The voluntarism initiative of Sewa Uttarakhand, ‘’Sewa Saahas’’ team flagged off a run to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel here. The Run for Unity, which began from the Sewa International Office, Narayankoti, saw the participation of a large number of people, including sports personalities of the region. The early morning run came to an end at Dr. Jacques Vigne National School, Guptakashi. Sewa International salutes Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary. His enormous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten. Everyone in the country is proud of Patel’s contribution to India before it attained freedom and during the early years after the nation became independent. The date of October 31 all over the country, is observed as a day of the special occasion to foster and reinforce the citizen’s dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity, and security of the nation by celebrating it as a ’Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. The event saw the participation of more than 200 people from different walks of life viz. students of schools and colleges, housewives, sportsperson, and many others. Sewa Saahas team urged the people to take a pledge to maintain the unity of the country and strive for the wellbeing of the society.
TOILET AND HYGIENE PROJECT RUN BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL BHARAT
Sewa International is committed towards Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, especially in the state of UP which is in dire need of the movement. The big cities of state like Varanasi, Kanpur, and Agra are notorious for lack of sanitation. Sewa International believes that ensuring girls education is the best way forward for the country to meet its goal of a developed nation. Also by recognizing, understanding and addressing gender dimensions within water and sanitation projects promotes sanitation and can lead to increased household welfare, improved health, increased gender equality and environmental sustainability. It also increases the efficiency and the effectiveness of the development resources invested. By making toilets in Girls/Co-ed schools, SIB wants to ensure that no girl child leaves the school because of lack of toilets. Sewa International Bharat’s Varanasi chapter Sewa Kashi works tirelessly to promote these objectives. This month SIB has installed 7 toilets in Lucknow viz Ghulam Hussain Purwa, Vibhutikhand, Peernanagar, Dubagga, Tiwaripur Sitapur road, and Chinhat block under “Swacch-Shikshit-Kushal Kashi Program” (SSKKP). Sewa Kashi had volunteer engagement for this lag of the project, Mr. Alok, and Ms. Monica. They helped the mentor of the SSKKP Mr. Thiagrajan Ramanan and Mrs. Jayanthi Ramanan in providing on-ground support in Lucknow to ensure success in this national mission.
SCHOOL KITS DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMME IN TRIPURA
One just has to see to believe so many genuine smiles of these kids who have seemingly got their best Durga Puja gift ever! The occasion was the distribution of the innocuous school kits to 300 kids studying at Sewa International Bharat Learning Centres in Ashapara and Naisinghpara refugee camps deep in the ravines of North Tripura. The school kit comprised of six notebooks, a school bag and a pencil box full of stationery items. The drive was conducted at the behest of our center tutors, who asked for study aids like stationery and bag for effective teaching. After the drive, gleeful eyes of the kids were a tell-tale sign of their zest for life and a provided a glimpse into a future full of hopes and promises.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE FOR TRIBAL WOMEN IN TRIPURA
Reang (Bru) is a displaced community, and the women of the tribe have been subjected to exploitation and trafficking due to extreme poverty prevalent in the 6 refugee camps in North Tripura, which prompted Sewa International to start a Skill Centre with Yuva Vikas Society (Training Partner) to provide Certified Training under PMKVY to Bru Women in Tailoring. The center was formally launched on 6th Oct 2017 in the august presence of Mr. Sanjay Hegde (Trustee) and Mr. Nishant Aggarwal (CEO), Sewa International. Mr. Sanjay Hegde extolled the new trainees to give their best and learn skills to empower the Bru community and prevent forced migration. Mr. Nishant gave a briefing on the PMKVY & Skill India schemes and promised all possible help on successful completion of training for employment and entrepreneurship to trainees. The event was very well received and trainees promised to give their best to complete the training for a promising future.
DRIVE FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL BHARAT
When you think of treatment for people with severe and persistent mental illness, there is a range of treatments and modalities to help the affected person. For example hospitalization, medication, healthcare, skills building, speech therapy, and neuro therapy etc. Even if a person had the best in all these areas, without being treated with respect and dignity these services really become meaningless. Any good doctor will tell you that the belief that a medication will work for you is just as important as the medication itself. This concept has a corollary: how a person is treated when getting treatment is just as important as or more important than the treatment itself. Sewa International has been committed towards Divyang care and runs 3 projects under this vertical viz. Divya Vidyalaya Jawhar (Maharashtra), Samvedana Vikas Kendra, Latur (Maharashtra), Karunaii Trust, Chennai (Tamil Nadu). These institutes cater to children who have cerebral palsy, underdeveloped brain, blindness, and are deaf; they are from the underprivileged sections of society. Sewa International ensures that children with mental health conditions living in these projects can continue to live with dignity and have best of the care by health professionals. All the caretakers in the projects are sensitized towards the treatment and share the special bonds with these kids. Sewa International ascertain the betterment in the lives of these children by lending support and treating them with dignity.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during their critical formative years but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realizing the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti 2 October 2017Sewa International, Ramnagar Varanasi organized a rally for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan at Machharahtta ward, Ramnagar. All the people of the basti especially women and children took part in this rally enthusiastically. The rally was organized under the project ‘Swacch-Shikshit-Kushal Kashi’ with the objective of spreading awareness on cleanliness and motivate people to keep their surroundings clean. The people of Ramnagar supported the program and appreciated the efforts taken by Sewa International Bharat for the development of the Ramnagar area and its residents. Sewa International Bharat team emphasized on the message of cleanliness and service given by Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation. Under the guidance of Sewa team in Varanasi, the capacity building exercise for the cleanliness drive has been going on. We aim to keep the streets and houses of Ramnagar area clean and make it open defecation free by next year.
Hurricane Irma: Relief and Rescue Operations By Sewa US
Hurricane Irma made a landfall at Tampa, Florida, USA on 11 Sept 2017, the nation was still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas when the tragedy struck with Irma. Sewa USA having done the laudable job of relief, rescue and rehab of those affected from the Hurricane Harvey, started preparing for the Irma well in advance. Sewa USA volunteers developed a huge and effective network through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp et al. They distributed flyers regarding the safety measures to be taken during, after and before the hurricane strikes. Sewa USA established shelter homes in the houses and temples equipped with facilities to host the affected people. They prepared for the hurricane well in advance. In order to provide shelter homes, the volunteers first identified the host families and prepared them for the task. Then press release was published regarding the list of shelter homes and facilities available to them. The registration desk and hotline numbers were established along with 24/7 helpdesk in various areas in different time zones. After seeking out affected people through various means established and manually, volunteers guided the victims to the shelter homes, where they were provided not only place to live but food, medical supplies and contact with other relatives if possible. The work of the volunteers was praised by not only the victims but other agencies involved in the relief and rescue including governmental and non-governmental agencies. Sewa USA in a very short span of time has gained the trust and respect of the communities due to their selfless service and respect for the human life and nature.
Solar Power Plants For Underprivileged and Tribal Children in Odisha
The energy choices we make during this pivotal time in the 21st century, will have huge consequences on health, climate, and economy for decades to come. SewaInternational in continuation of the developmental projects in tribal areas of Odisha has installed two 5kWp solar power plants at Taratari Bal Vidya Niketan and Amruta Vanee Sewa Pratishthanam, Balasore, Odisha. These schools provide education in the rural areas of Balasore, with the special focus on underprivileged and tribal children. The 5kWp Solar Power Plant has capacity to operate all major loads including fans, CFL Lights and Computer, Television (if installed in future) in the hostel and school. The 5kWP Solar Power plant is tentatively generating an average of 20 kWh electricity units per day. Sewa International believes that Energy efficiency is a key step to reducing our impact on climate change and creating a sustainable energy in future. This project would help developing an eco-friendly environment and it could develop to become a model project for the energy deficient and remote areas of the country.
Hurricane Harvey: Sewa USA at Work
When nature strikes, the best and most equipped can still be left floundering. Hurricane Harvey, the costliest natural disaster in US history left 200,000 homes destroyed, but the initiative of Sewa USA volunteers have done laudable work in one of the most amazing relief operations. Hurricane Harvey, the costliest natural disaster in US history, slammed the Greater Houston area on 25 August 2017 inundating homes, roads, and buildings, and affected one in four Houstonians, as rain poured in a deluge for almost a week. Thirty-three trillion gallons of water got dumped on the region! The damage was so severe that more than 200,000 homes were destroyed (50,000 in Houston alone), a million cars wrecked, and metro stations, schools, highways and other public facilities flooded. Hurricane Harvey is being considered the largest calamity in the United States in recent memory. The economic devastation is estimated by the Texas Governor’s office at more than $180 billion, and that it may take five years to rebuild. Caught in the hurricane were 150,000 people of Indian origin, with one in six, marooned, evacuated or needing rescue. Among them were 247 students from India studying at the University of Houston. Many of these students, motivated by the rescue efforts by Indian-American teams, joined as volunteers, making their first American experience a truly life-affirming experience. Sewa International coordinated efforts to bring together over 800 volunteers for the critical rescue effort. Sewa volunteers sprang into action even though some of their own homes had been flooded and they and their families had to move into friends’ homes and hotels. A hundred Sewa volunteers from its 41 chapters across the United States joined hands working remotely on the rescue and relief coordinating fund-raising, communication, social media updates, etc. As the rain and wind abated, volunteers have switched to providing relief to the hurricane’s victims by organizing health clinics, cleaning the flooded homes, and providing hot meals by coordinating work with a network of partner organizations. Sewa International raised $250,000 in the first 10 days. Volunteers served hot meals; provided food, water, supplies and medical support; arranged temporary housing; and began helping in cleaning up homes of the underserved and economically-challenged minorities – Hispanics, African Americans, Cambodian Americans, senior citizens, and single mothers. Its volunteers actively worked in five different suburbs around the Houston metro area. They delivered 1,000 hot meals a day to various shelters in the first 10 days. With the help of the various local organizations, they provided food and supplies for 5,000 hurricane victims. Ten trucks of water and food supplies were sent to various shelters in Houston and nearby small towns, thanks to the generous community of Indian business owners. In many areas of the city, volunteers reached distressed people much earlier than a big organization like the Red Cross did. In fact, Sewa International has been at the forefront of rescue and relief from the day the hurricane hit. Volunteers worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the US Coast Guard and other agencies in rescue and relief. With a 24/7 telephone hotline and a band of dedicated volunteers monitoring social media, SewaInternational pitched in with more than its expected weight.
Generating Livelihoods for Local Tribal People in Tripura
Education forms an important vertical in all the projects of Sewa International. The education projects of Sewa International benefit more than 2 lakh kids across the country. The experience of being associated with kids has been overwhelming and enriching. The innocent and joyous smile of children is the perk like none. But it was heart-breaking to see our Bru Tribal kids struggle with their studies while sitting on the bamboo thatch due to make-shift arrangements in our tutors' homes (which also serve as Sewa International Bharat's Remedial Education Centres in Refugee Camps in Tripura), so we thought of re-purposing the ever-visible portable lap desk design as a study-desk for these students. Idea is to generate local tribal livelihoods for anything we do, so preparing the first few wooden samples locally, which costs around Rs.350 but are very comfortable to students and do bring smiles. Small Wins do Count!! This is another step towards the fulfilling journey of Sewa i.e. service.
Soil Health Awareness Camp in Varanasi
Soil functions as a vital living ecosystem for plants. It is important to focus on the health of the soil for the better produce and sustainable farming. Depleting soil quality could be a deterring factor for quality production in times to come.Keeping this in mind, Sewa International conducted a Soil Health Awareness camp on 3 September2017, at Gangapur Village, Varanasi; where more than 100 farmers participated. The knowledge sharing session was followed by plant distribution and a felicitation ceremony for the farmers. They were given ‘Soil Health Certificates’ and saplings of ginger and Tomato plants, which were grown in Sewa International nursery. The trainers of the camp were Mr. Surendra Singh, Professor Banaras Hindu University and Dr. Nagendra Rai, Indian Vegetable Research Center, Varanasi. The farmers were given pointers on the following: • Attain correct pH of soil and build up the quality of soil to improve cropping. • Save the vegetable crops from various bacteria and fungus. • Methods to improve the soil health • Maintain Proper soil drainage, tips on vegetable farming, and ways to increase their income.