Monday, November 2, 2015

Sewa Sandesh
October 2015
Sewa Sandesh team
 wishes its readers and well wishers a happy and prosperous Deepawali. 
The Indian-American and Hindu-American communities between September 11 and October 4 celebrated  “Sewa Day” – a day of pure service - with a variety of community service projects at over 20 locations across the USA. Hundreds of volunteers from Sewa International US and partner organizations including professional bodies, associations, linguistic, temple, spiritual, social and cultural organizations came together for a day of community service and worked on a variety of projects to make a difference in their communities. Sewa Day was also celebrated in UK, Canada, Australia, Guyana, and Sri Lanka.
Projects were organized based on three guiding principles: 1. Serve to relieve hardship to humanity, 2. Bring a little joy to the needy, and 3. Increase environmental awareness. Youth and children enthusiastically participated as volunteers too.
At Boston, MA, volunteers cooked dinner for 200 people at the Cor Unum Meal Center - a nonprofit that provides nutritious meals in a safe environment to needy families. In Charlotte, NC, volunteers removed roadside trash and debris as part of the county’s adopt-a-city street program, and also cleaned up the local temple.
Volunteers in Cleveland, OH, Sewa cleaned up the Weiss Field Metro Park. In Columbus, OH, volunteers organized group games and a cultural program for the Bhutanese refugee community, and, distributed school bags and food.
 In Philadelphia, PA, volunteers participated in a food drive and helped manage parking at a local festival. Volunteers in Delaware cleaned their neighborhood temple including shrine upkeep, maintaining the parking lot, washing windows and collecting garbage.
In the Detroit Metro area, MI, volunteers performed weeding, mulching, landscaping, repair, and restoration work at the Bharatiya Temple in Troy. In the DC area, volunteers provided food for residents at Cornerstone Shelter in Reston.
Three Sewa Day events were held in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, TX. Youth volunteers helped out at Frisco with a community organization devoted to local service projects, with acts of love and socialization with a sisterhood of moms. A free medical camp was organized for the Bhutanese refugee families in Dallas in which three doctors and 16 volunteers participated and over 40 patients benefited. Sewa volunteers also served at Plano City's cultural exchange program showcasing Japanese art and culture. 
In Houston, TX, 50 volunteers picked up trash and debris from Galveston beach as part of the Texas adopt-a-beach initiative. In San Antonio, TX, volunteers vacuumed, cleaned doors and windows, and washed the blinds at their local mandir.
In Denver, CO, volunteers cleaned up the Brighton temple hall, yard, kitchen and deities. Volunteers from Portland, OR and Seattle, WA cleaned up trails and vegetation and participated in upkeep and preservation activity at the Vedanta Society’s spiritual retreat.
In one of three events in Bay Area, CA, over 35 volunteers worked three hours at Ed Levin Park Milpitas to collect more than 25 bags of garbage comprising of soda cans, bottles, litter, plastic cups, and paper cups. Mr. Jose Esteves, the Mayor of Milpitas, inaugurated the event and delivered a motivating opening speech. Volunteers from San Ramon packed and distributed vegetarian food to the homeless at People’s Park in
Berkeley, CA. In Cupertino, volunteers cleaned up the Calabazas Park.
 Volunteers in Irvine, CA cleaned up Corona Beach at Corona Del Mar as part of the statewid
e California Coastal Cleanup Day initiative. In San Diego, CA, 85 volunteers contributed 170 service hours and cleaned over 15,000 pounds of plums and potatoes to be distributed to families facing hunger throughout San Diego County, thus providing the equivalent work of 19 full time staff.

In the morning of September 12 when people in Petlawad under Jhabua District of Madhya Pradesh were still trying to wake-up, a blast rocked a godown near a bus stand. Even before the people could understand something, another blast turned the nearby shops and house into rubbles scattering human bodies and blood everywhere. The swayamsevaks at Shagun Garden in Bamniyan Road had reached the house of a swayamsevak after morning Shakha and they had just picked up the tea cups, they heard a more powerful blast. They ran out and saw a big dust storm. They rushed towards the spot. When the dust cleared they saw scattered dead bodies and also some injured people crying. Within minutes about 50 more swayamsevaks rushed to the spot and joined the rescue operation. Swayamsevaks started sending injured to the hospital on motorcycles of the passers-by. But seeing the number of injured high, they arranged for four wheelers from the colony and sent the injured to hospital in the shortest possible duration. Since some people were buried in the rubbles, they called JCB machines and tractors and started finding out the injured. Some teams were also sent to hospital. They started identifying dead bodies and consoling their family members. Some tried to control the spectators. They also donated blood at the hospital and arranged woods and other required materials for cremation. 12 swayamsevaks were also killed in the blast which claimed 88 lives.
A marvelous oil painting of Nanaji Deshmukh, made by leading painter Sardar RM Singh, was inaugurated by Haryana Governor Shri Kaptan Singh Solanki in Delhi on October 11. The occasion was 99th birth anniversary of Nanaji. A seminar on Integral Humanism and Self Reliance was also organised on the occasion.
Speaking at the seminar Swadeshi ideologue Shri P Murlidhar Rao expressed concern that Bharat, the country blessed with the largest quantity of fertile land in the world, imports foodgrains and pulses for several years. “Bharat is the largest consumer of pulses. If we continue to import them our self-dependency and self-reliance will be endangered. Therefore, it is direly needed that Bharat increases the production of pulses. Similar is the condition with the edible oils. If we have to materialise the thinking of Deendayalji and strengthen our self-reliance we will have to give priority to the small scale industries. We can learn much from the experiments conducted in Chitrakoot by Nanaji,” he said.
Shri Kaptan Singh Solanki stressed the need to utilise the birth centenaries of Deendayalji and Nanaji for educating the masses for self-reliance. He said Integral Humanism is not an alternative thinking; it is an eternal view for the benefit of the humanity. He called Nanaji as a leader, statesman and founder. That is why he is Rashtrarishi. He materialised the views of Deendayalji and showed the world that it is a practical model of development.

Began on October 2nd, the 3-day annual national conference of Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram concluded on 4th October 2015 at Dr. Hedgewar Smarak Samiti Premises, Reshimbag in Nagpur.
 Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra inaugurated the valedictory ceremony.
On October 4th, the concluding session was attended by Union Ministers of State Sudarshan Bhagat and Hansraj Ahir, Akhil Bharatiya Seva Pramukh of RSS Suhasrao Hiremath, President of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Jagdeoram Uraon,, Dr. Kanna Madavi,  Industrialist Ashok Goyal, Vice-Presidents of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Nilima Patte and Shri. Kripaprasad Singh and Dr. Sharadchandji Salphale.
The guests were welcomed amidst the enthusiastic dance performance by the artists from the tribal community. The programme proceeded with the lamp lighting ceremony  accompanied with a prayer that was sung by the people from Arunachal Pradesh. Vishnukantji, Rastriya Sanyukta Mahamantri, introduced the dignitaries to the audience.
Addressing the gathering Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis praised the work being done by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, which has been working for 63 years among the tribal people. He said that the millennium development goal is incomplete without the sustainable development and that is perfectly portrayed by the tribal people, where they live in harmony with the nature and conserve it at the same time. When evil powers were busy breaking the society, Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram was in the forefront to reestablish the faith of the tribal people in their own land. He also stated that Maharshtra Govt. has initiated various social upliftment schemes for the Janjati community.
He also remembered the struggle of tribal freedom fighters and remembered the freedom fighter Babarao Shermake, from Chandrapur district of Vidarbha region, who at the young age fought against the British. The Govt. has also started the work of Ashramshala, which will provide the opportunity of education in the region’s ranked one schools to the 25000 children from the Janjati communities. They will also start the work of providing hygienic food to the vanvasi kids under Akshay Patra Yojana, so that the medical parameters in the kids will start to get better. He also stated that, the Govt. has strong committment for the development of tribal community and bringing them  into the mainstream development using skills development projects.
Shri. Sudarshan Bhagat, Union Minister of State said that he being a student of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram’s Chhatravas felt that it was a proud moment for him to be present amongst the people who are working with a vision for the betterment of the tribal people. The people gathered on the occasion from various parts of the country gave the feeling that a small version of India is seated in front of me. He praised Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram for their contribution in making the Janjati community able and self-sufficient reaching out to them in the interior regions of the country. He applauded the work which is being done through various hostels of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram for the education of children of tribal community. He even said that we need to get tribal community in the mainstream development as early as possible and Govt. is trying its best to fulfill the requirements. He thanked Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram for giving him an opportunity to interact with the people and share his experiences.
Shri. Suhasrao Hiremath, Akhil Bharatiya Seva Pramukh of RSS, said that the work of preserving the values in the age of fast changing world is being done by the tribal community in a very effective manner. He also said that seeing the work of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, the youth of India will be inspired to in the very moment he begins to know them closely. He also made a point to mention that even when the tribal people were treated poorly they still have preserved the mainstream values and the culture in their own unique manner and are still doing so with the same enthusiasm.
Dr. Kanna Madavi, praised the work being done by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram for the upliftment of the tribal people and even made it a point to mention what experiences he had in his life being a person from Janjati community. He further said that the society must stop unnecessarily sympathizing with the tribal people and treat them as one of them.
Mr. Ashok Goyal, eminent businessman on the occasion said that Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is doing the work of reinstalling the faith within the tribal community and praised the work that is being done by all the representatives. He stated that the work taken up is an Ishwariya  Karya and whoever thought of the question as to how the future of the Janjati be improved must be bowed before. With such activities of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, social fabric will be strengthened.
In this three day conference 1469 males and 288 females representing 236 Akhil Janjati Bharat took active participation. A total of 1757 people across the country along with Andaman Nicobar and Nepal, were present for the event.
The ceremony started with the presidential speech of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram’s Shri. Jagdeoram Uraon. Ekal Geet was presented by Meeraji and Acchamaji on this occasion. The vote of thanks was given by the National Vice-President of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Smt. Nilima Patte and the event concluded with the national song, Vande Mataram.
Landslide in Lillisland estate of central province of Srilanka occurred on September 25 claiming around 7 people dead. Many houses swept away by the forceful soil and rainwater. 20 families were evacuated from their houses. Now they are staying in common small building in a nearby estate. Around 50 other families are living with fear. Athourities alarmed them to move away from that place.
Swayamsevaks in nearby estate rushed to the spot immediately after the landslide. They removed  dead bodies in that heavy rainy time. They also distributed food meterials to the affected people.

MedScapeIndia Award

The Fourth MedScapeIndia Award for Recognizing Excellence in Healthcare has been conferred on Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission on 17.10.2015 in Mumbai in a proud and  grand programme.
The award has been  bestowed on the Mission in the category of Excellence In Rural Health. These awards were instituted in 2007 by Aryan Medical and Educational Trust to honor medical fraternity. The Trust is based in Mumbai,  a non-profit charitable and Registered NGO pledged to make communities across urban and rural India self-dependent. The awards,   are an initiative to recognize the heroism of those who have displayed courage and inspired many in their fight against disease and disability.
The Mission President, Dr. P. Narayanan Nair, Secretary Adv. K.A. Asokan received the award on behalf of the Mission in Mumbai.            
  • Many may not know that 15 lakh Indian soldiers fought in the World War I (1914-1918). Of them , 74,000  sacrificed their lives and 9,200 were honoured with gallantry awards. (Pradhan Mantri,Mann Ki Baat, April 25, 2015).
  • Over 30 lakh families have surrendered their LPG subsidy, and not just the rich. Most are from the lower middle and middle classes like retired teachers, pensioners. This is nothing but proof of that a silent revolution is on. (Pradhan Mantri, Mann Ki Baat, September 20, 2015).
  • Shri Bharat Gupta from Satna, Madhya Pradesh, posted this on mygov.orgwebsite: “Nowadays awareness of cleanliness is high among people, particularly the Railway users, thanks to Swatch Bharat campaign. Passengers look for a dust bin in compartment. If they do not find one, they keep all the waste heaped neatly in a corner. They don’t litter all over.” On reading this I was very happy. (Pradhan Mantri, Mann Ki Baat, October 3, 2014).
  • PM's mann ki baat leads to rise in khadi sales Barely 10 days since Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi urged people to buy khadi in his 'Mann ki Baat' address on radio, Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan in Connaught Place has witnessed a massive jump in sales. "There has been an 88% increase since the PM spoke about buying khadi on September 20," says Naresh Pal, deputy chief executive officer and manager at the store. The PM's call did strike a chord. "Our sales are booming owing to a younger crowd that wants to experiment, and keeping this in mind we have also brought about a change in our line of products. Earlier 30% of the products in the store were readymade but now this has been increased to 70%," says Pal.
For Further Information Please Contact:
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Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sewa Sandesh

September 2015
RSS Swayamsewaks of Vidyapeeth Nagar at Banashankari in Bengaluru organised a medical camp in which the swayamsewaks distributed deworming medicines to the residents of Manjunath Colony near Channammanakere Acchukattu. The event was organised as a part of the Sewa Sanghik. After distribution of medicines, the swayamsewaks organised Rakshabandhan programme at the colony. Noted physician Dr Shashidhar inaugurated the camp.
Bharat on September 7 gave the first tranche of $500,000 for Syrians in distress and displaced from their homes. The Bharatiya ambassador to Jordan gave the money to the Jordanian government which is coordinating relief for the Syrian refugees. Bharat has promised $2 million for humanitarian assistance to Syrians in March. Like most of the world, Bharat too was jolted by the reports of large numbers of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country to Europe, their plight brought home forcefully with the picture of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi's body washed up on a Turkish shore. The war shows no signs of coming to an end, with Assad and the opposition including ISIS and sundry Al Qaeda-affiliated groups continuing a brutal and bloody conflict.
In order to expand the organisation up to grass roots level, the Ekal Abhiyan Trust (ABT) has formulated Vision 2025. The number of SVK in sanch of 30 villages would now be 3, instead of 1.
Brand Ekal would be propagated and CSR funds would be tapped. Arogya and Gramotthan projects would be provided added impetus and focus. Apart from it working together with the Government would be encouraged, by providing policy inputs and implementation support to Government programmes in Ekal sectors and areas of operations.  

The recent ordinance passed by the Modi Government for Hindus and other minority refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh is a revolutionary step in the right direction. When the plight of Muslim refugees has shot to limelight due to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, Bharat has done its part to come to the aid of minority refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh. In a recent ordinance passed on September 7, 2015, the Central Government decided to allow minority refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan to stay in Bharat on humanitarian grounds even after expiry of their visas. According to the statement issued by the Home Ministry, the Government has decided to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered Bharat on or before December 31, 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in Bharat without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents. The decision has been taken under Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and Foreigners Act, 1946.  There are reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities in those countries, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Parsis and Buddhists, took shelter in Bharat due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution.
They have entered Bharat either without any valid documents, including passport and other travel document, or with valid documents but the validity of such document has expired. There has been no exact numbers of such minority refugees from these countries but official figures say that around two lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are presently living in Bharat. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi Government came to power in May last year, several steps including issuance of Long Term Visa (LTV) for these refugees have been initiated. Nearly 19,000 refugees have been given long-term visas in Madhya Pradesh, around 11,000 in Rajasthan and 4,000 in Gujarat. In November last year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had approved a number of steps to ease grant of citizenship to such refugees which included manual acceptance of applications for citizenship, consideration of an affidavit filed before the authority in return for citizenship renunciation certificate and permission to the children of such refugees, who entered India, on the basis of their parents’ passport, to apply for Bharatiya citizenship without a passport.
In April this year, the Union Home Ministry rolled out an online system for LTV applications and for their processing by various security agencies. The decision was taken to address the difficulty being faced by Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had come with the intention of settling permanently in Bharat. Currently, 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements are there in north-western Bharatiya cities, like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur. Similarly, Hindu refugees from Bangladesh have taken shelters in eastern Bharatiya province of West Bengal and also in some north-eastern provinces. Many organisations welcomed this ordinance as approximately one crore Bengali Hindu refugees in Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh will be benefited. Their stay in Bharat will not be treated henceforth as illegal. Now they would not be treated as ‘D’ voters anymore. As the previous government has done nothing for the Hindu refugees, the present government is living up to its promises by taking this landmark decision.
Joining the Clean Yamuna Drive, the Badri Bhagat Jhandewalan Temple Society and the devotees have made it a routine to organise cleaning and doing puja of river Yamuna on first Sunday of every month. On September 6 the cleaning and puja was performed at Shri Shyam Ghat in Jagatpura Village in Wazirabad. The temple society provides free conveyance to the devotees joining the drive. After the cleaning, first the aarati of Yamunaji is performed then the aarati of Jhandewala Mata is done.   
Saraswati Shishu  Bal Mandir (Paharganj) run by Samarth Shiksha Samiti Delhi, celebrated Shri Krishna Janma-sthami with a difference. The school organised a big function at Talkatora Stadium on September 2. The event was named as ‘Sri Krishna Ananta Sagar’. The light and sound show on the life of Meerabai was hugely appreciated. Chief Guest on the occasion was Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma and Member of Parliament Smt Meenakshi Lekhi. National secretary of Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas Shri Atul Kothari, national general secretary of Vidya Bharati Dr Lalit Bihari Goswami and president of Samarth Shiksha Samiti Shri Pravinkant were also present. The event successfully displayed the devotion of Meerabai to Sri Krishna. The prime objective of the event was to apprise the students of the rich cultural heritage of the country.

Blasting the general perception about association of Muslims with the slaughter of cow and its progeny, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has added a feather of success in its cap by organising the first ever national conclave of Muslim cow protectors.  Held at Friozpur Zirka Anaj Mandi in Haryana’s Mewat region on September 13, this unique congregation was attended by over 10,000 Muslim gau palaks from all over the country. This was historic gathering and beyond our expectations, said MRM’s National Convener Mohd. Afzal. The MRM has been preparing for such an event since last one year. Mewat is a Muslim dominated area of Haryana known for cow slaughter cases and subsequent violence on several occasions during the Congress regime in the past.
Senior RSS member and MRM patron Indresh Kumar, Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar, and Chairman of All Bharat Imam Council Maulana Umer Iliyasi were conspicuous by their presence. Besides, MRM National Convener Mohd Afzal, Co-conveners Latif Magdum, Abbas Ali Bohara, Dr Imran Chaudhary, Convener of Cow Protection Cell Mohd Faiz Khan, Renuka Sharma, Tanveer Ahmed, Organising Convener Girish Juyal and others were also present.
Declare cow as national animal—MRM
The MRM has demanded the Centre to declare cow as national animal and is also moving international community as part of its efforts to elevate cows to a global status. The MRM will also be touring the country to spread awareness among Muslims that "cow slaughter was created as a divisive issue by the British and then perpetuated in post-Independence by the Congress, Left and pseudo-secularists" to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims, said Mohd Faiz Khan, Convener of MRM Cow Protection Cell. A CD and a book was also launched on the occasion. On this occasion the MRM felicitated over 80 Muslim gau palaks from different parts of the country at the hands of Indresh Kumar and Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar. An exhibition on the subject was the star attraction of the programme.
The event titled as Akhil Bharatiya Muslim Gau Palak Sammelan was held to attract the nationalist Muslim cow breeders and herders who follow the directions of Islam as enshrined in the Islamic scriptures including the holy Quran, said Mohd Faiz Khan. He added that the holy book does not sanction sacrifice of cow as Islamic religious duty.  Slaughter or sacrifice of cow has never found any sanction in the religion neither it has been the necessary part of religion, he added.  Addressing the 10,000 strong gathering of Muslim gau palaks MRM patron Indresh Kumar said that Islam or the holy Quran never allowed slaughter of cow as religious ritual. Had it been so, there would have been instances of cow sacrifice at the holy Kaaba in Mecca, he said adding that in the past 1,400 years history of Islam there was not a single incident of cow sacrifice. On the contrary, the Prophet had time and again stated that cow milk and ghee are good for health while the beef is not good for human consumption, he added.
Describing this event as a grand success, Indresh Kumar said that the Muslims from states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, besides Islamic scholars attended the conclave. He said that the MRM would continue with its mass awareness and education programme on cow protection. Cow slaughter has been the most contentious issue and cause of communal violence in Bharat. “Those who advocate in favour of cow slaughter are not nationalists, nor secular, they are anti-people and anti-democracy”, he added. Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar congratulated MRM for organising such a great event and exposing the myth that Muslims were responsible for cow slaughter in Bharat. Describing Mewat as one of the famous regions for cow breeding, the Chief Minister said that time has come to wipe out the blot that Mewat was notoriously known for cow slaughter and communal clashes. He said that he received good support for the Bill on cow protection and breeding from Mewat region. This legislation has been in discussion in the entire country, he said. 
  • It is a moment of rare honour for Bharatiya conservationists Sukhram Baiga, Ujiyaro Bai and Gopal Mandal, who have been invited to address the 5-day XIV World Forestry Congress in Durban beginning on September 7. They were invited by Timber Watch, a South African NGO working on forest conservation with the help of local communities. The efforts of Ujiyaro Bai and her fellow villagers from Pondi have successfully saved forests in Dindori (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat) from forest fires and illegal wood contractors. The community organisation-Rural Development Society-has about 15 hectares of community mangrove forests in about seven villages, This has developed generated various options of  traditional livelihoods like  fishing and  honey collection.  According to Gopal, nearly 350 persons have been diverted from the tiger habitat to these community mangrove forests.This has not only reduced incidents of man-tiger conflicts but also controlled human pressures in tiger habitat, thereby helping in big cat conservation. “For generations Baiga tribe has been co-existing with tigers.  Today, both Baigas and tigers are endangered. Both need the jungles to survive. Yet in this battle for survival why are only tigers allowed to flourish and Baigas left to perish as victims of displacement from their native jungles,” Ujiyaro asks. “Our age old co-existence with big cats has been endangered,” said Sukhram, adding, “Our lives, livelihood, culture and ethos are all rooted in the jungles.”Ujiyaro, who belongs to the Baiga tribe, started her fight to save forests, seven years back.
  • Amit Vaidya, a Gujarati, was born and brought up in the US, with a Ph.D. in economics; he was diagnosed with first stage gastric cancer when he was 27. He went in for “aggressive chemo radiation” in New York. Two years later he went into remission. Doctors told Amit that his life too was just a matter of time. “I started planning my funeral”, says Amit. Soon he planned a trip to India. He lived in Delhi with a friend when he was told about alternative therapies. The treatment at a hospital in Gujarat was disciplined with yoga, meditation and he was made to drink a mix of desi cow milk, curd, ghee and gobar, go-mutra (panchagavya). Scans showed that the cancer “had not spread”. Another 40 days in the hospital, and reports showed the cancer had decreased. Wanting to continue the therapy, Amit stayed with a farmer, who opened his house to Amit. “I continued the therapy and after months was able to walk. Over time, walks became jogs, jogs became runs and I started finding joy in my mind. The villagers had time for me, which was the best gift I got, especially when I needed time to heal.” After 18 months Amit claims he is cancer free and decided on planning to live his life instead of planning a funeral. He now talks to people about his journey and that healing is possible. He  spends time with cancer patients. He started an NGO called Healing Vaidya (  He does not plan on going back to the US as “this country has given me much. I have learnt that people here don’t value what it can offer.” Amit has written a book  ‘Holy Cancer – How A Cow Saved My Life’,
  • Shri Bharat Gupta from Satna, Madhya Pradesh, posted this on mygov.orgwebsite: “Nowadays awareness of cleanliness is high among people, particularly the Railway users, thanks to Swatch Bharat campaign. Passengers look for a dust bin in compartment. If they do not find one, they keep all the waste heaped neatly in a corner. They don’t litter all over.” On reading this I was very happy. (Courtesy: Panchaamritam)
For Further Information Please Contact:
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Telephone   +91-11-43007650, 23684445
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sewa Sandesh
August 2015
A series of landslides triggered by overnight heavy rain left at least 50 people dead, 23 missing and more than 500 displaced in West Bengal’s Darjeeling District on July 1. The landslides at 25 places in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions also washed away portions of highways, including a bridge, cutting off the road link to the region. 22 deaths occurred in Mirik, where 13 people were also reported missing. The remaining 17 died in Kalimpong, Lava, Sukhia and Gorubathan areas. Twenty persons were reported injured and 15 missing at 8 Mile and 11 Mile areas in Kalimpong. About 300 people shifted to relief camps organised by the administration. Union Minister of State Shri Kiren Rijiju and MP Shri SS Ahluwalia visited the affected areas. The Sangh Volunteers rushed to the affected areas as they got the news of landslide. About 60 workers under the banner of Uttar Bang Sewa Bharati joined the relief activity. They provided eatable items, milk powder, biscuits, water, tarpaulin, blankets, clothes, rice, flour, etc to the victims. Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti from Kolkata also dispatched relief material. A team of doctors from Siliguri under the leadership of Dr Mani Lama also rushed to the spot.

Nepal Earthquake caused massive damage to 500K houses & 7000 schools, which meant that innumerable school kids(~1 million) lost their study/school materials also in the rubble. On his  visit to Nepal, Shri Shyam Parande, International Coordinator, Sewa International found that the need of School Kits was much more than anticipated and it could really help kick-start education process in the country. It was thus decided to almost double the existing lot to a total of "65,000" school kits, of which now 34,000 kits need to be procured and sent to Nepal .A press conference to announce the same was hosted in Nepal Reporters Club on Aug 5. SI's partner organisation HSS Nepal's District Coordinators(pracharaks) have been working in close contact with Nepal Government's LDO/CDOs in order to select schools in the remote and least accessible areas which have been most affected and need most assistance. SI has received hundreds of applications from affected schools requesting School Kits drive to be conducted. Its Nepal team is working overtime to painstakingly ensure that school kits reach to most needy kids in affected areas only. To ensure that, SI has decided to only supply kits to the schools who provide it with the list of most deserving(low income) students. School kits assembling process at Bhairwah has received unprecedented support from local community where students from nearby schools have been coming over in the evening everyday to help with the mammoth task of assembling 31000 kits. 
School Kit Drive reaches Gorkha district, one of the most quake-affected regions of Nepal with the help of SI's partner organization, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh NEPAL. Students of Sai Global School, Bhairwah, were seen engaged enthusiastically in the back-breaking work of assembling school kits, displaying in a true sense of how sewa must be performed. Completely self-less and without expectation of any returns, only for the benefit for the quake-affected brethren. Kudos to their sewa spirit!!
Sewa International's Yuva For Sewa program intern, Amruta Houde, just completed her 2 months(June-July) internship in the North-East India. She truly had a transforming effect on the people in N-E, especially adolescent girls(12-18 years) for whom she conducted mental and physical health awareness programs.
Born & brought up abroad and with all the luxuries bestowed on her, she really had no real connection with the miseries that are common place in India. But, she still felt her responsibility & commitment to contribute to her nation's growth by helping the most vulnerable. She continues her journey to Uttarakhand where similar programs will be conducted for adolescent girls.
Sewa International Design & Development Center is being supported by Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India. The modern tailoring and cutting machines were inaugurated by local Member of Parliament Shri Vinod Bhai Chavda in the presence of Shri Ramesh Bhai Mehta, Chairman Sewa International and Shri Sanjay Hegde, Treasurer Sewa International on 24th June in Jiapar, Kutch, Gujarat.                                                                                            
Delhi unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been in forefront of extending help to the Hindu refugees from Pakistan. Bhagini Nivedita Sewa Nyas, a VHP inspired Trust, provided school uniform and books to 150 such students on July 24. Speaking on the occasion general secretary of the Trust Shri Mahavir Prasad Gupta expressed happiness that no matter it took many years, the children of Pak Hindus are now able to go to school. These children have been staying in Delhi for the last five years but were not able to seek admission in the schools. But now they can study. Some VHP volunteers have been teaching to them for some time. Janakpuri unit of Bharat Vikas Parishad provided stationary to the children. Shri Ishkumar Chadha, Shri Bhushanlal Parashar, Shri Brahmdatt Bhardwaj, Shri Ashwini Kumar and Shri Ramdhan were also present on the occasion.   
A total of 921 delegates from 338 villages attend two day Gram Vikas Varga at Bagalkote, north Karnataka
The two-day Gram Vikas Sangam was organised at Bagalkote in north Karnataka from August 15 to 16. A total of 921 delegates from 338 villages of north Karnataka attended the camp. The unique conclave was organised by Gram Vikas Vibhag, RSS north Karnataka. RSS Akhil Bharatiya Vyavastha Pramukh Shri Mangesh Bhende addressed the workers at the concluding ceremony. Kshetra Pracharak Shri Shyam Kumar was also present. On August 15, the camp for comprehensive rural development was inaugurated by veteran organic farmer Shri Tammannappa Budni. At 7.45 am, the National Flag was hoisted, participants offered salutes to the tricolour. RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gram Vikas Pramukh Dr Dinesh and Prant Sanghachalak Prof Khageshan Pattanashetty spoke on the occasion. Various sessions were organised for entrepreneurs Training session, success stories on rural development, videos of sewa activities, inspiring social projects, few personalities who are successfully heading rural development projects, special initiatives like ‘my village, my dream’ were introduced to the participants.
  • Meet Shri Ishwar Singh Bargah, 48, of Bhilai, Durg district (Chhattisgarh, Bharat). After having worked as a gardener in a Society that runs educational institutions  in Bhilai, Ishwar  rose to become the Principal of another college being run by the same group - setting an example for people coming from lower and underprivileged sections of the society. 48-year-old Ishwar now has a doctorate in education. Ishwar’s  journey of endurance began at the age of 19, when after finishing school education in Ghutiya village and Baithalpur, he came to Bhilai in 1985 looking for a job to support his family. He lived with extended family and joined a salesman job in a cloth store at a pay of Rs 150 per month, through which he managed to apply for BA. Almost two months later, with his uncle's connection in Kalyan College in Bhilai, he started working there as a gardener, then as parking stand keeper, and then as supervisor of ongoing construction work of the college building, on daily wages. Alongside, he continued to study and graduated in BA in 1989. Ishwar then joined in the college as a craft teacher. He used to work during night hours as watchman in the college to attend classes during day time. Considering his capabilities enough for teaching, college authorities appointed him as an assistant professor in the college which is run by Chhattisgarh Kalyan Shiksha Samiti. While continuing his job in the same college, he also completed MEd, BPEd and MPhil there. And later he was recommended by Samiti members for their newly set up college, the Chhattisgarh Kalyan Shiksha Mahavidyalaya in Aheri where he joined as principal on deputation in 2005
    • A private tourist bus with 37 passengers from Ernakulam (in Kerala) to Tirupathi (in Andhra Pradesh) met with an accident near Ambur, Vellore District, on August 26 morning. Swayamsevaks of RSS immediately plunged in rescue work; they co-ordinated efforts to reach their relatives of the accident hit; they augmented quick medical help in addition to other services.  A small boy died in that accident. Around 15 persons were admitted in Ambur General Hospital and 21 injured persons were admitted in Vellore General Hospital.  Around 50 Swayamsevaks were in the relief work at Ambur and Vellore GH.  Shri Raman, Vibhag Pracharak organised the relief work.  Shri Rajendran, RSS Kshetra Karyavah, Shree Jagadeesan, Sah Jilla Sanghachalak and activists of Hindu organisations also met the injured persons consoled them. 
    • From Ahmednagar district it comes the story of another 'Mountain Man', who like the more famous Dashrath Manjhi, took on the task of cutting hills to build roads. Shri Rajaram Bhapkar, 84, a former teacher at Gundegaon village in Ahmednagar district (Maharashtra, Bharat) has cut through seven hills in last 57 years to make 40-km roads. "At the time of Independence, there was not even a 'paywat' (walking trail) connecting Gundegaon to adjoining village," Bhapkar, who has studied till seventh standard, said. When Bhapkar was working at Kolegaon; people from his villages had to cross three villages to reach there. Bhapkar remembers asking government authorities to build a road cutting across the 700 meter high Santosha hill. With no help forthcoming, he embarked on a journey of grit and determination, which 57 years later would result in seven roads, altogether 40km long, linking his village to the adjoining villages. Earlier, the route to Kolegaon via Deulgaon was 29 km long. The distance became just 10 km after Bhapkar, through sheer grit, cut through the hill and made a kuchcha road. He paid wages from his pocket to those who accompanied him in the road work. "In 1968 not even a cycle could pass through the earlier walking trail. Now, big vehicles ply on this road," a villager said. Bhapkar completed the road in 1997. He said he spent his entire post retirement earning and pension to fund the road work. Besides working with spade and shovel, he also hired heavy duty excavator machines for expediting the road work.
    • You might have spotted differently-abled people seeking alms. But have you ever come across any such person using the money so generated for charity? Meet Shri R Selvaraj (73) of Karaikudi (Tamilnadu, Bharat) who begs for a living but gainfully utilises the money by buying stationery for disadvantaged school students in the neighbourhood. Since 2006, after he gave up his job as a cycle mechanic, Selvaraj has been rendering this service by begging. “I’ve been helping disadvantaged students from 1968 after I witnessed children from poor families struggling to get educated due to financial problems”, says Selvaraj. He, however, adds that he never appealed to anyone after telling them that he has helping students. “Though I board buses with difficultly, I do it for the children. If a student wants a bag, I try to get it and surprise him or her with it. When I do such an act, it gives me immense satisfaction,” said Selvaraj, an Economics graduate. Through social media and by talking to people, he has got some benefactors. One such person from Chennai has been sending Rs 500 every month without fail for the last two years after learning about Selvaraj’s service. Swayamsevaks of Chennai, active in social media, have in a big way appreciated (1) The Editor of The New Indian Express, Chennai (2) Reporter Vignesh who thoughtfully did the Selvaraj story (3) the kind-hearted Selvaraj and (4) the nameless benefactor of Chennai.  This, to spread the good word, encourage the media to come out with more such good news and enthusing readers to respond to good news to begin with.(Courtesy: Panchaamritam)
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    Sewa Sandesh
    July 2015
    Bharat pledged an assistance of $1 billion to the quake-ravaged Nepal for its massive re-construction programme.  The announcement was made by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the International Donors' Conference in Kathmandu on June 22.
    Led by Bharat and China, global donors pledged over $3.5 billion as aid to Nepal, meeting half of the $6.7 billion needed to rebuild the nation, as Nepalese Prime Minister vowed "full transparency'' and ''zero-tolerance'' to corruption in disbursing the relief money to the victims. Pledging the aid, Swaraj asserted Bharat would strongly stand behind the Nepalese Government, which is seeking to "wipe the tears" of every Nepalese citizen.
    Shyamji Gupta, Founder-Chairman of "Ekal-India" happened to be in Nepal when the earthquake struck and so he personally initiated the relief efforts after witnessing the tragedy first-hand that unfolded. As of April'2015, Ekal had 1,500 schools operating in Nepal's rural areas. Ekal, was not only familiar with its people, its culture and life's necessities, but also, had well-established rapport with the local governments. As the news of destruction hit the world, 'Ekal Organization' under the leadership of Ravidev ji Gupta sprang into action to start coordinating rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts with its selfless volunteering force of 1,600 Nepali regulars. Within days, Ekal's own survey indicated that 626 Ekal-Villages were affected, 365 Ekal teacher's housings were destroyed and over 250 Ekal schools were badly damaged. In earthquake ravaged regions, Ekal extended help irrespective of caste, region and creed etc. Essential food items and medicines, 9743 tarpaulin, and 11,500 blankets were distributed which benefitted approximately 5,000 families in 400 villages. The team of Doctors treated 500 patients in 'Sindupalchowk' district and 400 patients in 'Lalitpur' district for wounds, gastric problems, psychiatric interventions and orthopedic injuries. According to Subhashji Gupta, past President and current Advisor to Ekal-USA, total commitment of Ekal in Nepal is likely to exceed Rs. 2 Crores. 
    Krishna Devi Vanvasi Awasiya Vidyalaya is a residential school for Vanvasi girls at Majhgawan in Chitrakoot region of Madhya Pradesh. The school and its hostel is supported by Deendayal Research Institute (DRI). The school has few buildings in the campus which are used as classrooms and hostels with an electricity connection from the grid, which is highly unstable. Power cuts are for more than 12 to 15 hours daily and mainly in the evenings.
    Frequent power cuts caused problem in the study of Vanvasi girls staying in the hostel. School was struggling to provide clean light to students as diesel generator was getting expensive day-by-day. When it came to the attention of Sewa International, a detailed survey was conducted. The survey found that the total electricity load including lights, fans and computers was about 1.2kw. About 24sq.m. free space was identified on the roof of the administration building. A 2 KWp solar power plant was installed on the available roof space of the school with 5 hours battery backup. The total project cost was Rs.4,02,380, out of which MNRE gave a subsidy worth Rs.1,20,714. The Sewa international arranged the remaining funds of Rs.2,81,666 through donation from NRIs in USA. From the date of its installation in 2013, the system has been supporting 17 fans, 32 CFL lights 3 TVs and 2 computers. The girls now have uninterrupted power supply in the evening to study.
    Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram recently organised mass marriage at Salibari near Siliguri in North Bengal where 101 couples got married. All the couples came along with their relatives, family members and the villagers. All the rituals were conducted with complete sanctity. After rituals, the couples visited temple and had blessings of the elders. Such functions were also organised in Guwahati where 19 couples got married. The people working in tea garden of Assam, Tripura and West Bengal live under poverty. In such situation organising wedding ceremony becomes difficult for them. Therefore, many youth prefer the short cut i.e. Gandharva Vivah for wedding. But in this process they get cut from the society.
    Ernakulam unit of Sewa Bharati has started serving mid-day meal to the patients at Government General Hospital in Kochi from July 1. Noted Physician Dr Sachidananda Kamath inaugurated the initiative. The food will be served daily from 7 am onwards. Sewa Bharati has been providing free meals for many years in Kerala. In Kasaragod, it is actively involved in the scheme, which has received huge public applause. RSS Kochi Mahanagar Karyavah Shri Rajesh Chandran, Bauddhik Pramukh Shri Abhinu Suresh, Sewa Bharati coordinator Shri PS Manikantan, Nagar Sanghachalak Shri Lakshminarayanan, and other local functionaries attended the function. 
    Solar Mini-Grid Project in Jharkhand
    Darmi and Nawadih Villages in Rehala region of Jharkhand consist of 114 households with a population of around 600, mostly depending on farming. Water supply for cultivation has been a big issue. Existing source of power supply is national grid, but the villagers hardly get power for an hour in a day, and that too under very low voltage. People still depend on kerosene, an additional burden to the economy.
    Solar Mini-Grid solution was offered by Crux Power Pvt Ltd, Bhubaneshwar, after the villagers agreed to provide adequate land for Solar Module installation and to take the maintenance part of the project. Considering a basic need for household a centralised Mini-Grid system of 34.5KWp capacity was designed with a minimum power supply (total of 6 hours including morning and evening time) to each household. The provision was made so that each household pays Rs 100 in a month for maintenance and smooth functioning of the project. A village level committee was formed to look after the project.
    As a result the villagers now get uninterrupted power supply for minimum 6 hours in a day. Each household gets 150W peak load power supply. A water purification system with storage capacity of 6,.000 liters cater to drinking water needs. It has increased the study hours of students. It has provided scope for further economic activities for small entrepreneurs.  
    Sewa Bharati workers near Sikandara in Agra have turned a Sewa Basti into an ideal village. RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Suhasrao hiremath visited the Basti on July 17 to meet the people. The work in the Basti is being carried out under the leadership of a retired police officer Shri Ashok Bhatnagar. The villagers including the parents of the children who attend the Bal Sanskar Kendra informed Shri Hiremath not even a single child of the Basti went to school about eight years back. Now majority of the children go to school. A temple has also been constructed in the Basti where regular puja is held. A mobile library has also been set up. Shri Hiremath said a person becomes great y getting good samskars and having sound mind and intellect. The Sewa Bharati is trying to change the mindest of the people through such activities. Kshetra Sewa Pramukh Shri Gangaram, mahanagar Sewa Pramukh Shri Ashok Sharma also accompanied the workers.                                                                                                                   
    Second time in the same week, RSS swayamsevaks of Kolar in Karnataka cleaned the premises and temple lake of historic 800 year old Sri Gouri Gangadhareshwara Temple in Kolar on July 5. As a part of Sewa Sanghik, they along with other voluntary organisations including scouts and guides took the initiative of cleaning the Temple lake. The temple was built during Chola Empire. The lake was badly polluted.


    RIWATCH is a community based research organisation working at Roing in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. Even till date this District is highly dependent on electric supply from Assam. People face complete power cut for days or weeks throughout the year.  The work of RIWATCH involves study of people, their life style, their physical appearances, customs, technology, their music, dance ceremonies and rituals. It attracts many researchers across the world during various parts of the year. With the unreliable source of power it was getting very difficult for RIWATCH to continue its core activities. RIWATCH campus has 31 CFL lights, 5 street lights, 14 fans, 8 computers, and 3 TVs. After preliminary survey it was decided to construct a Canopy Based 3KWp Solar Project in its campus to support the critical load of around 2 KW. The plant was designed with a provision of expanding it to 5 KW. The total project cost was Rs. 6,08,375 from which MNRE contributed Rs 1,82,512 as subsidy. Sewa International’s Clean Tech Initiative contributed remaining Rs 4,25,863.
    The success of this project became a role model in Lower Dibang Valley and surrounding districts. Many government officials have visited the campus to understand the modalities of the project. Now the district administration and a local school are planning to adopt roof top solar power plant motivated by the RIWATCH project.  

    Quite often the solution is far easier than even imagined.  More than a dozen infants died in Government hospitals within a single week a few months back in Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu. The cause was found as malnutrition. Recently, the volunteers of Ekal Vidyalaya movement found that simple home remedies improve the health level of pregnant mothers and new born infants. It happened like this; 1,011 women in hamlets where Ekal Vidyalaya work were administered a combination of herbal home remedies and Ayurveda-Siddha medicines under the guidance of experts in the respective systems. The nutrition level of 846 of them (84 per cent) improved. This successful attempt at fighting malnutrition was conducted in Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts of Tamil Nadu too. The Ekal Movement pressed into service the Arogya Foundation of India. 
    A series of landslides triggered by overnight heavy rain left at least 50 people dead, 23 missing and more than 500 displaced in West Bengal’s Darjeeling District on July 1. The landslides at 25 places in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions also washed away portions of highways, including a bridge, cutting off the road link to the region. 22 deaths occurred in Mirik, where 13 people were also reported missing. The remaining 17 died in Kalimpong, Lava, Sukhia and Gorubathan areas. Twenty persons were reported injured and 15 missing at 8 Mile and 11 Mile areas in Kalimpong. About 300 people shifted to relief camps organised by the administration. Union Minister of State Shri Kiren Rijiju and MP Shri SS Ahluwalia visited the affected areas. The Sangh volunteers rushed to the affected areas as they got the news of landslide. About 60 workers under the banner of Uttar Bang Sewa Bharati joined the relief activity. They provided eatable items, milk powder, biscuits, water, tarpaulin, blankets, clothes, rice, flour, etc to the victims. Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti from Kolkata also dispatched relief material. A team of doctors from Siliguri under the leadership of Dr Mani Lama also rushed to the spot.   
    • Service rendered to the community by a Dalit girl has brought laurels to her and Isayankulam. Sushri P. Thayammal (28) of Isayankulam, a village in Srivaikuntam taluk in Thuthukudi district (Tamilnadu, Bharat), was presented with the Woman Exemplar Programme - 2015 Award of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which carries Rs. 3 lakh and a medal by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on April 6, 2015. Thayammal, a fatherless woman who hails from a poor family, is involved in providing free coaching for rural students to ensure better academic performance. She is one of the seven children of the family and the first to have earned a Master’s degree in Commerce. She developed a skill for teaching after overcoming hurdles as a slow learner. Her father, a farm labourer, was struck dead by lightning while at work on October 21 last year. She began coaching children at an anganwadi centre opposite her house. Now she coaches 30 students from class six to eight in the evening. . She has persuaded 35 children, identified as school dropouts in 2007-08, to continue their education. She also offers free coaching to those appearing for competitive examinations besides helping villagers fill up applications for government assistance. Her brothers are working in stone quarries.
    • Whenever 67 - year old Shri Katnam Bala Gangadhara Tilak, ventures out in his car, he is on the lookout for tar mixed gravel dumped on roadsides. Tilak's mission is to collect the unclaimed tar and gravel and fill potholes elsewhere. Tilak is a resident of Hydershakote near Rajendranagar, Hyderabad (Telengana, Bharat). Starting his day at nine in the morning, he travels along different routes and scouts for potholes. (His score: 1,125 potholes!) The moment, he spots one, he immediately stops his car and puts up two red flags to alert road users. Using a crowbar, spade, broomsticks and tar mixed gravel, he then takes up the task of filling the pothole, even as passersby watch him puzzled. After retiring as a senior section engineer from South Central Railway (SCR), Vijayawada, he got a designer engineer's job at Infotech Company, Manikonda. While going to office, he was a witness to few road accidents. Several youngsters were crushed to death under the wheels of heavy vehicles after their motorcycles skidded off the road due to a crater. Such situations do not allow him to concentrate on his job. He spends over Rs.500 towards fuel expenses every day. Impressed with Tilak's initiative, GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu lauded him for contributing for the society's development. He directed officials concerned to arrange a vehicle with required material to assist Tilak to take up patch up works effectively 
    • It is quite easy to locate Dr. K.Ramaswamy’s small clinic tucked away in an old building along the Kulasekaranathar Kovil Street of Thenkasi, a municipality in Thirunelveli District (Tamilnadu, Bharat). A mere mention of “ten rupee doctor” will do. For the last 33 years he treats ailments of the people of the town and several villages around by charging just Rs 10 as consultation fee. Early during the period, it was just Re 1. The hike is for paying the salaries of his assistants, the kind hearted doctor informs. This MBBS doctor, a skin specialist, had settled down in this town after serving in government hospitals in many towns. He married off his only daughter and having few needs, Ramaswamy and his wife Bhagavathi have chosen to lead a frugal life serving the needy.
    (Courtesy: Panchaamritam)
    Food For Thought:
    "All birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds."

    - DR. A.P.J. Abdul kalam 
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