre of Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission two months back Tailoring classes were started with the direct supervision of the Mission’s field staff. Dr.Jay K. Raman of USA is funding the Project thorough the UPAYA.
A garment making centre –SAMANWAYA - has been formally opened by Smt. Suma Bhaskaran, President of the Local Self Govt. on 2nd October, 2014 (Gandhi Jayanthi day).The Main speech was delivered by Adv. K A Asokan., Secretary of the Mission and First sale was solemnized by Shri M Prabhakaran, retired Canara Bank Manager and treasurer of Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission.
Grama Panchayat Ward members Shri CV Haridas, Smt. Sindhu and Tailor Raji Pattavayal made felicitation speeches. With 9 sewing machines, with interlock facility are being used here and 35 persons will derive direct benefit from this Centre. The garments will be marketed though the 50 or more Self Help Groups that are working tirelessly in the Tribal concentrated places to elevate them from the poverty and deprivation.
Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Mandal meeting of Arogya Bharati in Rajkot
GOVERNMENT AND VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS NEED TO WORK TOGETHER FOR HEALTHY BHARAT
— BHAIYAJI JOSHI
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi stressed the need that the governments and sewa organisations should work together to make the country healthy. “If we want to ensure that a healthy person remains healthy throughout the life, the governments and sewa organisations should work together,” the RSS Sarkaryavah said while inaugurating the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Mandal meeting of Arogya Bharati, held in Rajkot from September 20 to 21. A total of 463 delegates from all parts of the country attended the meeting. National president of Arogya Bharati Dr Narendra Prasad (Patna), RSS Gujarat Prant Sanghachalak Dr Jayantibhai Bhadeshia, Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Ayurveda University Dr Naresh Kotecha and national secretary general of Arogya Bharati Dr Ramesh Gautam (Nagpur) were also present on the occasion. President of Reception Committee Dr Ballabhbhai Kathiria, who is also chairman of Gujarat Gou Sewa Ayog, welcomed Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi. The meeting adopted a resolution giving some solid suggestions for health policy of the country. The meeting discussed in details various issues concerning the health needs of the country and also reviewed the organisational activities. The meeting had a special session to showcase the talent of the traditional doctors.