Friday, June 27, 2014

Sewa Sandesh

June 2014

The annual training camp of Sewa Bharati Tamil Nadu concluded with an impressive public function at Korattur Vivekananda Vidyalaya in Chennai onMay 26. The trainees demonstrated various physical activities like yoga, Kollattam, Bhajans, games, etc. Shri Sai Sundar, an industrialist, while presiding over the function emphasised on collective strength, which is bigger than individual strength.
Shri HS Govinda, Kshetra Pracharak Pramukh, emphasised on sewa attitude and explained why a healthy society is required. He also explained what constituted sewa. He said sewa should not be driven by pity gains but should be viewed as a duty. When it is viewed in this manner, sewa becomes a duty. He said we must perform sewa with the objective that it should help the deprived section of the society. A total of 74 trainees attended the camp.
207 Families of Chero Tribe of Rohtas dist. of Bihar has no rehabilitation package and now they are bound to live without roof in these hot days and in coming rainy season. These families were displaced by Govt. of Bihar during implementation of Durgawati River Dam. Families were assured of housing and other rehabilitation facilities by the Govt. of Bihar. All families have been struggling for last five years for their rehabilitation.  About 65 families of Badalgarh have been provided Indira Aawas but windows, doors and roofs have  not yet been completed. Two hand pumps  were provided to villagers which can fulfill only drinking water, leaving out their animal and Poultry needs.
Addressing a meeting on 8th June under a mango tree in the temperature of 48 degees Vice President of Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Shri Kripa Prasad Singh and Zonal Organiser ( Jharkhand, Bihar, Nepal & U.P.) Shri Mahrang Oraon assured of Vanvasi brethren to fight upto its last stage for their rehabilitation .They assured them of utensils, mats & other essential materials to be provided from ABVKA. The persons who graced the occasion were Shri Raghuwansh Prasad Narayan, Dist. President and Vibhag Sangathan Mantri Shri Ram Nagina Pandey. They were assured  that their complaint will be forwarded to  the Govt. of Bihar and the President of India.
Second day, on 9th June leaders of ABVKA visited Athan village on Rohtasgarh hilltop. Five thousand vanvasi bretheren from 67 villages gathered to pay the tribute to vanvasi freedom fighters like Birsa Munda, Jatra Bhagat, Budhu Bir etc who fought for the rights of vanvasi bretheren of Bharat. ABVKA has been working in this area for last 10 years.  Ashram workers are running 65 OTS ( One Teacher Schools), 30 Village Health Centers, 30 Eklabya Khelkud Prakalp, 18 Awareness Centres & 10 Women Empowerment Centres in this area.   Very essential needs of the day like electricity, housing and drinking water facility are not available for the families on this hilltop. Thanks to forest officers who got success to preserve forest of this area despite all odds from last 10 years. Students of these families are getting education in the hostels of Kalyan Ashram such as Jashpur, Varanasi, Kanpur and Jharkhand. Sabita, Babita &  Ashmani are few students of 10th class who participated in this meeting and requested Kalyan Ahram workers to think about the future of students like them.
Shri Doma Singh, Shri Chandru Oraon, Shri Rajesh Oraon, Shri Jhari Singh Kherwar and 18 other local tribal leaders participated in this meeting and requested Kalyan Ashram officials to take care of their families. It was decided to celebrate Rohtasgarh Utsav on 31st January and 1st February 2015 at Rohtasgarh fort.
In our country many brothers and sisters of our society are living below the poverty line. Lakhs of people are working in tea gardens in Assam, Tripura and Bengal, unfortunately still they are struggling hard to earn for daily bread. Many youths have dream to get married but due to poverty they could not afford such ceremonial rituals. So, many of them prefer to use short cut of Gandharva Vivah. But society does not give social status to such couples. Kalyan Ashram came forward to help such couples through Samuhik Vivah  (Group Marriage). From last one decade Ashram has been conducting such marriages in Bengal and Assam, which gives the couple social status. Urban units of organization afford all the expenses and offer gifts to the couples.
On 25th May, Samuhik Vivah  (Group Marriage) was conducted at Salibari near Siliguri of North Bengal  where 101 couples got married. All the couples came along with their relatives and villagers with great enthusiasm.  They wore traditional dresses. All the rituals were conducted with complete sanctity. After rituals couples visited temple and had blessings. All these couples got social status and honour. Everybody was happy and enjoyed delicious dinner. Such functions strengthen social fabric and accelerate the process of social harmony. Such programme was also organised at Guwahati, Assam where 19 couples got married.

The biggest drawback with the present model of development is that it has failed to ensure public participation in planning and execution of development projects. This is the reason majority of the projects fail to cater to the needs of the target audience. In order to change the situation and also to bring Bharatiya model of development in reality with active participation of people, Pune based YOJAK Centre for Research and Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development has come out with a unique idea, which can really reshape the destiny of villagers. With the help of some voluntary organisations in Central India’s Maharashtra and Gujarat regions it has created a band of educated youth who instead of migrating to cities for jobs owned the responsibility of developing their respective villages. During the last three years, YOJAK and its associated voluntary organisations have mobilised over 2,300 youths, mostly Vanvasis, to take up this challenge. The man leading this silent revolution is Dr Gajanan Dange, national president of YOJAK.
The Vanvasi region of Central India, beginning from Southern Gujarat to West Bengal, is among the highly underdeveloped regions. About three years back, YOJAK started a project, Madhya Bharat Vananchal Samriddhi Yojna, to change the development scenario in this region. Mobilising and empowering some voluntary organisations, it started studying the existed methods of development including their impact on natural resources. The second aspect of the study was how to take corrective steps that can meet the local needs. Third was implementation of the new sustainable approach. Following the ideals of Pandit Deendayalji, who said development should be based on janchetana (local conscience) and the government’s role should be of just a guide, motivator and supporter, YOJAK emphasised on this Bharatiya concept of development purely focusing on the needs and aspirations of the people of this region.
The model is being implemented with the help of voluntary organisations working on ground by mobilising local youths through Yuva Chetna Jagran Programmes. Before organising such programmes, the organisations' activists met local youth and motivated them to join the programme. During discussions they also tried to know what corrective steps they want in their areas. During the study it was found that majority of the educated youth want to stay in their respective villages, if provided better knowhow and help to live a meaningful life. In order to help the selected youth understand the whole concept, the first Yuva Chetna Jagran Programme was organised at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Nandurbar, Maharashtra, on October 1, 2013. The programme was held with the help of five organisations—Dr Hedgewar Sewa Samiti, Deendayal Vanvasi Sewa Sanstha, Eklavya Adivasi Sewa Sanstha, Bahuddeshiya Birsa Munda Adivasi Sewa Sanstha and Vanvasi Utkarsh Samiti. Prior to the programme, all these organisations had deeply studied Nandurbar region for several months.
A total of 1,500 youths had expressed their desire in writing to stay in their villages and sought guidance for taking up activities. Finally, 1,003 youths turned to the programme on their own expenses. They were first apprised of the work being done by the associated voluntary organisations. Then they were told that the problems which they find are basically the problems of all 6 lakh villages. In the third session they were apprised of the successful projects of rural development going on in their regions. They were also told about the availability of technology for resolving their problems. At a session they were administered an oath for taking up developmental activity in their villages. In the last session, their responsibility towards their villages and family was reintegrated through 'Kartavya Bodh'. The participants returned home with renewed vigour and hope.
Another similar function was held in Songarh in Tapi district of Southern Gujarat on March 13, 2014. Hosted by Dr Ambedkar Vanvasi Kalyan Trust, Surat, the function was supported by Dang Vikas Parishad, Sarvamangal Trust and Manasi Vikas Sanstha also. It was attended by 1,300 youth.
At both the events, an exhibition was organised highlighting the local knowhow. Basically, the instruments which can reduce the drudgery in farming activities were prominently displayed. The exhibition also displayed how the indigenous seeds can be preserved and used.
Both these events were also attended by some achievers who have done wonderful work for rural development. In Nandurbar, the villagers who stopped a river at 18 places and changed the farming system in the entire area were invited. Similarly, in Songarh a community representative who is managing forest based livelihood programme was invited. Many similar successful experiments were displayed before them.
After analysing the information provided by the youth during the events, YOJAK started work on providing them technological support through local partners. Every individual case is being studied by experts. If somebody is involved in cotton production, he has to be helped in that way. “Since the Kharif season is beginning from June we have started imparting them training as to how they can increase production. The work has begun at rapid pace,” points out Dr Dange.
“An army of 2,300 youths has already started fighting against the faulty model of development. They are serious to take it to new heights. They are visiting the projects already going on in their regions to have first hand and practical knowledge. In Nandurbar, the youths were apprised of the work being done in Baripada Village where the villagers preserved a forest of 1,100 acre. Now youths from eight villages have visited that village to see and study the work. This shows the post programme enthusiasm among these youths.
When asked how the idea of starting this experiment clicked, Dr Dange says: “While visiting village to village in central India during the last several years we realised that participation of people in present process of development is very less. It is due to the lack of ownership spirit among local people that the impact of majority projects is minimal. We met many officials who too are worried over it. Our overall objective is to increase the people's participation in development process.”
The experiment has given a new dimension to rural development process, where the people think they should not continue to depend upon the government agencies for resolving their issues rather they have to be drivers in development. This can go a long way in curbing migration from rural areas to cities in search of jobs. 
With the inspiration of VHP, the Bhagini Nivedita Sewa Nyas, started a sewa project, cutting-tailoring centre, in jhuggi clusters of Dwarka in West Delhi. Inaugurating the project, vice president of the VHP Delhi and general secretary of the Nyas Shri Mahavir Prasad Gupta said helping those who are deprived due to any reason is the responsibility of every well to do person of the society. He pointed out that the VHP already runs over 100 sewa projects in different parts of Delhi. These projects include health centres, cutting-tailoring centres, computer training centres, beauticians, bal sanskar kendras, etc. The new project was started at JJ Colony of B block in Dwarka sector 3. Shri Ram Bhagat Rajaura, noted social activist, presided over the function.
Microsoft offers Virender Raika, son of a labourer, Rs 4.85-crore annual package for his extraordinary anti-hacking skills.
He is a golden boy who never had a silver spoon in his mouth. He had dreams, but no wings. Yet he flies high. Twenty-one-year-old Virender Raika, who worked as a hawker to fund his studies, has developed an extraordinary anti-hacking software which has earned him a plum job at Microsoft.
The whopping Rs 4.85 crore annual package offered by the software giant comes as an add-on for a lad who couldn’t go to the IIT — despite getting through the entrance — as he had no money.
Born in Pehowa village in Kurukshetra, Virender says the going was always tough for him. “After my father who works as a labourer fell sick, I had to take up the job of a hawker. I soon realised that the money won't suffice. So, I started giving Physics tuitions,” says the boy who was in Panchkula to interact with students.
A class X topper, Virender did part-time jobs to fund his Class 12 education. He qualified a scholarship entrance to study further and even got through the IIT, but couldn’t pursue it due to lack of funds.
Quiz him on his anti-hacking project and his eyes light up. “The idea to develop an anti-hacking system struck me while I was watching a movie. I saw a girl hacking into a system and then I thought why not develop a system that has a foolproof security. There are ways to hack into a system but no permanent way to secure it. So by working on various cyber theories, I made an anti-hacking system,” says the tech-wizard.
Virender gave a demo of his project through video-conferencing to a group of expert hackers at Microsoft’s office in Hyderabad. The Chief Financial officer of the Microsoft, Peter Klein, who was keenly observing the demo online, was so impressed by Virender’s skills that he offered him a job straightaway. The Haryana boy, who is pursing his BTech from IGNOU, has been told to join in November.
On his future plans, Virender says he wants to open his own company in India. “I want to do something for my country. We are so dependent on the US for technology. I want to turn the tide,” he says. Virender’s father Gyan Chand and mother Shinder still don’t know what exactly their son has developed. “We both are illiterate. We just know that Virender has got a job of 4.85 crore and companies from China and Japan are pursuing him,” says Gyan Chand.
Not letting her disability come in the way of reaching her goals has become Sarika Jain's second nature. The polio stricken Odisha woman has cleared the civil service examination in her first attempt, two years after qualifying the tough Chartered Accountancy exam.
Sarika , a differently abled girl from Kantabanji town in Odisha's Balangir district, has cleared the UPSC examination 2013 with a  rank of  527 among the 1,122 candidates.
Jain, who was afflicted with polio in her right leg with 50% disability since the age of two despite taking polio drops, hails from Kantabanji, a small town in Balangir district, Odisha. Her father Sadhuram Jain is a small time trader of sanitary fittings.
Third among three sisters and a brother, Sarika studied in local Saraswati Sishu Mandir and later completed her bachelor's degree in commerce from Kantabanji Women's College
Hyderabad unit of Vijnana Bharati organised a science camp at Saraswati Sishu Mandir, Badangapet for children studying from 6th to 12th standard from May 16 to 18. The camp was inaugurated by Shri Syam Prasad, coordinator, Vijnana Bharati, Andhra Pradesh describing the essence of scientific temper within India throughout ages created totally different outlook near to the people and provided solutions to day to day problems. He stressed on the importance of developing scientific solutions to medical health care and looking at job creation. The students had the opportunity to experiment with more than 50 experiments on physical sciences. Focus was on learning by doing. The topics covered were sound, optics, magnetism, electronics and Thermodynamics. Many scientists working with DRDO, NGRI, IICT, Infosys also participated as resource persons.
Sewa International brings together Hindu Australians for the rehabilitation of Dev Bhoomi
On Saturday June 7th about 500 people from Sydney’s Hindu community attended a fund raising Cultural Night event at Bowman Hall, Blacktown to help Hindu bandhus in Uttarakhand to rebuild their lives after the devastating floods  last year. Leading music and dance artistes from the Bharatiya community in Australia also gave their  valuable time and performed free for this charitable cause.
There was also a special guest who had flown in from India for the event who was none other than  Shri Shyam Parande  International Coordinator ,Sewa International. Shri Parande  who is supervising the rehabilitation projects run by Sewa International in Uttarakhand was received and honoured at the function on behalf of the Hindu community by Shri Rajesh Venkataramaiah - President, Sewa  Australia. Shri Parande  who held the audience spellbound in his inspiring speech  remarked that despite the total loss of livelihood, they had encountered, the affected people in Uttarakhand are still positive and in fact did not want any handouts but just opportunities for them to work hard and build new futures.
The program was actually a culmination of a year’s work starting from July 2013, when a number of volunteers from about 15 Hindu and Bharatiya organisations in Sydney grouped together and formed the Australian Uttarakhand Relief / Rehabilitation Fund (AURF) to raise funds to help the  rehabilitation programme.  This group was coordinated and brought together by Sewa International Australia.
The group made direct appeal for donations to the wider public, organised a Bhajan Sandhya (Devotional Music night) program at the ISSO Swamy Narayan Mandir in August 2013 and published a souvenir to raise funds from Sydney’s Bharatiya business community.
With the great community support in Sydney, AURF has raised close to $70,000 (approximately Rs 37.1 lakhs) which will be sent to Sewa International Bharat for the funding of a Computer Training Centre in Chandrapuri village to provide computer related job skills to youth.
The Hindu community in Australia have therefore adopted this centre in an example of direct action being taken by the community to help their brothers and sisters in Uttarakhand. The Hindu community in Australia is known for its diversity of views and multiplicity of organisations representing many different parts of the community, and so bringing 15 different organisations together was not easy.
However, a unique set of volunteers, drawn from these various organisations in conjunction with karyakarthas from Sewa International Australia worked in harmony and demonstrated true Sanghatan mein ShaktiSpeaking at the function, Australian Member of Parliament and the shadow Parliamentary Secretary for immigration and foreign affairs Matt Thistlethwaite remarked on how the Bharatiya community in Australia was strengthening Australia’s overseas development and disaster relief objectives through such activities. He also remarked that the Hindu community through this initiative has brought the people of Australia and Bharat together for greater cooperation.
(Contributed by Anand Sundaresan- Karyavah, Sewa International Australia )

Why I adore Uttarakhand?
                                                     - Shyam Parande
The images of the horrific floods last year in Uttarakhand hang on our memory more than any other natural calamity. Everyone said this was simply irreparable. The severity of the floods and the images we witnessed on our TV screens will live with us and would be recalled whenever there is a flood.  The floods killed more than 30000 people, property worth Crores was lost, businesses lost, not only crops but the rich farm lands were totally washed off, educational institutions washed away, whatever came in the way of the flooding waters was washed away, the loss looked unfathomable.
A question arises whether the human society can sustain through such natural calamity and still cling on to the place, the venue of disaster not even a year before? Yes, here is a society which has not only left the disaster behind but resolved to move ahead without a grumble, no grievance against the Himalayas or the rivers or not even the government which performed pathetically, or rather didn’t perform at all. Their faith in the Mother Ganga or Sri Kedarnath and Sri Badarinath remains impermeable. No place for a whimper. The number of pilgrims a year after has dwindled to almost minuscule as compared to earlier aggregate. We the progressive world, do not have the courage to take up the yatras or go up Himalayas, playing safe in our life, people in those villages which were affected last year have not given up the hope. Rather their buoyancy is experienced when one reaches out to them.
And what a resilient society is this, the loss and pain has been accepted without a whine. No one complaining about the losses, without a grumble or a grievance, the natural smile that we observed on every face welcoming us, was one that left us speechless. This is impossible, we said to ourselves. The spirit of Uttarakhand has not been lost rather it has levitated to Himalayan heights. This was amply experienced during the next couple of days of our travel through the state while talking to various people who were themselves flood affected. I humbly salute this courageous society for their resilience, their perseverance, their diligence against the toughest climatic and environmental challenges. They are the unsung heroes of real life facing toughest challenges through the din of the day & night. The society in general is deeply spiritual. They love and respect the environment and they have stronger faith and religious beliefs. They are at peace with the problems and challenges of the Himalayas. We realized that these are the strengths of this society which despite last year’s devastating floods, clinging to their smaller farmlands, tinier houses and high Himalayan ranges with those melodically flowing rivers, blooming flowers year around, chirping of the birds, and all that make life pleasant.
Why these people live here to face Himalayan challenges year after year, thinks every traveller, as one watches couple of houses or huts atop the hills. Cannot they come down to the plains and lead cosier life like us? That sounds logical to everyone but not to the Pahadi, as they are known, for facing challenges is their way of life. We interacted with different groups of people from different parts of the flood affected districts to understand their love and liking for the environment they are born into. Their respect for the nature is only to be experienced.   
The first encounter with a local group of youth that had gathered for an informal interaction with us bowled me out clean with their zeal, enthusiasm, know-how of the traditionally available knowledge of Himalayan bio-sphere- environment and ecology. I could not stop myself from pulling out my notebook, wanting to note down every detail that the youth were sharing about the potential of the “Pahad”- the Himalayas. Agriculture, horticulture, spices, herbs, animals, birds and a whole lot of loads of information and know-how about the local potential products was gushing out from the group, making me look dwarf. I satiated myself with the experiences of the youth that were like living catalogues of knowledge. Amazing, I felt. Am I supposed to guide this group? Precisely I cannot, but I have to. Except for some experience and organizational skills I had very little to share with them. Rest is all available here despite the modern day challenges like transportation, technology & marketing, etc. 
Interaction with locals was enough to generate enthusiasm. Like any other disaster, we were planning for counselling and now the challenge is do we need to!  We came to the conclusion that the affected society has an indigenous method of counselling based on culture, tradition and of course the spirit. Their Bhakti and Shraddha are their strengths, while spiritualism is unique. Every one we interacted asking about the disaster was looking forward to better life, and to work harder to achieve that rather than being carping about their loss and inaction on part of government or whatever that might be. We trekked across the river Mandakini which we had to cross on a makeshift bridge to reach the village called Haat. The Panchayat President of this village Smt. Santosh,  is a  normal homemaker, very soft spoken and pleasant person. She is a graduate who manages her home as well as affairs of the village. The villager respects her for her simplicity and straight forward approach. She gets her children to assist her in cooking and offered us hot crispy Rotes- a local crunchy dish. She was open to ideas and shared all the information with the visitors without any inhibition. Her husband is also a graduate and is a taxi driver by profession. Smt. Santosh takes care of their family agriculture apart from village affairs and does not miss to harvest vegetables in kitchen garden.  
Another lady that I should not miss mention is Smt. Baradevi, a born leader with meagre educational background. She runs a federation of all the Self Help Groups in Chandrapuri village and surrounding villages. Her self-confidence and dynamism are her strengths and she does not miss to assert that. She took over the dais to speak about her experiments in farming and everyone was enjoying her speech. We were surprised to note that she guides 191 Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the federation she leads. This federation implements the programs of World Bank. She manages to maintain all the registers and records for her federation with huge membership, including minutes of the meetings. This lady maintains properly organised registers and records, all the database of the members of the SHGs, facilitates loans from World Bank drawn schemes. She started her self Help Group with Rs.10 per day saving and now has grown to Rs.500/- per month. She has impeccable record of repaying the loans without failure. Villages of Uttarakhand still continue with age old practise of community living. Community cooking is normal during marriages and other family affairs. Temple festivals and other social gathering also are celebrated together and responsibilities are shared. However, women support each other during their health problems.
Another woman we met in Chandrapuri had to shift to the poly house in her farm as her house was washed away by the floods. In last 10 months or so, she has rebuilt her own house with whatever aid she received from the government and has shifted her family to the new house. She takes care of cattle at home while she has to care for her school going children. The women are indefatigable and work from morn till night without a pause. Besides all the hard work the womenfolk put in, wife beating is a common problem in all the villages. This is the saddest part of the story, I felt. The Pahadi society psychologically seems to be very stubborn because of the challenges they face in their day-to-day life. Their physical stamina and mental tenacity is worth appreciation. Health facility in the Himalayas is scarce and the paucity of Doctors is experienced all over, especially lady doctors are the rarest of all, women suffering more. Calcium and Iron deficiency is most common among the villagers and skin diseases are very common.
Education is of prime importance in every family and girls are a step ahead of boys in education. Despite the havoc last year no student has lost the academic year. Most of the youth we came across are graduates or post graduates and women are no way lagging behind in education despite scant educational facilities at their disposal and worst transportation available. Their positive approach towards education like Swami Vivekananda said, “Education is for gaining knowledge and not just for livelihood”, is being put to practice here in this state. We could observe that girls make up for more than 50% if number in every school that we interacted with. It was heartening to see that the last year’s disaster did not hamper the marriages and celebration was usual. Village community and relatives share the cost of weddings making it more joyful. It was quite refreshing to note that dowry is not a common practise here but the in-laws voluntarily might help the young to establish family. Joint families are preferred in the Himalayan ranges, it seems, at least more so in Uttarakhand and we did not come across a ‘nuclear’ family during this tour.
Modern junk food is making its impact on the life here with emergence of tourism as a major source of employment yet people have not lost the traditional food that is nutritionally loaded and best suited for the local climatic conditions and terrain. However, an effort to make the younger generation aware of the advantages and benefits of the locally grown food is essential. Spices and herbs are in abundance but society should not lose this in daily intake for enriching diet. We had a great treat with a family where the menu was– “Manduve ki rotee (close to Ragi), Lingode kee subzee, Gahath ki Daal (a cereal that is a little different from Toovar dal), Zigoure ki kheer (some kind close to Barley)”. Cooking this menu might have been laborious but it was a Pahadi treat in its best sense, rather also in tang & flavour. The natural “energy drink” made out of “Burans” flowers was as enticing as it can be and I would not miss an opportunity to sip it again.  
This state Uttarakhand can be an organic development model for whole of the country with its unseasonal cash crops and rich horticulture, added to flora & fauna. The beauty of the high Himalayas is always alluring but the call of the Pahadi society is also appealing and fascinating with those smiles. The Pahad is calling and the Pahadis more!
Food For Thought:

Varanasi is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.
-Mark Twain

For Further Information Please Contact:
49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002, Bharat (India)
Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sewa Sandesh
 April-May 2014
Development of a family, society or country starts with an empowered woman. Women are the engines for development,” said Shri Shyam Parande, International Coordinator of Sewa International while addressing a gathering of women farmers in Chandrapuri, Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand. This was the first gathering of women drawn from 10 villages along the river Mandakini in Kedarnath valley that experienced the worst kind of disaster less than a year earlier.
A brief on the agriculture in those particular villages was presented by Shri Kailash Goswami, a Best Farmer awardee, who narrated his efforts to be a successful farmer.
Shri Bhajjan Singh Khatri, a local social worker with rich experience in this region,narrated that it will be the initiative of the locals who would bring in development and people from outside can only guide or help. Bara Devi, President of the Federation of the Self Help Groups in that area with 191 SHGs under it helping more than 3500 women, that women in the state are in need of support and guidance in the field of agriculture and would surely benefit out of this program. 
Quality Seeds were distributed to the villagers free of cost at the end of the program. Sewa International has also started three Computer training centres in Chandrapuri, Guptakashi and Ukhimath to train the youth and all the three centres is attracting good number of youths
The impact of Ekal Abhiyan in remote villages of Jharkhand was witnessed on March 14 when around 43,000 people associated with the Abhiyan assembled at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Football stadium and displayed how a minor effort can turn into a big movement if taken forward with dedication. Addressing the gathering, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said the Vanvasis have perfectly preserved the Hinduness and without awakening them the protection of hindu culture is not possible. He expressed satisfaction over the progress of Ekal movement and said those who are deprived have to be brought into mainstream. He said the Panchmukhi programme of Ekal Abhiyan focusing on education, health, prosperity, samskar and swabhiman jagran has proved to be a mantra of change.
Highlighting 25 years journey of Ekal Abhiyan, Shri Shyam Gupt said the Abhiyan began from the soil of Jharkhand in 1989 and now around 30 lakh people all over the country are associated with it. He said the day one crore people join the movement India would become a super power. He said the panchmukhi education system of the Ekal has proved to be a milestone in transformation of Bharat.
Presiding over the function Shri Ashok Bhagat of Vikas Bharati applauded the concrete steps being taken by people associated with the Ekal Abhiyan for preservation and protection of water, forest and land in rural areas. He said all round development of the country is possible only through the concrete steps like the Ekal movement. Shri Vishnu Lohia, chairman of Reception Committee, welcomed the gathering. Ten workers of the Ekal Abhiyan were also felicitated on this occasion.

Sri Prakash Kamath,65, Electrical Engineer from Karnataka was honoured for his Vanvasi sewa at Ranchi by Rashtra Samvardhan Samiti on 3rd May 2014. A Pracharak of RSS , B. Tech of 1971 Batch Sri Prakash Kamath belongs to a well to do family, started his social life from sea shore of Mangalore. He worked as Nagar Pracharak, Tehsil Pracharak,Zila Pracharak and Vibhag Pracharak in Karnataka. In the year 1990 he joined Vanvasi Sewa and worked as organiser  in Karnataka up to 2000 then he became Zonal Organiser of Bihar, Jharkhand and Nepal. He became All India Gram Pramukh of Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in the national meeting held in Sikkim in the month of february 2014. All India Pracharak Pramukh of RSS Sri Vinod Kumar expressed his appreciation on this occasion. He narrated the attributes of Prachark as unmarried,100 percent dedicated to Bharatmata, ready to work any where in the country on the planning of organisation,ready to shift any where and always ready with his bag to move. Such types of RSS Pracharaks are 4500 in the country whereas it requires 10,000 Pracharaks in the country for the working in the remote areas of the country. Sri Vinod Kumar ji is a pracharak from Uttar Pradesh whereas Sri Prakash  Kamath is a Pracharak from Karnataka and worked with Ma. Sheshadriji, Jagannath Rao Joshi and Ma. Suryanarayan Rao. Sri Vinodji also blessed Sri Kamath for his good sewa work for vanvasi brethren.
Sri Ashok Sathe and Smt Padma Sathe, Industrialists of Bangalore along with Sri Deo Narayan Singh too were honoured on the occasion. Dr. H.P. Narayan[Neurologist] and former HOD of RMCH Ranchi and Sri Jetha Nag, a tribal leader and president of Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra, Jharkhand presented Sriphal, Shawl and a Prashasti Patra to Sri Ashok Sathe whereas Smt Padma Sathe was honoured by Mrs Kamlesh Mirdha, wife of Dr Satish Mirdha, a prominent surgion and NMO official.Sri Sathe is closely associated with vanvasi sewa and Prakash kamath. He donated 90 lacs to Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra Jharkhand and 60 lacs to Vanvasi Kalyan  Kendra Karnataka for the development of Vanvasi brethren of Bharat. Ma Deo Narayanji and Sri Prakash Kamath were honoured by Sri Sidhinath Singh, a mechanical Engineer from BHU and kshetra Sanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. Sri Singh appreciated the simplicity, dedication and well planned working of Prakash Kamath. Persons who graced the occasion were Sri Kripa Prasad Singh, Vice President,ABVKA, Sri Shashi Kant Dviwedi, Rashtra Samvardhan Samiti, Sri Kripa Shankar Sharma Vidya Bharati,Sri Gurusharan Prasad, Sah Sewa Pramukh, RSS along with Prominent citizens of Ranchi .
Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission has been in the field of eye care for the last 10 years in collaboration with the Comtrust Eye care Society, Kozhikode.  But it was stopped for a few months due to some difficulties.
On 2nd June 2013, the revived Eye Clinic was formally opened by the Hon. Minister for Tribal Development and Youth Affairs Kum.PK Jayalakshmi. Since then a refractionist’s  service is available in the Muttil Hospital on all days except Sundays.  Vision is tested here and spectacles prescribed and brought from Kozhikode Hospital.  Cataract patients are referred to Kozhikolde Comtrust Hospital and operations done on free of cost.  
The funding agency is the Sewa International, USA.  A separate organization, named Sanjeevani Health Project  has been constituted to implement this progamme here in the Mission Hospital.
On 1st May 2014, Comtrust Eye Care Hospital in cooperation with the Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Muttil  and SNDP Youth Movement conducted an eye camp at Sree Narayana Balavihar , Pulpally.
Pulpally is a forest area but turned into semi urban by the hard work of the settlers of the sixties and seventies.  It lies on the banks of the  Kabani river where it shares its border with Karnataka state. 
The  area is known for its   cash crops,   where landed gentries are rich but people of tribal area and poor finds it difficult to get medical care.  That is why we have chosen this area for our eye camp.
The Camp was inaugurated by SNDP Youth Movement President Shri Jaijulal Sthuthikkat after a welcome speech by Secretary Shri Saji Kodikkulath. 264 patients attended the camp in which 37 referred for cataract surgery. Spectacles prescribed for 128 persons and 10 were given other treatments.
A below average rainfall and a dry winter in Tharparakar District, Thar desert Sindh Pakistan has resulted in the starvation death of 140 children and left more than a million people suffering.
Sewa International’s partner organization Harey Rama Foundation of Pakistan is working to provide disaster relief to the affected residents with a long term plan to rehabilitate affected families. Your donations will provide immediate help to the victims and help reduce their suffering. For more info pl visit                                                                                                             
Sri Vivekananda Awasam—a home for the orphaned children located at Bhainsa is providing much needed warmth and affection to them. These children, who lost their parents either in any accident, or in an unfortunate incident, longed for warmth, love and affection so that they could feel at home. And Seva Bharti is doing exactly that. By showering affection and love on them, Seva Bharti activists have made all the 18 kids staying her feel like home at the Awasam.
Bhainsa is a small but important business hub for cotton trade located in the tribal belt of Adilabad district on the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border. The children are wonderful and working hard to be toppers in their respective classes. Seva Bharti has deputed a dedicated couple, whom the kids fondly call “Mataji” and “Acharya”, to look after them and manage the daily chores of the hostel.
Apart from an urge to learn vocational skills, these children have a natural flair for drawing and painting. Their collection ranges from a panoramic scene of a beautiful house amidst woods to the sketches of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi,  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj etc.
This Awasam for these little heroes has been in their service since September 28, 1996. Till now, five children sponsored by the local business community are studying in intermediate college at Warangal, Bodhan and Nizamabad.
Two children of this Awasam secured highest score of 491 marks in 2004 Board Examinations. That was so far the highest score in the town and surrounding area. Contact: Sri Vivekananda Awasam, Bhainsa, Adilabad Dist (Andhra Pradesh, Bharat) PIN 504103 E-mail:
Sewa International USA has partnered with VYASA (Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhan Samstha) to fight against the Diabetes by offering 20 hour yoga therapy sessions to pre-diabetic and Diabetic patients in Houston Area. This program is offered completely free as a service to community. The first of series of 6 camps started on 23rd March in Katy, a western suburb of Houston, where 11 participants took yoga therapy sessions by trained yoga therapist in guidance of Dr. Sudha Rajan, President of VYASA.
Dr. Sudha Rajan lighted the lamp and inaugurated the camp in the presence of Shri Arvind Thekdi of Sewa and Shri Vishwaroopa of VYASA. Dr. Bala Prabhakar, a medical doctor from Katy area also graced the occasion.  For more information
In the last week of February, a fire accident took place in Poonduloya in Nuwaraelia district of Central Province of SriLanka. 127 members of 32 families were affected in this incident. Their houses, business and belongings were turned in to ashes within few hours.Volunteers of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh SriLanka Hatton shakha planned immediate relief work. They collected essential household materials from well wishers, sorted them and prepared packets for distribution. The local temple committee organized the relief material distribution program on March 3rd. Study material was also provided to all the students from affected families. 
Bhoomi Pujan for Vivekananda Health Mission project in Uttarakhand
Bhoomi Pujan ceremony for a project of Vivekananda Health Mission was held at Jubli Village of Dehradun recently in the presence of Swami Padmanabhananda of Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, RSS Sahsarkaryavah Dr Krishna Gopal and vice president of Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Shri Kripa Prasad Singh. The programme was organised by Dr Anuj Singhal, Dr Pankaj Bhatia, national health incharge of Kalyan Ashram, Dr Manish Pandey, cancer expert from Delhi, Dr Rakesh Tyagi from Agra. Dr Anuj Singhal and his wife Dr Tara have worked for 10 years in Waynad district of Kerala with the Vivekananda Medical Mission. Dr Singhal is a product of Agra Medical College, whereas Dr Tara did her MBBS from Mysore Medical College.
Swami Padmanabhananda blessed the team of medicos for their proposed services to the Vanvasis of Uttarakhand. He appreciated the medical services being rendered by the Vivekananda Medical Mission and the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in remote areas of the country. He said Narayan (God) lives in huts of Vanvasis. Samanwaya Ashram was established by Swamiji for the same cause, he said.
RSS Sahsarkaryavah Dr Krishna Gopal appreciated the initiative of doctors and said the project was a dire need for the area. He also appreciated the contribution of Shri Manoj Agarwal, who gave the land for the project. He is a swayamsevak and a builder in Delhi. His brother Dr Anil Jain worked for few years at the Vanvasi Kalyan Kendra Lohardaga Hospital. Dr Krishna Gopal appealed to all the doctors of the country to spare at least 10 days in a year for the Vanvasis, as it would support the dreams of Dr Hedgewar—service to needy is service to God.
Shri Kripa Prasad Singh appealed to the young workers of the area to take the project as a challenge. Providing services to the rural people is the basic duty of all the swayamsevaks living in any part of India. He said a team of 200 doctors under the banner of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram held 2,525 medical camps and treated 20,96,761 patients in Vanvasi areas during Swami Vivekananda birth centenary year from January 12, 2013 to January 12, 2014.
Dy Mayor D Raja, former Vice Chancellor Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai, Justice (Retd) AK Rajan, former Secretary of State Law Ministry, Dr IV Manivannan, former Chairman of Madras Port Trust, Mayilvahanan, Principal of UCCK School, Chennai expressed solidarity with the Sewa Bharati Tamil Nadu on April 10.  The event was organised at Chennai Sangh Karyalaya ‘Sakthi’ to release Panbin Thiravukol (Key to Virtues), a handbook in Tamil to be used by Sewa Bharati activists. Shri Durai Shankar, Chennai Vibhag Sanghachalak, Shri Stanumaa-layan, Dakshin Kshetra Pracharak, Shri M Veerabahu, editor of Vijayabharatham and Shri N Sadagopan Uttar Tamil Nadu Prant Prachar Pramukh were also present on the occasion. 
Fourth Nanaji Memorial Lecture in Delhi
Stirring the nation to the dangers developed due to the borrowed judicial system, noted Gandhian thinker and jurist Justice Shri Chandrasekhar Shankar Dharmadhikari said a borrowed judicial system cannot be called even a judicial system in true sense. “Along with the flag and nation’s head, we should have changed the judicial system at the time of Independence itself. The new generation will not excuse us for this fault,” he said, while delivering the fourth Nanaji Deshmukh Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on April 13.
The topic of the lecture was ‘Conflict-free village-Engines of Growth’. He said even the winner is a loser in the present judicial system, because the growth in disputes itself symbolises division, separation and degradation in the society. He raised the question whether delivery of verdict in favour of one party can truly be called justice. He said Bharat is a country of villages and the country can be called a developed nation only when its 6.5 lakh villages are dispute free. The concept of self-reliant and prosper Bharat that Nanaji had visualised has dispute-free villages as the major dimension, he emphasised.
Pointing out towards the degradations in the society he said today muscle, money and media power is worshipped in Bharat and those who break the law unfortunately get popularity. He said in spite of coining a new definition of the dispute, we should work for making the society where there is no dispute. Underlying the role of Nanaji in materialising the concept of dispute-free villages, the leading jurist said both Gandhiji and Nanaji used the term swaraj instead of swatantrata and both proved it correct at the actual ground through their experiments. He exphasised that after Swami Vivekananda, Deendayal Upadhyaya and Nanaji focused on the service of mankind, which is basically the only way to save the society from division and dispute.
There are two ways to eradicate a dispute—resolve the dispute or create the situation where no dispute takes place, he said. “Nanaji followed the second path and made around 500 villages dispute-free. We can learn much from the life of Nanaji who taught us as to how there can be perfect coordination between the struggle and construction. He created a new picture of self-reliant villages even without holding any government post or enjoying political power,” said ustice Dharmadhikari.
Presiding over the function, Dr Mahesh Sharma, former Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Board, held the politicisation of villages as the real cause of deteriorating condition of villages. He said the politicians have even divided two real brothers and led to litigations between them. Praising the Samaj Shilpi Dampati Yojna of Nanaji, he emphasised that the people with constructive mindset must be in every village. He stressed the need that the village development model of Nanaji should be emulated all over the country.
For Further Information Please Contact:
49, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi – 110 002, Bharat (India)
Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sewa Sandesh
March 2014
A two-day training camp for the workers of Gram Vikas was organised in Surat from February. About 300 workers from different states participated in the camp and shared their experience. RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi addressed the workers on second day of the camp. He said when we think of individual development we try to achieve the goal on our own strength, but when it comes to the development of our own villages we depend upon the Governments or other agencies. “If we have to raise the status of our society we must take steps ourselves. When we move a step, the rest of the people would follow us. The RSS wants that the villagers should develop their respective villages themselves and they should abandon the habit of always depending upon the Government,” he said.
 Arogya Bharati, the premier organisation dedicated to the sphere of health in rural areas, has come up with a new initiative to spread positive health in rural India. “We have been working on ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’ from 7 years in a village in Gujarat. Results of our efforts in that village are very encouraging. We have demonstrated a positive impact on many health parameters. Hence we now want to replicate the experiment across number of villages in different parts of our country,” said Dr Hitesh Jani, HoD at Gujarat Ayurveda University in Jamnagar and convener of ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’.“We have developed a 10 point programme to be followed under the ‘Swastha Gram Yojana’, which includes environmental protection, clean drinking water, developing collective thinking about the health issues in the village and promoting discussion over such issues, developing ‘Health Card’ scheme for health monitoring, cleanliness drive, de-addiction etc. We are also in the process of enhancing the programme with the help of institutions and individuals who have worked in the area of rural health,” Dr. Jani added.
He said there is a vast gap between the health facilities in cities and the rural area which makes the task of rural welfare tougher. While working on the area, we realised that the scenario can be altered by creating awareness about positive health in the rural area. If we can create an environment where people will be motivated to follow a positively healthy lifestyle and they could be provided with guidance from experts in the field of health, health conditions of an area say a village can be altered within a stipulated time frame. Once we came to this conclusion, we started to experiment it at the Surya village in Jamnagar district of Gujarat and 7 years down the line we can easily see that this works, he said.
Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio
Humanitarian Services Committee
Report on Medical Yatra -2014
@ Gandevi, Guj. Jan. 22-28, 2014 
Jointly Organized by
  • Rotary Club of Gandevi,
  • American Association of Indian Physicians of North Ohio (AIPNO),
  • Gandevi Seva samaj of North America
  • Gandevi Taluka Seva Trust
  • SEWA-USA international    
Rotary Club of Gandevi, American Association of Indian Physicians of North Ohio, Gandevi Seva Samaj of North America and Gandevi Taluka Seva Trust jointly organized Medical Yatra in Gandevi and surrounding villages from January 22nd to 28th.  A brief summary of the camp and beneficiaries is given below.

Educate/Train, Prevent, Save the Lives! 

Medical Yatra was comprised of Six General Medical Camps-Screening Clinics at six different locations namely Bigari, Gandevi, Kharel, Gadat, Kesali and Amalsad followed by Specialty Camp for Cancer, Diabetes, Heart and Thyroid at Gandevi on 26th to 28th January 2014. In all General camp locations we had mobile Pharmacy to distribute free medicines, blood collection facility for testing, dental facility, CPR training to General population, blood pressure and blood glucose testing, and poster presentation for awareness for healthy life style and preventing diseases. All patients suspected of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart diseases and thyroid disorders were called again in Specialty Camp at Gandevi Canning Factory for further evaluation, investigations and treatment planning. We had Sanjeevani Rath from Gujarat Cancer Research Institute with mammography, sonography and PAP Smear testing facility in the van. We also had mobile pharmacy and blood collection facility at all General Camp locations and Gandevi Specialty Camp location.

Group of 25 Medical Professionals and paramedics from AIPNO, USA came on Thursday 23rd January from Dharampur. After a brief meeting, they formed two teams. Following
Screening clinics were organized for Super Specialty Camp Jan 26-27-28

Team #1
No. of
Team #2
No. of
Jan. 23
Sarvajanik H.School
C.J. High School,Gandevi
Naik High School,Kharel
Ambika High School, Gadat
H.D. Sarvajanik
High School,Amalsad
N.B.Patel High School, Kesali
Ram Mandir,

Patients who are suspected of Cancer, Coronary problems, Diabetes and Thyroid disorders were advised to come to Specialty Camp at Canning Factory location in Gandevi on 26th, 27th and 28th January .Patients who were examined on 23rd in General Medical Camp came on 26th, patients from 24th came on 27th and patients from 25th and 27th came for Specialty camp on 28th January respectively.
For Specialty Camp we had Medical Experts from USA, England, Mumbai, Amdavad, Vadodara and Surat. All these Medical professionals worked very hard and gave free services for this noble cause. Patients with following medical conditions took advantage of the specialty camp at Gandevi.
Super Specialty Camp @ Canning Factory

No.of Patients
Mammogram, sonography, calcium deficiency and PAP smear testing were performed;

Detected Positive
Prior to Yatra
@ BAPS Hospital, Surat


    Patients with following Medical conditions were identified and efforts are being made by Rotary Club of Gandevi to treat these patients at no cost to them.
   Medical Condition                          No. of Patients 
CancerCervical Cancers                        9
Cancer of Uterus                                 4
Mouth, head & Neck                            10
Other cancers                                    20                                                                                                                      43
Patients -          Diabetic                     677

For Bypass surgery                               5
Valve disorders                                    6
For Angiography                                  29
For Echo & Stress studies                     39
Other conditions                                 13                                                                                                                     92
Patients already on treatment               34
Patients who needed treatment              3
Patients seen during general camp         23       
Prescribed medicines were given to patients for immediate treatment of certain conditions free of charge. We set up a mobile pharmacy with medicines donated by pharmaceutical companies, medical stores and medical practitioners.      
Many patients needed further investigations and treatment and the arrangement is being made to refer them to various major hospitals.
Investigations activities started in early part of January and shall continue the follow up activities until June-July, 2014. Gandevi Rotarians and NGOs have been committed to give each and every patient utmost satisfaction.
Vocational Training Program
 The most important component of this Medical Yatra was to train and educate Local Medical professionals, bring awareness regarding these deadly diseases amongst rural and tribal communities in and around Gandevi and to take preventive measures for improving quality of life. To achieve these goals following activities were planned and successfully executed.
On Thursday January 23rd 2014, a seminar was organized at New Civil Hospital Surat. Similar seminar was also organized on Friday, January 24th at G.M.E.R.S Medical College, Valsad.  The following expert professionals from AIPNO shared their experience leading to CME program.
  Dr Adi Mehta,  Cleveland Clinic, USA (Endocrinologist)                                           Dr Sethu Reddy, Cleveland Clinic, USA (Endocrinologist)                                    
  Dr Martin Wiseman, Hillcrest-Cleveland Clinic,USA (Cardiologist)                               Dr Pushkar Khande,St.Vincent Charity Hospital, USA (Resident)                               Dr Mahesh Varia, University of N. Carolina,USA  (Oncologist),                                 Dr Indu Varia,Duke University, USA (Psychiatrist).
Total 32 doctors and lecturers of Civil Hospital at Surat and 62 at Valsad attended the seminar.
Academic meeting of AIPNO Super Specialist with Local Medical Practitioners 
 A meeting of local medical physicians of Gandevi and super specialist doctors of AIPNO was organized at Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple Hall on Sunday 26th January 2014 to discuss latest advancement for diagnosis and management of patients suffering from most deadly diseases like Cancer, heart disorders, and diabetes. Total forty three professionals attended the seminar.
Training of   Government Paramedical staff                                                                                                                                                                    Health program of Rural area is managed through Gandevi Taluka Primary Health Department. Gandevi Taluka has one block office, six primary Health Centers, two community health centers and two urban health centers. They have team of nursing staff and ASHA workers, who visits all people in villages to provide health care.There is also Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) of Government comprising of Anganwadi workers in every villages, who work for child and mother care program. There is also Nutrition wing of ICDS, who work to combat malnutrition amongst children. A seminar was arranged to train these paramedical government staff on January 27th in Koli Samaj Bhuvan Gandevi. Total of more than 650 staff attended the seminar. The seminar was addressed by Doctors from Civil Hospital Ahmedabad, and local Non-Government  organization- Action Research in Community Health. This was one of the best way to impart training for rural health.                                                                                                                                                    Awareness Program for General Public                                                                       A seminar was organized on Saturday January 25th, 2014 for General Public in Koli Samaj Bhuvan, Gandevi. Lectures by noted Nutritionist  and Chair-person Indian Diabetic Association, Dr Niranjana Shah and her team were very informative to control diabetic and heart problems by proper diet. Mrs.Salome Samuel (Nutrition expert) and Mrs Nazin Husain (Dietician) also gave important information on diet. They also highlighted the role of Yoga to improve the quality life. This was one of the best seminars attended by more than 275 citizens of Gandevi and surrounding villages. Dr Adi Mehta, Consulting Endocrinologist from AIPNO, USA touched upon very important points for healthy life style in very hilarious way. We are sure that this seminar will change the life style of many to control diabetes and heart problems.
CPR Training   
Dave Diffendal-Rotarian and others arranged CPR training with ‘Hands On” training for Nurses, Paramedics and general public est. 1,000 persons benefited from this half an hour training to save lives. So many places we left mannequins to continue the CPR training year around.                                                                                                                                              
Public Awareness Campaign by street performance                                               A team of Gujarati Movie Artist from Ahmedabad was invited to give street performance program called “BHAVAI”. They performed Bhavai at ten different villages during late evening and night few days before the General Medical camp. A village at Medical Camp site and the village near each site were decided for the Bhavai for awareness and attract more patients to take advantage of the Medical Camp. This performance was unique and designed to convey messages on cleanliness, avoid bad habits of drinking alcohol, tobacco chewing etc with comedy in local language.                                   Video recording was prepared on local streets to cover major aspects of personal hygiene  such as washing hands before meal, brushing teeth, keep streets clean, disadvantage of  plastic usage, oral cancer due to tobacco chewing etc. This video was projected at different villages along with Bhavai.  This was an eye opening event in Gandevi Taluka. We had large number of patients turn out who are suffering from Diabetes and this in turn end up with Heart and kidney problems. Most of the patients were economically poor and hail from rural areas of Gandevi. They were treated at no cost to them. Uncontrolled eating habits, consumption of country liquor and tobacco, uncontrolled use of plastics and polluted environment are the root cause of these deadly diseases. We could convey the message to prevent diseases and to remain healthy by seminars and awareness programs.
For this project we received help from many persons and organizations. We thank all people who helped us putting their time, talents and/or financial resources (SEWA-USA and others)or rendering honorary professional services for this noble cause. We also appreciate the hard work of one and all who helped directly or indirectly to make this Medical Yatra-2014 a grand success.   
Prepared by:
Mohan Patel, Parimal Naik & Ramesh Shah                  
In response to the appeal made by Sewa International Bharat for fundraising towards a computer center in Uttarakhand, Sewa (Melbourne) arranged a fund raising event on Sunday, the 23rd February at Annual Street Festival of Clayton. Funds were raised through two activities i.e., hand painting (Hena) with the help of female Sewa volunteers and sale of cold drinks with the help of male Sewa volunteers. Sewa also participated in Annual Australia Clean Up Day on 2nd March, attended by Mayor, Monash City Council and local Councillor.
INDIA Health Line (IHL), a unique social service in socio-medical field, was launched in Hyderabad on February 16 in the presence of eminent medicos and representatives of medical fraternity. The Health Line will have a National Call Centre to attend to patients calls who, after seeing the neighbouring general practitioners, want to consult specialists for further advice and necessary treatment.Launching the Health Line renowned cancer surgeon and VHP working president Dr Pravin Togadia said there are many half-treated diseases only because patients after primary examination by the doctor do not approach specialist doctors as advised. It is mainly due to poverty, fear of increased medical expenses if any serious disease is detected and sometimes even ignorance. “To avoid this, India Health Line aims at connecting Medical Fraternity with the needy patients. Doctors are a part of this great nation and the society. They always want to help. So for nation's sake thousands of specialist doctors like Cancer Surgeons, Neuro Surgeons, Cardiologists, Gynecologists, Nephrologists, Urologists and many other specialist doctors have got associated with IHL.They will see the patients per appointment arranged by IHL and advice further. To streamline further, thousands of Pathology Labs, X Ray / MRI / CT Scan Centers, Chemists Shops, Hospitals / Day Care Centers, Ambulances / Blood Banks have come ahead to be a part of this socially important initiative to help the needy patients and save valuable human working hours of the nation and of course to save manylives,” Dr Togadia said.
There are many young Indians who dream of being employer to many rather than being employee. However, after facing all hardships throughout life even to fulfill basic needs, creating a cluster of world class institutions, generating employable human resource and at the same time, providing education, shelter, training and food to more than 20000 tribal kids is a social revolution in itself. This has become a key instrument in curbing conversions and fighting menace of naxalism by a single handed initiative of Dr Achyuta Samanta.
A rare combination of philanthropy, spirituality, revolutionary ideas and social entrepreneurial skills to provide space even for the man languishing in the lowest strata of the social order makes him a trend setter of different kind.
Samanta, who had the feel of being poor without his father’s hand on his head since the age of four, strength of shouldering agonies caused by the untimely death of his father, never ever shied away from putting a brave face to console his widowed mother, while still bleeding deep inside his heart. Samantha withstood the vagaries of circumstances to rise tall enough to dwarf everyone rich and influential, not by material richness, but by ethical values of life.
Setting up KIIT- a world class university all by himself with less than Rs. 5000 in his pocket is now history. It is no less a miracle to create an architectural marvel, spreading across 25 sq. kilometers of land in 20 wi-fi state-of-the art campuses, but it was not what he wanted to make. It was his experience that made him to think for millions of poverty-striken children. He dreamt of a world where poverty would not stand as an obstacle to one’s education. In his efforts, he created a slice of heaven on earth, christened it as Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), for fifteen thousand neglected and underprivileged tribal children living far away from out civilized world, as he strongly believes: Poverty creates illeterary, literary removes poverty.
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) organised a mega guardian’s meet on Sunday February 2, 2014 with more than 50,000 parents and guardians of tribal students of the institution attending the meeting.
Assembly of such large number of triabls representing 62 tribes and 1 primitive tribal communities from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Assam, is one of its kind.
While expressing gratitude to KIIT and KISS founder Achuta Samantha for securing the future of their children by providing free education at par with top public schools, the parents also stressed the need for government support to better the institution that has more than 20,000 tribal children in its fold. A guardian committee is to be formed to appeal to the government on problems faced by KISS.
Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, with an humble beginning in 1993 with 125 children, has become the largest residential institute for the tribals in the world, providing Accommodation, food, Healthcare, Education from Kindergarten to Post Graduation, vocational training and all other basic amenities of life absolutely free with a job after completion of education. Today KISS has:-
  • Current Strength-15,083 children 60 per cent boys and 40 per cent girls as on June, 2011.
  • Land Area - 80 acres
  • Built-up Area - 8,00,000 sqft.
  • Students enrolled from 62 tribes of Orissa including 13 primitive Tribes.
  • Students from adjoining States
  • 5% reserved seats in different professional courses of KIIT University.
  • Library in 15,000 sq.ft. building with over 20,000 titles
—  Malini Hoizal
When I first saw a mail from my colleague regarding YFS volunteering opportunity, I thought it was one of the regular opportunities. The event was – Visit Indian Institute of Science with children. The description stated that the volunteers were required to take care of school children visiting IISc.
On the day of the event I reached the rendezvous point, met our YFS point of contact, Mr. Lakshmikanth and was in for a wonderful surprise. Indian Institute of Science was actually celebrating its Founder’s Day and had organized an Open Day in conjunction with the same!
The Open Day is a day when IISc opens its doors to the public, to Explore, Experience, and Enjoy the wonders of scientific and technological innovations, experiments, research and a whole lot of other things.
We were formed in groups of 25 children and 4-5 adults. Our group included children from Rajarajeshwari Nagar with their enthusiastic and cheerful teacher. Armed with a map of the humungous, gigantic campus, an eager group and a curious mind we proceeded toward our targets – the departments that would offer something interesting. We were blown away by the Glass-blowing demo and learnt about the different types of glasses and their uses.  Each of us gaped when a glass tube was heated, blown, twisted and finally turned into a swan. Wow! What an experience!
We thought nothing else could top this experience. But wait, we were yet to visit the Civil Engineering Department. The Ground Penetration Radar won the children’s interest hands down. Everyone was allowed to move the radar on the soil surface and experience its operations. And the best part was when they “treasure-hunted” the chocolates “hidden” below the surface. Each department had its own fun way of demonstrating their work and had innovative ways to facilitate learning. We played fun games, watched Math movies, learnt about different types of rocks, saw a piece of a meteorite, did a nature walk, tried our hands at a few experiments and had a blast.
On the whole, it was an amazing experience that would remain as part of some fond memories. And guess what made it fun? Seeing all the demos, experiments, posters, the campus and the displays through the eyes of the school children we accompanied!
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