Monday, September 4, 2017

Sewa Sandesh August 2017

Raksha Bandhan with our Rakshaks

Sewa International’s Uttarakhand chapter celebrated Rakshabandhan by tying Rakhi on the hands of security personnel from paramilitary forces from Barahot to Tapovan. The women from various SHGs and Sewa Mahila Jyoti program went to the border posts and tied rakhis to the rakshaks (brave soldiers), who risk their lives for our safety and security. The women prayed for their well-being, long life and victory. It was a touching sight to see these brave men moved when tilak was applied on their forehead and the sacred thread tied. Many of these men were away from their families for long. The celebration brought back memories of home and loved ones.

Independence Day Celebration @ Uttarakhand

Sewa International celebrated Independence Day with patriotic fervour. At various project sites, school and college students, trainees, celebrated the day by hoisting the Tricolour and singing the National Anthem. All the PMKK centres in Uttarakhand joined the celebrations with great enthusiasm and gaiety. Sweets were distributed at the end of the event. Everyone took the pledge of Swachchta (cleanliness) and promised to work towards making the country great again.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is an active tropical cyclone that is causing unprecedented and catastrophic flooding in south-eastern Texas. It is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005. What set Harvey apart was its rain. Once the storm made landfall, it essentially stalled, turning roads in Houston and elsewhere into raging rivers.  The hurricane started as Category 1 on 23 August but within 48 hours it rapidly ballooned into Category 4, bringing unprecedented rains. Harvey has caused at least 33 confirmed deaths; 1 in Guyana, and 32 in the United States. Catastrophic inland flooding is ongoing in the Greater Houston area.
It has inundated parts of the Houston area with more than 40 inches of rain. In some places, totals have surpassed 50 inches, setting a new record. Harvey is hitting Louisiana, as this goes to print and is likely to affect hundreds of miles of coastline. It has been called “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” The economic losses are estimated to range anywhere from $10 billion to $50 billion.
Sewa USA and its volunteers are working round the clock for the relief and rescue of people affected in Texas. Sewa USA has set up Food Kitchens and they are handing out 2500 meals every day to the affected people. Sewa USA volunteers are working in tandem with other agencies, providing relief and rescue. At least 200 Indian students were stranded at the University of Houston due to "catastrophic" flooding. They were evacuated to safer places and provided food and shelter with the help of Sewa USA volunteers. Sewa is working towards its goal ‘to be first responders at any disaster’, and with the help of an impressive battalion of dedicated volunteers, are providing yeomen’s service and acting as an inspiration.

North India Floods

All the 6 major states of Northern India are reeling under floods, along with the neighbour country, Nepal. The floods have claimed more than 700 lives and affected more than 21 million people. The worst hit state is Bihar, claiming 514 lives so far and the death toll is set to rise, as there has been no respite from the rains till this newsletter went for print. Sewa International volunteers have been working relentlessly for the relief and rescue of those trapped in the flooded areas. Sewa International has released donation appeals for the same, on various platforms including social media.

Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa

World Organ donation Day was organized on 13th August by Sewa International at Public Awareness Program Sewa International Office, Tapovan Mandal, district Chamoli. While highlighting the process and importance of Anganwadi through the awareness program, it was told that there is still lack of awareness about organ donation in India. Apart from providing a new lease of life, it could help in research related to human life, medical education and genetic development. There are also various myths and suspicion related to organ donation but there is a need to overcome them, for which this priceless initiative can be stepped up with the help of government / non-governmental organizations at various levels. All misconceptions regarding organ donation were expelled and the process explained in detail. Any medical college, University or any recognized registration platform can be approached for organ donation in person or online. The desired information should then be filled in the prescribed application form. This can be done separately for donating a particular organ or donating the full body. After registration, the registration card is received by the donor like a donation card. To promote this noble cause, many celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, Vivek Oberoi, etc., have pledged to donate their organs. Sewa International too has aligned itself with the cause. It is leaving no stone unturned to inspire people to come out of age-old dogmas and usher the new dawn of science; helping themselves and human kind, through organ donation.

Bamboo TOT Program

On 21 Aug 2017, Sewa Uttarakhand undertook a 20-days Training of the Trainers (TOT) program titled ‘Ringal Training Program’ in Subhayi village of Tapovan Mandal. This 20-day program was designed to teach the local women to make beautiful artefacts out of Bamboo. The products made by these women would then be sold on different platforms viz. market fairs, exhibitions, artisan haat, as well as online. A total of 23 women attended this ToT.  Mr. Prem Lal was the Master Trainer. The initiative was a part of Sewa International’s effort towards women empowerment. Sewa International is running skill development programs in various parts of the country, with a special focus on women, in order to make them economically independent, which is an important indicator for empowerment. Sewa International is proceeding further towards the goal of self -sustainability, supporting and realizing the vision of “Kaushal Bharat- Kushal Bharat.” The journey continues with many hues, one among them is this ‘Ringal Training Program’.
SIB Represented at Various Forums

Facebook’s NGO Day
On 1st August 2017, Facebook organised a Workshop to apprise organizations, active in the social sector, of the different tools that they can use to reach out to a larger audience and create an impact. Apart from sharing the usability and utility of each and every feature provided by Facebook, inspiring stories were shared by founding members of organizations like Nipman Foundation and Feeding India. SIB was represented by Mily Gildiyal, in-charge of HR & Social Media and Chitrakshee, an intern working on e-marketing, at the Workshop.

ASSOCHAM’s Skills Seminar cum Award Ceremony
On 9th August, Assocham organized a Seminar cum Award Ceremony to felicitate the good work done by various agencies involved in Skill Development initiatives.  Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy Ji ( Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) was the Chief Guest at the event. He felicitated the achievers and asked them to continue their good work with greater momentum and reach. He along with other eminent personalities shared their experiences and thoughts on the importance and innovative methods of skill development.

RIS Conference
Research and Information Centre for Developing Countries, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs organised a Conference on South-South and Triangular Cooperation on 24-25 August 2017 at India Habitat Centre,  New Delhi. Mr. Shyam Parande. Managing Trustee of SIB, was invited to speak in the session tiled ‘Future Research Agenda and Policy Imperatives’. He shared Sewa International’s experience and Modus Operandi to arrive at plausible policy initiatives that will benefit the society at large, especially the last man in need.
Contact us:
Plot No. 49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi - 110002 (Bharat)
Tel: 011-43007650 | |

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sewa Sandesh
July 2017
A 3-day comprehensive Train the Trainers (TTT) Workshop was conducted by Aayushi Ketkar and Mily Gildiyal from SI Head Office, Delhi at Chandrapuri Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra for the newly inducted trainers of Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi. The Workshop, held from 12 to 14 July, touched upon all key aspects of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yogana 2.0, its aims and objectives, how it is different from its predecessor (PMKVY 1.0), the stringent assessment and evaluation parameters, Qualification Packs (QP) and National Occupation Standards (NOS), attendance and other prerequisites that need to be met. An exclusive session, imparting new tools & techniques for delivering interactive theory sessions for the students that enroll for PMKK, was given to the new Trainers; of whom, some had already teaching experience while others were freshers. The final day saw the newly-inducted trainers give a brief mock class room session of 20 minutes, based on the new knowledge and skills they had acquired over the 2 days of their intensive training. Feedback of their performance was shared with them and their Centre Heads and areas of improvement earmarked for future training and mentoring sessions that will be held online on a weekly basis from Delhi Head Office.
India is prone to natural disasters on account of its geographical features, flanked by the mighty Himalayas and its ever-shifting tectonic plates.  Floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides have been a recurrent phenomena here. The vision of Sewa International is to be first responder in any disaster – natural or manmade. Hence, recognizing the need to contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts, Sewa International is developing its own mechanism to provide humanitarian assistance during disasters. keeping this in mind, Sewa International Uttarakhand conducted a 3-days Disaster Management Workshop to train its staff as primary responders in rescue and relief operations in time of disaster. The training module included both indoor and outdoor training. This 3-day training was conducted by trained professionals from the State Disaster Management Cell.
Skill India is a national movement bringing together multiple stakeholders on a common platform to maximise the potential of India’s youth. Sewa International celebrated International Skill Day on 15 July. The International Co-ordinator of Sewa International, Mr Shyam Parnade, took to social media on that day to wish all the volunteers and workers of Sewa International as well as all those involved in the noble task of skilling the youth and making them ready to Job. Sewa International organized Kaushal Mela at all our 5 newly formed Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) in Uttarakhand viz. Dehradun, Haridwar, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, and Uttarkashi. The trainees participated in the program enthusiastically. The dignitaries present at the events applauded the efforts of Sewa International and assured all support for our project. Sewa International fair on this day is organised to celebrate the unified efforts and the convergence in skill training initiatives to achieve quality and scale in our ecosystem.
Sewa International  actively got involved in Flood Relief and Rescue Operations in Gujarat, Assam and Rajasthan.  From raising funds through SI website to participating in relief and rescue operations in the flood-affected areas, Sewa International, lived up to its commitment of serving humanity in distress. 250 Sewa volunteers were engaged in more than 70 villages of Banaskantha and Patan districts of Gujarat, a large part of which continues to reel under oods. Sewa International volunteers distributed 1.6 lakh food packets, medicines and water bottles. They started help centres in Radhanpur and Deesa (in Banaskantha), alerted people living in low-lying areas which would be affected due to release of water from Sipu and Dantiwada dams, so that they can shift along with their valuables and cattle. Sewa International provided food items to 15,000 affected people and temporary shelter arrangements to the victims.
Sewa International appeals every citizen to contribute towards the cause !!
Payment by Cheque/Draft
You may make donation by your personal cheque payable to "Sewa International" and mail it to:
Sewa International
49, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg,
New Delhi -110002, India
Payment by Direct Bank Transfer
For Foreign Donations-
Sewa International
Account No.- 10080533326
Jhandewala Extn Branch(Delhi)
State Bank of India
Branch Code- 9371
Swift Code- SBININBB550
IFS Code – SBIN0009371                               
For Local Donations-
Sewa International
Account No.- 10080533304
Jhandewala Extn Branch(Delhi)
State Bank of India
Branch Code – 9371
IFS Code – SBIN0009371                                            
For Online :
Contact us:
Plot No. 49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi - 110002

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sewa Sandesh
June 2017

Sewa International organized a grand inaugural celebration of a hostel that they built for children orphaned during the killer earthquake of 2015; in Dhading district of Nepal. More than 500 people attended the program, where the local youth showcased their talent.  The hostel named “Amako Maya Chatrawas” has been built to accommodate fifty earthquake orphaned children. Dr. Sree Sreenath, President of Sewa International, USA, said that it indeed takes a village to raise a child and that the name of Dhading Hostel "Amako Maya Chatrawas" should live up to its promise as the "Abode of Mother's Love". He said that local children and youth should interact with students at the hostel and become their brothers and sisters. He urged local village mothers to provide "vatsalya" (love and care) to the orphaned children and treat them as their own. He said that hostel facilities would be utilized for community development activities such as vocational and skill training. Mr. Shiv Mishra, Coordinator, Sewa Columbus (Ohio, USA), Mr. Shyam Parande, Global Secretary, Sewa International, India attended the program and,  Llama Jugdol of the International Buddhist Federation, Nepal Representative, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Mr. Goel, the Nepal Chatravas Committee Member was also present at the event. One of the challenges Sewa International faced during the construction of the hostel, was the road. The hostel winds through very difficult terrain in the mountains, and the last mile approaching the hostel is extremely difficult to traverse.  Hence all construction material had to be carried manually by workers the entire 'last mile', and since labor in the mountainous terrain is hard to find, the construction of the building was time-consuming.  Mayor Bhim Dhungana has promised a newly paved road leading to the hostel.

When it comes to health, your zip code shouldn’t matter. Sewa International is committed towards providing healthcare in every nook and corner of the country. This week, under our Swasth Kashi Program, Sewa International organized its second health camp on 25 June 2017, in Ramnagar, Varanasi. The camp was conducted by Senior Doctors from Banaras Hindu University. The team of doctors consisted of various specialists like Dentist, Gynaecologist, Pediatrician and an Otolaryngologist. More than 500 beneficiaries of the camp got their health profile prepared free of cost. Essential medicines were also distributed to the people of Ramnagar and surrounding areas. The people of Ramnagar expressed their gratitude to Sewa Kashi volunteers, who carried out the camp. One of our volunteers said, “They showed gratitude, but for us, it is an expression of our humanity. Our service is an ode to their daily struggles which they fight so gracefully.”

Under the Sewa Mahila Jyoti program, Sewa International initiated the community knitting training camp at Chamola village in Simli cluster on 21 June 2017. This 20-day first-of-its-kind training camp will be conducted across 50 villages. During the period 2017-18, this training program is expected to empower more than 1000 women. Panchayati Raj institutions and office bearers of local bodies are being actively associated with the program. In the near future, Sewa International is planning to extend the target area for conducting such training programs and expand its activities in the coming phases of the program.

Yoga that unifies the mind, body, and soul, is now playing an important role in bringing the world together. Thousands of people woke up early on Wednesday morning to perform Yoga on International Yoga day.  The UN International Day of Yoga is celebrated every year on June 21. In one of the biggest events in the country, Sewa International organized Yoga Day celebrations in Ramnagar area of Varanasi. More than 200 people participated in the program. The event was lead by qualified yoga practitioners’ Dr.Kalpana, Mr. Sambhu Gupta, Mr. Ajit Singh. Everybody performed various asanas including Surya Namaskar during an hour-long session. 
Sewa International has been working for the development of Reang (Bru) tribe in Mizoram. Due to the ethnic conflict that took place in 1997, more than 35,000 Reangs had to leave their homes in Tripura, and cross the state on foot. They now live in 7 camps in Mizoram; Sewa International is imparting skill training to the youths living in these camps, with a vision to provide them livelihood opportunities. Sewa International also runs free coaching centers for the kids in the camp called ‘Bru Education Centers’. A total number of 15 centers are running in Naisinghpara and Ashapara camps. The kids belong to all age groups and they study English, Maths, Science, and Social Sciences. The instructors help them with their homework and those who are not yet enrolled in school, are taught the basics informally.  In the evening, these education centers become a hub of myriad activities. Sewa International is working relentlessly for creating a better future for the Bru tribes and moving one step at a time to achieve this goal. 
‘Promoting Volunteerism’ is the motto of Sewa International. In our journey spanning across 2 decades, we have come across fabulous volunteers. Needless to say, it is learning and enriching experience both ways. One such volunteer has shared her experience with us. Her name is Nazia Aqueel. Here is what she has to say:
My name is Nazia Aqueel, I was born in Karachi, Pakistan. I came to America at a very young age, so I basically grew up in Houston. When I was a kid, my father gave me a toy box full of things regarding medicine. I fell in love with the thought of becoming a Healer ever since and dreamed of becoming a Doctor. My parents fully supported my childish stubbornness at the time to save lives, and they are the reason I am currently a Pre-Med/ Biotechnology Major at the University of Houston today.

Joining Sewa was probably one of the best decisions I have made during my college years. This organization has given me a dose of reality that has ultimately made me feel grateful for my life, and help those in need. Going to events organized to help individuals and families beyond Houston area, is an experience that makes me feel like I am actually doing something useful. With my age and financial background, there are huge limitations when it comes to being of aid to others. Sewa has taught me that it is possible to help regardless of the giver's circumstances. The people involved in this organization are amazing, and I have learned so much from all of them. I hope to see Sewa grow manifoldly and to be a part of their family for a very long time.
Contact us:
Plot No. 49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi - 110002

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Inaugurates Hostel for Orphaned Children in Nepal

Fifty boys, orphaned in the twin earthquakes that shook Nepal in 2015, now find refuge in a newly constructed hostel in Dhading, Nepal, courtesy of Sewa International.
In his speech on June 3, 2017, at the inauguration of the hostel, Dr. Sree Sreenath, Director, Complex Systems Biology Center and Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and president of Sewa International, USA, said that it indeed takes a village to raise a child, and that the name of the Dhading Hostel — “Amako Maya Chatrawas” should live up to its promise as the “Abode of Mother’s Love”. He said that local children and youth should interact with students at the hostel and become their brothers and sisters. He urged local village mothers to provide “vatsalya” (love and care) to the orphaned children and treat them as their own children. He said that hostel facilities would be utilised for community development activities such as vocational and skill training (tailoring, health and hygiene, etc.) 

Seen in this picture where Dr. Sree Sreenath is addressing the audience are, among others, Bhim Dhungana, the newly elected Mayar of Dhading, who has promised a newly paved road to the hostel — as the current road offers very poor access; Shiv Mishra, Sewa Columbus (Ohio, USA) Coordinator who is originally from Nepal; Shyam Parande, Chief Coordinator, Sewa International, India; Llama Jugdol of the International Buddhist Federation, Nepal Representative, and Chief Guest on the occasion; and Mr. Goel, the Nepal Chatravas Committee Member.

At present, one of the challenges is that the road to the hostel winds through very difficult terrain in the mountains, and the last mile approaching the hostel is extremely difficult to traverse.  The construction of the hostel was challenging because all construction material had to be carried by workers over the ‘last mile’, and since labour in the mountainous terrain is hard to find the construction of the building was time consuming.  Mayar Bhim Dhungana has promised a newly paved road to the hostel.

Dhading, Nepal, where the “Amako Maya Chatrawas” hostel has been built to accommodate fifty children who were orphaned after the earthquake in 2015.

Nearly five hundred people attended the inauguration, and the local youth had organized events showcasing the talent of youngsters in the village.

Seen in this picture is the young audience watching the cultural programme organised for the occasion. Nearly 500 local people and dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Sewa International is committed towards the development of Nepal and specially its young generation. This is one of the many steps to ensure our vision of strong and happy Nepal.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sewa Sandesh
May 2017
This week a delegation of social workers and social entrepreneurs from Concern India Foundation visited Sewa International project “Swachh-Shikshit-Kushal Kashi”. The delegation visited SIB's skill development project in Ramnagar area of Varanasi. This project supports and promotes the handloom weavers in Varanasi. The delegation oversaw the project and appreciated the initiative. They showed special interest in the Weaver Training Program of Sewa International and suggested the scaling up of the program so that it could benefit maximum weavers. SewaInternational has been working for the holistic development of handloom weavers and Varanasi area. Concern India Foundation is a registered non-profit charitable trust with Pan -India presence. The foundation is working in the areas of education, health, community development and natural resource management.
On 24 May 2017, a public meeting was held for the project ‘Swachh-Shikshit-Kushal Kashi’ in Varanasi. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Shyam Parande Global Co-ordinator Sewa International. The chief guest of the meeting was Mr. Vinod Tiwari and the special guest was Mr. Dev Bhattacharya. In the meeting, Mr. Shyam Parande emphasized on the need to reach out to the maximum people under SIB's initiative. Various aspects of social services were also discussed. Mr. Bhattacharya elaborated on the use of industrial resources for the social welfare, as to how the industrial sector could be beneficial for the societal development. Around 700 people attended the program. The other distinguished guests who attended the meeting were Dr. Tejbali Singh, Dr. Ramasre Singh, and Mr. Giridharlal Dave.
Adriana Salazar, a social worker and volunteer from Colombia is visiting  Uttarakhand sewa projects. She is visiting various villages in the target areas of Rudraprayag and Chamoli. During her visit she will meet the Self-help groups under SIB's vertical SewaSrujan and visit various computer, knitting, and agriculture demo-centers. During her visit, she would be doing the capacity building with Kishori Samoohas, and Swasthaya Sakhis. She would also trek the Sewa Saahas treks developed by Sewa Uttarakhand team. Adriana is a yoga practitioner and has immense respect and admiration for Indian culture.
The Trust board meeting of Sewa International Bharat was held in Mumbai, on 26 May2017. The meeting was attended by all the trust board members, it started with the prayer for the health and prosperity of mankind. This meeting proceeded as per the agenda and minutes were prepared. The discussion was held on the potential areas of growth and development for SI in the year. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Ramesh Mehta, President Sewa International. Special invitees to the meeting were Mr. Jadhav Gorasia, Mr. Ravi Kumar, Mr. Siddhartha Agicha, and Mr. Ramesh Subrahmaniam.
Bhavnagar in Gujarat is known for social service. The city is known as 'Ganda nun Gaam', the city of mental persons, because many mental patients travelling by trains are dropped here and many local people and organisations look after them. Shishuvihar and the late Maanbhai Bhatt are also known for such works. But now three persons of the city have come forward for the cause of soldiers. They are Janardanbhai Bhatt, Rakshaben Dave and Nimeshbhai Trivedi. Among them, Janardanbhai Bhatt is the highest donor. He donated whopping Rs 1.02 crore for the welfare of soldiers. And that too when he lives on pension!
Shri Bhatt retired from State Bank of Saurashtra as a clerk. Janardanbhai is an RSS swayamsevak. He used to go to Neelkanth Shakha held at RuvapariDarwaja. He says, "My all social work is due to the samskar of the RSS. I learnt honesty, sincerity, integrity, devotion and dedication in the Shakha." He worked with Chandabhai Dave in the union, who is among the pioneer swayamsewaks.
From 1970, Janardanbhai started gifting sweets, fire crackers to orphan children. His union donated Rs 1 lakh for electrification of a cremation ground. Janardanbhai has been doing this work because he has great support from his better half Padmaben who is SwadhyayPariwar worker. Both got married in 1955 and their married life has become inspiration  for many a couple. Janardanbhai donated Rs 6 lakh for dialysis to Bajarangdasbapa Hospital, Bhavnagar. His wife gave Rs 16 lakh to the same hospital next year in memory of her parents.  Janardanbhai could donate such a huge amount because his friend’s father advised him to invest in stock market long ago. This investment is now giving good returns.
After his initiative, significantly two persons came forward for donation. One is Rakshaben Dave. She is also retired professor. She has donated Rs 1 lakh! One Nimeshbhai Trivedi donated Rs 25,000.
Rakshaben says, "When the news of video of soldiers complaining about food served to them broke out, she could not take her meal. I thought what could be done for them? Then I heard news that the soldier was detained." Rakshaben thought to do something for soldiers but didn't know how to do. She has written more than 70 books on Hinduism. So she thought, "When there is will, she will find way also." And then news came from Ashokbhai Pandya, a colleague of Janardanbhai Bhatt about donation. She is now thinking to donate Rs 1 lakh more on Raksha Vandan to such souls! -- (Jaywant Pandya from Ahmedabad).
Every day now and then we come across a person whose life has been touched by Sewa International, and meeting such person is a fulfilling experience both ways. One such person is Maggi ben. The 26-year-old Maggi had many dreams in her eyes. She wanted new dresses for herself like her other friends and some kitchen appliances for her home. But her family income was not sufficient to fulfill these dreams, hence dreams remained unfulfilled for most of her adult life.  Her husband works in the hospital and his salary is 5000/- per month. They were hardly able to save a single penny after arranging basic things for the family.
Maggi belongs to Rabbari community and she resides in Jiyapar village of Naktala block of Kutch district. She was proficient in the traditional embroidery work. Occasionally she used to do the embroidery, on her own clothes. Maggi was desperate to make some money to fulfill her dreams. She met with the representative of SewaInternational and got associated with the organization. SI not only provided her training on embroidery to develop her skills and make her aware of market trends but also gave her employment with the organization.
She is associated with the SI for five-years now. While sharing her experience she says, “I am able to buy new clothes and kitchen appliances, I am no longer dependent on other persons to fulfill my dreams. I feel proud of myself and now I am enjoying my life”, she says with the twinkle in her eyes.