SEWA INTERNATIONAL INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN NATIONAL EXHIBITION
Sewa International is participating in “Lok Gatha Utsav” at IGNCA in collaboration with the Deendayal Research Institute (DRI), New Delhi. It is a festival of the cultural heritage of India; 'Lok Gatha Utsav' is being organized on the Birth Centenary of Rashtrarishi Nana Ji Deshmukh at Mati Ghar Lawns, C. V. Mess, Janpath, New Delhi from 28 Nov to 3 Dec 2017.
The focus of the festival is on oral epics, ballads, and legends in performance, arts & crafts traditions of folk and tribal communities of India. Around 500 traditional folk artists from all over the country are invited to present the rich traditional and cultural heritage of India built around their narrative and traditions. This festival will also showcase a rich variety of traditional crafts and textiles of India. Sewa International is showcasing its products from “Sewa Kashi” and “Sewa Kutch” projects viz. Silk handloom dupattas, handloom silk stoles, sling bags from Kutch, Mobile pouches, Tote bags etc. There are special arts and crafts workshops for school children to learn from the Artisans. The inaugural performance was given by the internationally acclaimed 'Manganiyar Recital' from Rajasthan, choreographed by the famous art director and composer Roysten Abel.
SEWA UTTARAKHAND UPDATES
During the festive season, a round of fairs is organized by the union and state government. It’s a good opportunity for the Artisans, Co-operatives, Farmers, SHGs, and Handicraftsmen to showcase and sell their products. Sewa International participates in these exhibitions and fairs bolstering the farm and non- farm initiatives of the project. In November, Sewa Uttarakhand participated in “Gauchar Mela” and “Augustyamuni Mela” in Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts from 14 Nov 2017 onwards. Sewa team put up the stall of non-farm products made under its Programs- Sewa Mahila Jyoti and Sewa Srujan. These products were prepared and packaged by the women associated with its Knitting centers and SHGs initiatives in Uttarakhand. The Member of Legislative Assembly of the Kedarnath constituency and District Magistrate of Rudraprayag visited SIB's stall and inquired about the projects running in the region. They appreciated the Sewa International Bharat's efforts towards women empowerment through skill-based training and market linkages. He encouraged the workers of Sewa International to continue the good work.
In November under the program “Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa”, Sewa Uttarakhand formed a Community Health Committee, for the establishment of broad approaches to health improvement that involves a wide range of activities and individuals. The aim is that each village and community participating in a health programme should establish a committee at the local level. The committee will coordinate and support the different activities and provide leadership for the community and will serve as the linkage with local and state level staff, involved in various programs and schemes run by the government. Community Health Committee is therefore crucial for broadening the approach and promoting the health at the village level.
INAUGURATION OF HOSPITAL AT WAYANAD DISTRICT IN KERALA
Sewa International health initiative Sri Vivekananda Medical Mission (SVMM), Kerala inaugurated a hospital in Wayanad on 4 Nov 2017. The inauguration was done by Hon. Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Mr. Pon Radhakrishnan. This hospital will cater to the needs of tribal people living in the Wayanad district. This venture has been initiated, based on the necessity to avoid the traveling to big cities for first-class health and medical care and in the process saving the hard earned income of the already impoverished sections of the society and tribal communities. The project would prove to be a stepping stone to an ongoing mission of providing the first-class health care to the needy at the affordable rate. It will not only cater to the healthcare needs of the region but also generate jobs for the youth living in the area. The H’ble Minister in his address emphasized the need to improve the well-being of the people of Kerala by ensuring access to quality healthcare services and lauded the efforts of Sewa International Bharat for the region.
RELIEF OPERATIONS FOR THE FLOOD AFFECTED CITIZENS IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Heavy rain that started in October 2017 caused major floods in parts of Trinidad and Tobago, leaving numerous submerged homes, roads and farms and thousands of marooned citizens. The extended moderate to heavy showers, additional flooding, and landslides across the country over the next weeks, caused heavy damage in the country. Sewa Trinidad and Tobago carried out drive to assist people affected by flooding. During the drive, the volunteers of Sewa worked on the ground doing relief and rescue, in tandem with councilors, disaster management units, and regional corporations. They provided relief in the affected areas and helped in preparations by assessing the needs specific to each area. Mr. Revan Teelucksingh of Sewa Trinidad and Tobago said,”There were more than 2,000 food packets, which were distributed in the flooded areas.” He also said that during the flood and relief operations all the citizens displayed a great sense of solidarity and generosity, which reflected the benevolent nature of human spirit.
DEV DIWALI CELEBRATION AND CLEANLINESS DRIVE IN VARANASI
Sewa International celebrated “Dev Diwali”, on 4 Nov 2017, at Balua ghat in Ramnagar, Varanasi. It was celebrated as a part of larger “Ramnagar Dev Dipawali Mahotsav”. Sewa International expressing the solidarity with beleaguered weaver community conducted this cultural event. Dev Diwali is observed after fourteen days of Diwali, it marks a tribute to river Ganga. In the honor of goddess Ganga, locals paint their homes in vivid paintings and light earthen lamps. The cultural event supported underlying themes of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Namami Gange and Education for all. The holistic development initiative, "Swacch, Kushal, Shikshit Kashi", of Sewa International in Varanasi led by Dr. Govind Singh urged for the more support from the community. The local artists performed in the event and enthralled the audience. More than 2000 earthen lamps were lit on the ghat, at the end of the event.
The chief guest of the program was H’ble Swami Jitendranand Saraswati, National General Secretary of Ganga Mahasabha. He was welcomed by Mr. Kailash Agarwal, RSS Pracharak. Swami ji in his address emphasized the importance of cleanliness in our daily life. He reaffirmed the goals of ‘Namami Gange’, exhorted to maintain the natural flow of river Ganga, and restriction on the commercial activities hampering the flow on the bank of Ganga.
On Sunday Nov 5, 2017, 50 members of Sewa International and people from Ramnagar cleaned banks of Ganga. The team cleaned the debris and waste from the program and thousands of earthen lamps that were lighted during the program. The main objective of this program is to make people responsible towards the cleanliness. This unique initiative of cleaning up after the event has been lauded by the local residents a lot and they participated in the cleanliness drive with fervour.
SEWA UK TEAM MEMBERS VISIT THE GADAG SCHOOL PROJECT IN KARNATAKA
Arunodaya school, Gadag, Karnataka hosted the guests from England this month, Sewa International UK Team members Mr. Natwar Lal and Mr. Waljibhai Wadia on 04 Nov 2017. They were accompanied by the office bearers of Seva Bharathi Trust. They visited the school and observed the activities of the children. They also interacted with parents and teachers and gave valuable suggestions for future improvements. They expressed their happiness and satisfaction about the ongoing construction work. Arunodaya school is a unique school for children with special needs, viz. underdeveloped brain, Cerebral Palsy, Autism and multiple disabilities. Presently, the institute provides care to 48 such students, and about 150 parents having such special children avail the counseling services and specific guidance for taking better care of their kids. The coaching and care are provided by the professional teachers and the Trained staff. The counseling of the parents is provided by the doctors who have specialized in this area. Sewa International Bharat along with Sewa UK is helping in the construction of a school building with state of the art facilities. The upcoming facility will provide all kinds of services under one roof such as:
Imparting practical education to make the special children self-reliant
Physiotherapy centre with modern equipments
Visual input room to increase their responding capacity
Regular counselling facilities to the parents by experts, doctors
The school which was earlier catering to the people around the Gadag town has now extended its services to the whole district.
A DAY IN SUN WITH HEBRON HOMELESS CENTER
The housing crisis has added to the homelessness situation in USA. More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released in November 2017. We live in a strange world where we expect that a young person who suffered in their childhood has to get everything together when they're 17 before they get housing. No young person should ever be left to fend for themselves that way. But especially young people that have suffered. Once they do exit the environment that they have been residing in, isolation kicks in and they tend to gravitate towards people and choices that are maybe not the best for them. It is better to intervene when there is a homeless situation with kids, with support they could be steered towards a better tomorrow. With this view, Sewa USA team had an engaging, fun and learn session with the kids at Hebron Homeless shelter. Volunteers played games with the kids inside and outside the house. They made craft together as well. Kids were very excited and were asking about the next session. Objective of the session was to make the kids happy. Happy kids means happy and stress free parents! It's our way of reminding these kids … it doesn't matter where you are, where you go, that you still belong!
The voluntarism initiative of Sewa Uttarakhand, ‘’Sewa Saahas’’ team flagged off a run to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel here. The Run for Unity, which began from the Sewa International Office, Narayankoti, saw the participation of a large number of people, including sports personalities of the region. The early morning run came to an end at Dr. Jacques Vigne National School, Guptakashi. Sewa International salutes Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary. His enormous service and monumental contribution to India can never be forgotten. Everyone in the country is proud of Patel’s contribution to India before it attained freedom and during the early years after the nation became independent. The date of October 31 all over the country, is observed as a day of the special occasion to foster and reinforce the citizen’s dedication to preserve and strengthen unity, integrity, and security of the nation by celebrating it as a ’Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. The event saw the participation of more than 200 people from different walks of life viz. students of schools and colleges, housewives, sportsperson, and many others. Sewa Saahas team urged the people to take a pledge to maintain the unity of the country and strive for the wellbeing of the society.
TOILET AND HYGIENE PROJECT RUN BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL BHARAT
Sewa International is committed towards Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, especially in the state of UP which is in dire need of the movement. The big cities of state like Varanasi, Kanpur, and Agra are notorious for lack of sanitation. Sewa International believes that ensuring girls education is the best way forward for the country to meet its goal of a developed nation. Also by recognizing, understanding and addressing gender dimensions within water and sanitation projects promotes sanitation and can lead to increased household welfare, improved health, increased gender equality and environmental sustainability. It also increases the efficiency and the effectiveness of the development resources invested. By making toilets in Girls/Co-ed schools, SIB wants to ensure that no girl child leaves the school because of lack of toilets. Sewa International Bharat’s Varanasi chapter Sewa Kashi works tirelessly to promote these objectives. This month SIB has installed 7 toilets in Lucknow viz Ghulam Hussain Purwa, Vibhutikhand, Peernanagar, Dubagga, Tiwaripur Sitapur road, and Chinhat block under “Swacch-Shikshit-Kushal Kashi Program” (SSKKP). Sewa Kashi had volunteer engagement for this lag of the project, Mr. Alok, and Ms. Monica. They helped the mentor of the SSKKP Mr. Thiagrajan Ramanan and Mrs. Jayanthi Ramanan in providing on-ground support in Lucknow to ensure success in this national mission.
SCHOOL KITS DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMME IN TRIPURA
One just has to see to believe so many genuine smiles of these kids who have seemingly got their best Durga Puja gift ever! The occasion was the distribution of the innocuous school kits to 300 kids studying at Sewa International Bharat Learning Centres in Ashapara and Naisinghpara refugee camps deep in the ravines of North Tripura. The school kit comprised of six notebooks, a school bag and a pencil box full of stationery items. The drive was conducted at the behest of our center tutors, who asked for study aids like stationery and bag for effective teaching. After the drive, gleeful eyes of the kids were a tell-tale sign of their zest for life and a provided a glimpse into a future full of hopes and promises.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT CENTRE FOR TRIBAL WOMEN IN TRIPURA
Reang (Bru) is a displaced community, and the women of the tribe have been subjected to exploitation and trafficking due to extreme poverty prevalent in the 6 refugee camps in North Tripura, which prompted Sewa International to start a Skill Centre with Yuva Vikas Society (Training Partner) to provide Certified Training under PMKVY to Bru Women in Tailoring. The center was formally launched on 6th Oct 2017 in the august presence of Mr. Sanjay Hegde (Trustee) and Mr. Nishant Aggarwal (CEO), Sewa International. Mr. Sanjay Hegde extolled the new trainees to give their best and learn skills to empower the Bru community and prevent forced migration. Mr. Nishant gave a briefing on the PMKVY & Skill India schemes and promised all possible help on successful completion of training for employment and entrepreneurship to trainees. The event was very well received and trainees promised to give their best to complete the training for a promising future.
DRIVE FOR MENTAL HEALTH CARE BY SEWA INTERNATIONAL BHARAT
When you think of treatment for people with severe and persistent mental illness, there is a range of treatments and modalities to help the affected person. For example hospitalization, medication, healthcare, skills building, speech therapy, and neuro therapy etc. Even if a person had the best in all these areas, without being treated with respect and dignity these services really become meaningless. Any good doctor will tell you that the belief that a medication will work for you is just as important as the medication itself. This concept has a corollary: how a person is treated when getting treatment is just as important as or more important than the treatment itself. Sewa International has been committed towards Divyang care and runs 3 projects under this vertical viz. Divya Vidyalaya Jawhar (Maharashtra), Samvedana Vikas Kendra, Latur (Maharashtra), Karunaii Trust, Chennai (Tamil Nadu). These institutes cater to children who have cerebral palsy, underdeveloped brain, blindness, and are deaf; they are from the underprivileged sections of society. Sewa International ensures that children with mental health conditions living in these projects can continue to live with dignity and have best of the care by health professionals. All the caretakers in the projects are sensitized towards the treatment and share the special bonds with these kids. Sewa International ascertain the betterment in the lives of these children by lending support and treating them with dignity.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during their critical formative years but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realizing the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.