‘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.
SEVA BHARATI EXTENDS HELPING HAND TO J&K FLOOD VICTIMS
The Sewa Bharati organisation extended its helping hand in flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir regions. Hundreds of Karyakartas worked day & night to rescue thousands of people trapped, arranged the last rites of the dead, built temporary shelters for the homeless, distributed blankets & warm clothes, arranged langars, milk for children, medical aid etc. Seva Bharti has appealed for generous donations for alleviating the sufferings and assist the relief and rehab work. For more information,firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Sewa International Bharat is also working with Jammu Kashmir Sahayata Samitifor providing relief and rehab to the flood affected. For more info, contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
SWAYAMSEVAKS COLLECT OLD NEWSPAPERS TO HELP ORPHANAGE
Sewa Vibhag of RSS in Banashankari under Bengaluru organised an old newspapers collection drive as part of the Sewa Sanghik on August 31. The swayamsevaks reached out to individual houses in Banashankari, Padmanabhanagar, JP Nagar and other nearby areas and collected old newspapers from them. The money collected by selling the newspapers would be used for education and food expenses of the children staying in an orphanage called ‘NELE’. Nele is a project of Hindu Seva Pratishthana and has six centres across Bengaluru city. This provides free shelter, food and education for destitute children. People received the drive very well and appreciated the effort. A total of 1,000 kg old newspapers were collected. About 1,000 swayamsevaks participated in the drive for two hours.
EKAL WINS IMPACT CONTEST-2014
Harvard University conducts a Model United Nations Programme (HMUN) each year in Hyderabad. It announced "Impact Contest-2014" in which participating delegates were allowed to nominate an NGO of their choice, which works towards the UN Millennium development goals. They were asked to prepare a three-minute video for a campaign to support the NGO. The NGO whose video has the most online popularity was to receive an award from them. The fund collected by HMUN India from their charity initiative this year was to be awarded to the winner. A youth member of the Ekal, Shyam Sriram, represented EKAL Vidyalaya. Shyam visited Amrakavas village at Alwar, Rajasthan to capture the good work being done by EKAL team and presented his video. The nomination was accepted and the campaign was on for about 20 days. The participants were judged on few factors—legitimacy of the organisation, the online popularity and their impact towards their communities. Finally, Ekal Vidyalaya won the competition.
SWAYAMSEVAKS IN ACTION IN VADODARA FLOODS
The alarming Vishwamitri River brimmed over in Vadodara, leaving several areas of the city in waist-deep water on September 10. Over 20,000 persons were evacuated to safer locations across the district due to the flash floods. In Vadodara city, 12,761 were moved to safer areas while 9,528 from villages were relocated.
The water released from Ajwa reservoir in early hours of September 10 lead to flooding in Vishwamitri and the water level of 34 feet. 15-20 per cent of the city was waterlogged due to the floods when level of water reached 34 feet.
SEWA USA – HOUSTON CHAPTER
The organisation is conducting multitude of activities, especially for Bhutanese refugees. Sewing and tailoring classes have been moving along smoothly due to the huge effort of the dedicated volunteers. Sewing classes are intended to help students develop their sewing skills and sell their products for profit. Computer Literacy Classes were launched on 8th July which help refugees develop their computer literacy skills that are important for their self-empowerment. Children’s activities have been a huge hit among the children living in Los Arcos. Activities include arts and crafts, games, sing-alongs, etc.
Sewa partnered with Texas Children's Hospital to provide free immunizations for children living at the Los Arcos apartments. Get Inspired Houston (GIH) interns began holding weekly health camps in the Los Arcos apartment on Thursday, July 10th. In these health camps, GIH interns discuss various health topics with the aim of improving health within the community. These topics include nutrition and hygiene, women’s health, and tobacco.
HARVESTING FOR SURVIVAL
India is blessed with adequate rainfall as a whole, yet there are large swathes of dry and drought prone areas. Per capita availability of water is on the fast decline because of burgeoning population. Agriculture is said to be the single largest consumer of water, but industrial demand now shows the fastest growth. A disturbing fact about ground water is that it is increasingly getting polluted due to access use of pesticides in the fields. Bore wells and tube wells are either silting up, getting short of water or are drawing polluted water. Private purchase of water from tankers is unreliable in quality and also is expensive.
In this situation it makes ecological and financial sense not to waste the rain water available in large quantity on our roofs. Dr PC Jain of Udaipur realised this fact about two decades back and started persuading people to save rain water. Because of his efforts over 1,400 families of the city including various institutions like the Railways, medical college, etc conserve rain water. This system uses a building’s rooftop as a catchment area. After the rain falls, the water is channeled through pipe directly to the bore well or the tube well. A 1,000 square ft of roof area with one cm rain fall yields 1,000 litre of water in an average year of rain. This reveals the potential in rainwater harvesting.
Dr Jain clicked the idea around 1990 when he read a news item in a leading English daily. The news was from Dewas (Madhya Pradesh), where the people had decided to do something about their chronic water shortage. The entire city embarked on a massive rainwater harvesting programme and had phenomenal success in meeting their water needs and recharging their severely depleted groundwater table. Inspired with it Dr Jain started the work in Udaipur, thus becoming an unusual doctor. He encouraged all kinds of local citizens to install rainwater systems in their homes, offices, schools and community buildings. Interestingly, his wife, Dr Manju Jain, a homeopath, is his close associate in this endeavour.
Dewas water filter that Dr Jain has adopted enjoys the backing of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) also. When asked how he started the work he says, “First I installed the system in my own house. It not only improved the water level but also bettered the taste of water. Buoyed over it I approached the Medical College to adopt it. But there were two opinions there on it. But the laboratory results silenced all the critics. Then I spoke to my friends, relatives and the people of the city at large. Meanwhile, the Railways also agreed to install the system to recharge an old well at Rana Pratap Railway Station.” Installation of the system in one house costs about Rs 10,000. If one installs it in the under construction house the cost reduces to just Rs 5,000.
The wonder that Dr PC Jain does
1,400 families in Udaipur opt for roof top water harvesting
System costs Rs 10,000 in old buildings and just Rs 5,000 in under construction houses
Conducts street plays, bhajans, songs, presentations in conferences, congregations in clubs to motivate people
Both husband and wife dedicated to the cause
De-addicted 3,500 people of alcohol, tobacoo, heroin, opium, etc.
Why Rainwater harvesting is need of the hour?
Provides supplemental water for the city requirement
Increases soil moisture levels for greenery
Mitigates flooding and improves the quality of groundwater
Reduces demand on bore wells/tube wells enabling ground water levels to be sustained.
Rajasthan has a rich tradition of rain water harvesting since ancient time. Majority of the old houses used to have water tanks known as ‘tankas’ in local parlance. The water stored in ‘tankas’ was used throughout the year. The old houses with ‘tankas’, in Jodhpur and in the capital city of Jaipur can be seen even today and they are very much in use. In Jaipur, it is known as chauka system. Unfortunately, the new generations have ignored this method. But now they realise the old system was better.
Dr Jain is committed to the cause so much that he conducts different activities to educate the people—perform street plays, organise bhajans and songs, conducts presentations in conferences, congregations in clubs and meetings with local people. “We can produce anything in the labs but not the water. Therefore the only option is to save it today for tomorrow,” he says lamenting that he has so far spent about Rs 80,000 on writing to different authorities but the response has been very poor. But he is satisfied with the outcome of his efforts in Udaipur. All the families who opted for it witnessed miraculous results both in quality of water and in water level. A salty well turned sweet. Similarly, a girls’ hostel, which used to spend Rs 3.65 lakh per year on water tankers, saves this amount every year after installing this system. According to CGWB, hardly 10 per cent of the rainwater goes into the land and rest flows through the drains. It is because of the concrete roads, streets and the sewage system. The access drawing of ground water has adversely damaged the quality of the water. “Rain water has the capacity to maintain this balance,” Dr Jain adds.
Experts say India can save 85 billion cubic meter water through harvesting rain water alone, which is more than the water flows in certain rivers like Krishna (78.12 billion cubic meter), Kavery (21) Mahanadi (66), Narmada (45 billion cubic meters), etc. The Central Ground Water Board has identified 9,41,541 sq. meter area in the country where ground water recharge system can be adopted on large scale. But this work has to be done by the State governments and not by the Centre. The governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra have taken some effective steps in this regard. In Tamil Nadu alone it proved excellent and many states took it as role model. Since its implementation, Chennai saw a 50 per cent rise in water level in five years and the water quality significantly improved. Officially, rooftop rainwater harvesting systems are now mandatory for new buildings in 18 of the country’s 28 states and four of the seven Union Territories. But the poor implementation draws poor results. Dr PC Jain’s initiative is eye opener for all of us. Instead of erying for water pollution or scarcity, we should take steps to recharge the ground water level if we wish to keep the lifeline of our future generations functioning.
SWAYAMSEVAKS HELP BUS VICTIMS
On August 31, a private bus carrying 78 devotees from Kolkata unexpectedly caught fire at Thirupullanai, near Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu early morning at around 1 am. The devotees were moving towards Kanyakumari after having darshan of Lord Ramanathaswamy at Ramesh-waram. Five persons died on the spot and five were injured and hospitalised. On hearing the news, the swayamsevaks from Ramanathapuram district rushed to the spot. Shri Aadalarasan, Prant Karyavah, along with swayamsevaks coordinated the relief activity.
SWAYAMSEVAKS CLEAN HEBBAL FLY OVER SURROUNDINGS IN BENGALURU
The Sewa Vibhag of the RSS in Bengaluru organised ‘Sewa Sanghik’ on August 31 near Hebbal Fly Over. Nearly 259 swayamsevaks along with 50 BBMP workers cleaned the surroundings. They also cleaned areas near railway track and the nearby temples. Shri Krishnamurthy, RSS Mahanagar Sewa Pramukh requested the public, street merchants and others to maintain cleanliness at their surroundings. BBMP Yelahanka Commissioner Virupaksha Mysore, BBMP Member Ashwattha Narayan Gouda, Dr Jayaprakash, RSS Bengaluru Mahanagar Sah Karyavah and others were also present during the Sewa Sanghik.
SEWA INTERNATIONAL BHARAT (SIB) Appeal for support to flood - hit people in Jammu & Kashmir
Sewa International is working with Jammu Kashmir Sahayata Samiti for providing relief to the flood affected. Your timely help may save a life, provide food to the hungry or shelter to people who have been displaced due to floods.
Kolkata unit of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram organised a two-day medical camp in Simlapal and Ranibandh Blocks of Bankura district in West Bengal from July 19 to 20. On July 19, the camp began at Butsahar village, about 25 km from Garhbeta station deep into forest area, where 450 patients, mostly Vanvasi, were provided medical services and treatments.
A total of 53 patients were identified with eyesight problem for whom spectacles were to be sent in about 20-30 days. A total of 44 patients were identified with cataract and othereye problems needing surgery or advance treatments. These patients were brought to Kolkata on July 28 for surgery and treatment. On July 20, the camp was organised in Nachana village, 10 km from Ranibandh. A total of 390 were treated. The health team included doctors and medical students from CMC, NRS, KPC and AIIMS. They were assisted with teams of 20+ volunteers from local villages at each place.
SWAYAMSEVAKS RUSH IN FOR RESCUE OPERATION AT PUNE LANDSLIDE
On July 30, a massive landslide, occurred in Malin Village of Ambegaon tehsil in Pune.This turned the whole village into debris. All 44 houses and around 200 locals residing in them were hit by the landslide caused by a burst of heavy rainfall. A team of National Disaster ResponseForce (NDRF) of 80 people reached the spot but with continued heavy rains relief operations were still difficult. Before the official operation could start, Shri Ganesh Khandeshi, a swayamsevak of Dibhe who also holds the responsibility of Amegaon Taluka Karyavah of RSS reached there. He instantly informed the swayamsevaks from Manchar and Moshi and a team of around 60 swayamsevaks reached there. Due to rains and increasing number of people and relatives pouring in toward Malin, it was difficult to take control of the situation. Still swayamsevaks along with the NDRF volunteers started the work around 3pm and rescued a woman and a child at around 5 pm.
The real testing work was managing the last rites of dead bodies. Administration was clearing the debris but nobody was bothered about the dead bodies. As the whole village was infected and no relative was alive to claim the bodies, performing last rituals was the real challenge. The swayamsevaks not only assured to get necessary material for the funeral but ensured dignified last rites. In fact, district administration officially issued letter to the RSS team to handle this matter. The work of managing the team ofdoctors, helping the administration in getting the dead bodies out of debris and performing last rites continued for three days.
YESTERDAY’S ‘RECEIVERS’ ARE TURNING INTO TODAY’S ‘GIVERS’
The Sangh swayamsevaks today carry out 1,38,667 sewa projects across the country. One of the major outcomes of these projects is that those who’ve received the sewa yesterday are now involved in serving others. This change of mindset symbolises the impact of the sewa work by Sangh swayamsevaks. The Editor of Organiser Prafulla Ketkar and Senior Correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Suhasrao Hiremath in Delhi to know about the sewa activities. Excerpts:
• What is the present status of the services being carried out by Sangh swayamsevaks across the country?
The Sangh swayamsevaks carry out sewa activities at different levels through about 600 organisations. Most of these organisations are now a part of the Rashtriya Sewa Bharati—an umbrella organisation formed through 2003. These organisations run about 57,000 service projects across the country. The other organisations, which we call mother organisations like VHP, Kalyan Ashram, Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), Bharat Vikas Parishad, Sewa Bharati, Saksham, etc. run about 81,000 projects. Hence, we can say that the swayamsevaks together run a total of 1,38,667 projects in the country today. We have projects dedicated for education, health, social uplift and self-reliance. The projects range from Balwadis to schools, dispensaries tohospitals, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to employment training institutes, and Bhajan Mandalis to hostels. The schools run by Vidya Bharati are not accounted as sewa work—they are treated as constructive activity.
• What is the thinking behind organising Sewa Sangams?
With the objective of bringing all workers associated with the sewa work together to help them visualise the big picture and the vision of the work done, help them share their experiences with each other and above all boost their self-confidence, the first Sewa Sangam was organised in Bengaluru in 2010. About 1000 workers attended that Sewa Sangam. In fact, many of them expanded sewa work in their respective areas after attending that Sangam. I have no hesitation in saying that our Bengaluru Sewa Sangam has almost doubled the service projects and helped the workers extend their learnings in other fields.
• What is the contribution of sewa work in national life?
Swayamsevaks have been doing sewa work since the beginning, but it was formally institutionalised by senior workers like Shri Yadavrao Joshi, Shri Moropant Pingle, etc. about 60-70 years back. With the expansion of the Sangh work, the number of swayamsevaks increased and this workforce is always ready to provide selfless service during calamities. But now the swayamsewaks are encouraged to visit Sewa Bastis and take up any sewa activity there as per the needs of people. In order to expand and manage this work and train as well as sensitise the workers, the Sewa Vibhag was formed in the Sangh.
• What have been the turning points in this journey?
For us sewa is a medium of transforming the society. But through these services we don’t want to make those who are getting sewa lazy. We want that the one who is being served today should aspire to become the server tomorrow. That is how and why our projects have been and can have a lasting impact on the society.
We have around 6000 projects in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. This district has witnessed large scale conversions in past decades. But after our projects came into being, conversions have stopped. In fact, through our efforts we’ve been able to achieve total prohibition in these villages, and crimes against women have also come down.
We also have achieved good success in rehabilitation of nomadic communities in Maharashtra. We studied their problems and started different activities for them. Today we have hostels for 12 such communities and about 2000 students from these hostels have excelled in their life. We tried to make them self-reliant by imparting them different kinds of training. The families associated with us have almost stopped begging, stealing, consuming alcohol and indulging in any other anti-social activity. Some of the youth from these communities, both boys and girls, have even begun working as full time workers for Bhatke Vimukta Vikas Parishad.
Sewa work has also helped in eradicating untouchability. We have successfully bridged the gap between upper and lower classes. The Gram Pujari scheme started by VHP in Tamil Nadu proved to be a big hit. They organised a training camp of such Pujaris. About 55000 Pujaris attended the camp. Among them, about 80 per cent of them were SCs/STs. There was a time when these people didn’t had access to temples in Tamil Nadu, today they’re the Pujaris in these temples. Similar experiment was done in Andhra Pradesh by VHP in association with the Tirupati Devosthanam.
Our SHGs have women memberfrom all communities and they work together. In Kanyakumari, the village Sarpanch objected to the joining of a lower caste woman in such a group and he repeatedly insisted and even allured to oust the woman from the group. But the workers outrightly rejected the pressure. Today many full time activists are from lower communities only. By and large the yesterday’s ‘receivers’ have now turned as ‘givers’.
• Some people have questioned the financial help to some Sangh inspired projects from abroad. How do you look at it?
Most of our projects, about 90 per cent, are supported and funded by the local people and not even the government. The donation coming from abroad also comes only from the NRIs who want to contribute in the development of their respective regions. But that amount too comes only after the necessary rules and procedures are followed. During calamities also the help comes only after following due procedures. Since we do not get any fund even from the government, there is no question of taking money from foreign Foundations.
• What is the status of Gram Vikas activities by swayamsevaks?
We emphasise that any sewa activity should begin at the village level where we have a Sangh Shakha. Today, the work has begun in about 2000 such villages. Out of them there are about 600 villages where we have performed well in different fields like education, health, environment protection, water conservation, samskar, etc. Apart from it, there are about 125 villages where we can claim holistic development. We called such villages Prabhat Grams. We work so that these villages remain free from hunger, diseases, illiteracy, alcohol, dispute, untouchabilty, etc.
• The religious organisations also carry out sewa activities on large scale. Do we have any coordination with them also?
It has already begun in Tamil Nadu where Shri S Gurumurthyji organises Hindu Spiritual Service Fair every year. It prominently showcases sewa activities being done by religious organisations. Lakhs of people join it to have first hand information about sewa. It also acts as a good platform to exchange ideas. Kanchi Acharya has played a vital role in this initiative. Shri Gunwant Singh Kothari, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sewa Pramukh, now has the full time responsibly of coordinating with the religious organisations, as there are efforts to organise such Service Fairs in every state.
• Are there any major planning’s for the future?
Efforts are on to start sewa work in all the Sewa Bastis of cities within next five years. This work has to be done with the help of local Sangh Shakhas. In Vanvasi areas also we want to reach every village. We have also decided to start sewa work in the backward villages, even in places where we do not have any Shakha. We are planning to mobilise man power for it. In Karnataka we have already mobilised about 27000
• What is being done to encourage the Youth?
The Youth for Sewa experiment started in Bengaluru has proved to be fruitful. About 2000 youth, both working and students, are doing Sewa. Some of them even teach free of cost in government schools. This work has now spread to Maharashtra and other states too. people for this work.
• What about those who are retired?
We are mobilising such people under Vanprasthi Yojna. In Rajasthan, it has good impact. There are regular camps for such people there.
There are people who dedicate from one month to one year or more for the society.
8TH ANNUAL DAY FUNCTION OF 'SANVEDANA'
8th annual day function and the inauguration of Souvenir was organised on 21st August in the premises of 'Sanvedana'.
The District collector sri Panduranga Pole, Sri Laxmikantji Lahoti, President of leading Dayanand group of educational institutions, Dr Saritha Manthri, Dean of MIT Medical college graced the function. The parents and well wishers attended the function in good number.
The programme started by 'Shubham karothi kalyanam' sung by all the children. The dance programme with the message of 'Thare jamin per' by the children with CP, thrilled all the guests and parents.
The admired DC called the children as 'Stars on the earth' and told that he was inspired not only as an officer, but as a 'person'.
Sri Lahotiji appreciated the efforts done by the teachers with affection and patience, being the secret of success of the project. Dr. Manthri madam expressed that, though she had seen such type of projects before, this is unique and with difference. She lauded the human touch and dedication of all the staff which is being visible on the faces of children. And she stressed the need of such centres in large numbers to overcome the problem of disability. The programme was concluded by 'vandematharam' sung by all the students.
YOJAK: DOCUMENTING AND PROMOTING THE INVENTIONS BY UNSUNG INNOVATORS
After Independence, we invested huge amount of money on invention of big farm equipments like tractors and other machines. But nothing substantially could be done for efficiency improvement in daily farm activities. True to the saying “necessity is the mother of invention”, this work is done by innumerable grass roots innovators as per their local requirements. Most of such innovators are so-called illiterate people without any technical background. But they are passionate as they know what they are doing will ultimately benefit the society in long run. Pune based YOJAK has initiated concrete steps to document and promote the inventions by such unsung innovators. Shri Arjun Shinde is a marginalised farmer belonging to Jalna district of Maharashtra. One day while ploughing the field one of the bullocks from the pair suddenly stopped working. Arjun’s work suffered hugely, as most of his farm implements were two-bullocks-operated. Somehow, he managed that year. But the moment changed his life. He started working on single bullock driven implements for various activities of farming. And he did it successfully. Till date, he has invented 17 such implements—literally from the waste material. He sells all such implements locally. There is huge demand for his products, as they practically make the farm work easier. Dada Wadekar from Thane district is another gross roots innovator. In the last 20 years he has developed a set of implements, which can do almost all basic activities of farming which involves lot of drudgery and time. His set of 16 implements cost only Rs 1,200. He has developed sickle for left handers as they face lot of difficulty to use common sickle.Equally, Shri Pravin Lad, a young farmer living on the borders of Jalna-Aurangabad district in Maharashtra, runs small fabrication unit, which is the main source of his livelihood. Considering scope of small implements, he has developed more than 50 such implements. Few of them have been developed by him, while others are manufactured based on available information. Pravin is passionate about his work and is constantly involved in developing new implements. He was able to keep costs low by using recycled material as well as making single machine for multiple operations. Shri Ravindra Karde lives in a village near Ahmednagar city. He is dry land farmer with Jowar as the main crop. Cereal sowing is a difficult task with greater chances of loss of seeds due to wind and other physical barriers. So seed requirement rate for cereals like Jowar, Bajara, etc are relatively high. Considering this constraint, he developed cereal sowing-machine using plastic pipe. This non-fuel machine can be operated using bullock or a person can drive it on its own. It helps clean and neat sowing of cereals, decrease seed consumption and reduce time required for sowing. In semi-arid regions, large tracts are covered with cereals crops. This machine is a miracle for the small farmers.Arjun Shinde, Dada Wadekar, Pravin Lad or Ravindra Karde are just few examples of India’s grass roots innovators. There are innumerable such innovators, who silently work to improve the lives of local people, but their contribution is neither recognised nor is their work documented anywhere. No government agency or corporate CSR initiative support such inventions.But Pune based YOJAK has taken a big initiative in this regard not only to promote their inventions but also to spread their work on big canvas. The spread of mechanisation in our country is driven by structured system of research to extension involving research institutes and government extension machinery. In the whole process, thrust is on large equipments and nobody cares for the equipments needed in daily life by farmers or the farm labourers. Spread of tractor is one of the indicators to measure mechanisation progress in India. Green Revolution in Northern India also strengthened the conceptual utility of large implements only. But situation in other parts of the country, especially in hilly tracts like central India’s Vanvasi areas, is different. Small holdings on undulating land have not supported promotion of large implements for agriculture purposes. Situation of small farmers is very difficult all over the country. There is stagnation in productivity, increase in costs and climate change making agriculture more vulnerable. Non-availability of labour has become a major issue in most of the rural areas. Appropriate mechanisation is one way to cope up with such situation.Last year, some organisations jointly organised ‘Tech for Seva’ Conference in Pune. The sub theme of the Conference was ‘Implements for Small and Marginal Farmers’. “We gathered information and involved around 40 such innovators across Maharashtra in the Conference. Implements developed by them were displayed during the Conference. For the first time, their innovation was displayed in any scientific conference before reputed scientists. We know we can get such innovators across India. All of them are working on their own without any formal support. But their cause is noble. It is for society and it is our duty to support them constructively,” says Dr Gajanan Dange, president YOJAK Centre for Research and Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development.Dr Dange is very serious on promoting such innovators across the country. He has conducted a study of the problems frequently faced by them. “These innovators need technical guidance on design, material to use and effective combination of material and cost reduction ideas to refine their innovation. They also need financial support. Bank linkages are needed to increase their production. Since they lack knowledge of lab to market process, they need training regarding standardisation, authorisation, market based production, etc,” Dr Dange added.It is necessary that at this juncture when we are talking about Ever Green Revolution, we need to call for societal support to such grass roots innovators. “Center for Promotion of Appropriate Agriculture Mechanisa-tion is need of the hour. Such Centres are required at each agro ecological zone identified by the National Agricultural Research System (NARS). This Centre can act as a catalyst to promote appropriate technologies related to mechanisation in agriculture. The Centre proposes to involve all necessary stakeholders like government, farmers groups, CSR groups, non-government organisations and interested individuals to develop platform to support these innovators,” says Shri Kapil Sahasrabuddhe, vice president of the YOJAK.Apart from it, efforts should also be made to prepare literature especially in local, regional languages about such implements. The literature can include small films, technical designs, pamphlets, presentations etc. YOJAK is planning to establish such Centre’s in different agro-ecological zones with the help of like-minded individuals, groups or CSRs.
Food For Thought:-
You must always be prepared to do the duty that your country may demand of you. Love your countrymen and promote unity among them. A large Spirit of toleration and forbearance, and a larger spirit of loving service is demanded of you. We expect you to devote as much of your time and energy as you can spare to the uplift of your humble brethren. We expect you to work in their midst, to share their sorrows and their joys, to strive to make their lives happier in every way you can.
–Convocation Address of Malaviyaji on 14 Dec 1929.