Monday, June 8, 2009

Sewa Sandesh 119: June 8, 2009

From Editor’s Desk
Situation in war ravaged north and north eastern Sri Lanka continues to be grim. The affected area is still under the control of the military forces and no voluntary organization has been allowed to reach the Internally Displaced People who are lodged in the camps with soaring sun. Neither has the media been allowed to reach to the IDPs till now though it is almost a month since the war is over. Though the government of Sri Lanka claims that the IDPs are being taken care of well, some of the people who could get some news out of the fortification, have expressed concern. Sewa International has appealed to the global community for relief to the IDPs in this trying hour. SI wishes to reach to the IDPs in those ramshackle camps and serve them through medical assistance as well as other immediate relief material. We, however, wait in anxiety for the permission from the Sri Lankan authorities to serve the war ravaged community and pray that this happen the sooner!
Sewa Volunteers Reach Out To The Cyclone-hit Villagers of West Bengal
It was a nightmarish experience for 50-odd volunteers who were desperate to reach Hingalganj Jetighat criss-crossing other inaccessible riverine villages in the Sunderbans after Aila cyclone battered and ravaged Bengal’s famous archipelago of islands on May 25, 2009. The rivers Kalindi and Raimangal were turbulent and wind speed was not less than 60 km per hour even 24 hours after the cyclone lashed the Sunderbans.
They hired a large vessel with a capacity to carry about six tonnes relief materials for distributing among the cyclone-hit villagers separated from the mainland. Risking their lives, they finally reached Jetighat, Hemnagar, Mandirghat and Parghumta villages where thousands of marooned villagers had been awaiting the government relief for three days since the Aila blown away their hamlets. They had no food and drinking water during the past 72 hours.
Indeed, the marooned villagers had lost all hopes to survive as the area remained inaccessible due to swelling of Dasha river following the cyclone.

The team of volunteers, led by North 24 Pargana Shri Sukumar Vaidya, was the first batch of volunteers to
reach them braving nature’s fury.
Initially, the starving villagers took volunteers as state government relief employees and started to hurl abuses. However, when the distressed villagers discovered that they were Sewa volunteers and risked their lives to bring them relief materials, they were simply over-joyed and begged pardon for their initial mistake. Women blew conch-shells to welcome the volunteers in their mud houses. Packets of dry food, water pouches, milk powder and clothes brought by volunteers were distributed with full cooperation of the distressed villagers.
The distressed villagers in Hingalganj block in the riverine Sunderbans made it amply clear that even in misery they had high respect for honest and hard-working volunteers of Sewa.
Nearly a fortnight after the cyclone Aila hit West Bengal’s coast, thousands of people are still stranded in the Sunderbans. People with boats have left, but many have no choice but to stay. The human misery is telling. “I have nothing left. Utensils, pans, plates and glasses. Even the three bags of rice, we had saved from the last harvest, are gone. It would have been good had we been given a house to live in by the administration. What else do the poor people have, money? My daughter has to be married off, but there’s nothing left,” Purnima Mondal, resident of Dakshin Yogeshganj near Bangladesh border said. The villagers here are facing an added misery as robbers from Bangladesh are raiding border villages as they left their homes and sheltered in relief camps.
The Sangh has a well-knit organisation in the Sunderbans under North and South 24 Parganas. There are ‘one teacher-one school’ establishments in 90 villages. Volunteers of the two neighbouring districts have set up 32 relief camps and have been feeding about 30,000 cyclone-hit hapless villagers daily since May 26. The worst affected are the five blocks, Hasnabad, Najat, Sandeshkhali I & II and Hingalganj. Even after flooding, volunteers are running two relief camps in Basantitala where cooked food is supplied to nearly 4,000 villagers daily.

Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, Dr. Manmohan Vaidya, visited several relief camps in the affected areas in Hasnabad block in North 24 Parganas on June 3 and took a stock of the grim situation prevailing there. He was told that the Sewa volunteers braved the storm and rains and started distributing relief to distressed villagers at Basanti, Sonakhali, Kultuli, Gosaba, Pathankhali, Hemnagar and Mandirghat within six hours after the Aila lashed villages in the Sunderbans on May 25. As the villagers have lost everything and have no means to cook rice, the meals are being cooked at the Sewa relief centres on the main land and then transported by country boats to relief camps set up by volunteers in far-flung Sunderban islands daily.
Hindu Samhati Undertakes
The Relief Work Without Favour Or Discrimination
The unaccountable plight over the South Bengal especially in North and South 24 Parganas is increasing day by day after it made a havoc upon the rural Bengal on 25th May 2009. A little measure taken by the State Relief Deptt., effort of the Military and volunteering by some NGOs could not lessen the sorrow of the unreached Aila-struck people.
A team of Hindu Samhati (HS), West Bengal State Committee lead by Chittaranjan Dey, Gen. Secy., Prakosh Das and Sujit Maity went to the Rajbari, Kanmari, Nalkara-Bangipara, Sarberia for the survey of the affected areas of Sandesh Khali Block. As urged by the affected people, the Survey team decided on spot to run relief work immediately to those areas, where no relief could be started due to various reasons.
A team lead by Upananda Brahmachari, accompanied by Shyamanjan, Srijan, Abhisek and Prasenjit reached at Malancha on the very next day on 29th May. A local team of Hindu Samhati received the relief materials including parched rice, molasses, medicines, water purifying drops etc. to march into the interiors which were still water-logged.
At the first point of Kanmari Market, 500 affected people were served with the dry-foods and medicines over two hours relief work. Another team of HS workers took the relief materials for Shankardaha-Boyermari II, a furthest corner from Kanmari.
The water logging was a problem to reach main road leading to Kanmari, but it was an un-explicable experience to reach Bhangipara through a totally water-logged village road taking a time over one hour. The water touched the upper knee, un-known risks of broken sides of roads, the bones of decomposed fishes and animals, sharpened edges of bricks and stones, nothing could stop the volunteers of HS to reach Bhangi-para, a completely isolated hamlet of this distant area.
Another 200 people were served with dietary articles and medicines here. A stock was also preserved to serve the needy people there according to there utmost need. A stock of Paracetamol tablets, Norfloxacin tablets and water purifier drops were given to combat the fever and gastro-enteritis disorders.
But everything, foods or medicines were found scarce to meet the requirement of the locality. Returning to Rajbari a delegation team was sent to Berh-majur, another affected site to judge the severity of the situation so that relief work could start there.
There are many relief camps on the road sides, where a number of distressed people are staying under compulsion and getting relief.
Appeal—1: Cyclone ‘Aila’ West Bengal (India)
Appeal For Relief - June 2009
CYCLONE “AILA” hit the coast of West Bengal on the 25th of May 2009, at wind speed of over 110 km. per hour, killing over 50 and crippling normal life of over two lakhs people. The highest death of 14 people was reported from South 24 Parganas, followed by Kolkata, Bankura and Howrah districts. The hilly regions witnessed land slides claiming numerous lives; where as lower regions were practically swallowed by moving water inundating the entire villages escaping the wrath of the cyclone with absolutely nothing except their breath.

SEWA INTERNATIONAL, started relief activities from the evening of 26th May 2009 in partnership with like-minded organizations such as Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti, Sewa Bharati, Friends of Tribal Society, Bharat Sevashram and Sri Ramkrishna Mission. These organisations are operating through 32 relief centers at the moment in remote villages which are generally inaccessible, catering to the needs of over 8000 families constituting over 30,000 people, where they are distributing cooked meal, dry food and potable water. The cooked food from base kitchen has to be carried with the help of boats to these relief centers located in far flung areas, which take almost 4 hours to reach.
Further, in wake of such disaster, epidemic diseases have already begun to spread hence there is a great need of medical assistance too. SI with its partner organisations have already made arrangements of treating patients and distributing medicines through medical camps in various affected locations.
There is an urgent need to provide relief to the suffering millions.

SEWA INTERNATIONAL, Bharat, (a registered organization with FCRA facility) appeals whole heartedly the benevolent to help these unfortunate victims. Your support will help reduce the sufferings of these people in the Cyclone affected state of West Bengal, living in the remote areas.

Sewa International will help the cyclone victims to bring back life to normal in the state of West Bengal.
Its future plan is to run these 32 relief centers and increase more such centers if needed and continue its relief activities till life returns to normal. SI intends to provide the affected families with immediate necessities for daily living: tarpaulins, food, clothes, medicines etc. The estimated expense will be approximately Rs. 1,00,00,000 (One Crore).

The break-up of the same is as mentioned below:
Cooked Meal and Infant food- Rs. 12,00,000/-
Clothing for adults and children—Rs. 37,00,000/-
Utencils, Lanterns, Durries, etc.- Rs. 15,50,000/-
Medicines- Rs. 07,00,000/-
Tarpaulines- Rs. 28,50,000/-
TOTAL Rs. 1,00,00,000/-
Rs. One Crore Only.
(USD 2,17,400/- or GBP 1,42,857/-)
“Of all the righteous acts, help rendered to those needing it, is the most righteous.”
For further information please contact: Telephone: +91-11- 23232850, 23684445
Fax: +91 11 2351 7722
Email:, Website:
Please send your generous donations to:
SEWA INTERNATIONAL, 49, Deendayal Upadhyay Marg; New Delhi – 110 002
Appeal-2: Appeal For Helping Generously to the War-affected Sri Lankan Tamil People
The end of the three decade long war in Sri Lanka is over with the end of the leadership of LTTE. However, the last battle that took place for last 4 months have created a situation wherein nearly 2,00,000 people in the North and North East of Sri Lanka have been rendered homeless. Many of these displaced people are located in camps arranged by the Sri Lankan authorities. The misery out of the war has left thousands wounded and many families bereaved of their kith & kin.

News columns are being scrolled with sympathy to the suffering thousands. But this is not getting transformed into some sort of action. The concern for the suffering thousands has been amply represented through the media in India as well as internationally.
In this hour of crisis, S.I. feels that extending a hand of succor to the displaced community in Sri Lanka is a prime duty of the neighboring country India. Apart from the governmental help that is being extended to Sri Lanka, the benevolent society in India should also try to help out the suffering thousands in that country. The best way to help during this man-made calamity, S.I. feel, is sending medical team to Sri Lanka and also some other basic relief material.

Sewa International has resolved to reach out to the thousands of war-affected population in the North and the North East Sri Lanka. The war ravaged states of Sri Lanka and especially the suffering Tamil population is in dire need of relief in the form of food, shelter and medical assistance including counseling for the war trauma affected.
SI appeals to the benevolent in the society as well as establishments to extend their hands in serving the war-torn society in Sri Lanka.
1. To provide food and other home groceries.
2. To provide medical relief including medicines
3. To provide trauma care and support
Your helping hand in this hour of crisis would go a long way.

The need for the displaced-
Ø A set of 6 Blankets and mosquito nets for a family would cost - Rs.1500/- ($30)
Ø Medicine for a family for a period of one month- Rs.2500/- ($50)
Ø Providing food for a family for a period of 15 days- Rs.2500/- ($50)
Ø Cost of sending a medical team to Sri Lanka for 3 months- 2 Doctors+ 4 Medical assistants including travel, conveyance, lodging & boarding, cost of medicine etc. – Rs.30,000/- per day. Total - Rs. 27,50,000/- Rs. Twenty Seven Lakhs fifty Thousand only. ($55000/-)

Please join hands by sending whatever you can afford.
For further information please contact: Telephone:+91-11- 23232850, 23684445
+91 9811 392777 (Shyam Parande)
Please send your generous donations to:
SEWA INTERNATIONAL, 49, Deendayal Upadhyay Marg;
Maitreyi Gurukulam, Karnataka:
A Unique Educational Venture
When Bharat was under alien rule, the self expression of society was naturally inhibited. this was a result of the deliberate and sustained endeavour of the British administration to deculturalise the Hindu society and render it forgetful about its own glorious past and about the essential Bharatiya value - system which had guided and shaped all spheres of life including education. It was a stated objective of the Biritish - promoted system of education to create, in particular, a dominant social class which would be Hindu only nominally and would soon assimilate the mental habits and ethical norms of the British rulers. While being small in terms of numbers, the new social elite class created by the British system of education was expected to establish a new hegemony over all administrative and educational activities in the country. Not only did the foreign rulers succeed in this mission, but also laid firm foundations for a continuance of such a regime even after their departure from the shores of Bharat.

Due to lack of a truly nationalist vision among post Independence rulers, almost all the legacies of colonial rule have continued even half - a - century after the advent of political Independence. The most noteworthy negative fallout of this regression is in the field of education. This is tragic, since education is the basis of progress of any nation.
In view of continued disinterest of the State in the much needed indigenization of education, private initiative to promote Bharatiya orientation in education has become a dire necessity. Maitreyi Gurukula is one such humble voluntary effort.

The need of the hour is for a vigorous movement to replace the present system of education with an alternate one that would realize the dreams of such savants as Yogi Aurobindo, Swami Vivekanadna, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. In other words a cluster of Gurukulas have once again to be established all over Bharat. Maitreyi Gurukula is but a starting step towards that goal.
In Bharat, where the family forms the core of the social life, the mother occupies a pivotal position. It is she who moulds the child in its formative age. As such, she is considered the first Guru for the child. When the mother fulfils this role in each and every family, the child automatically acquires the Adhishila shikshana which forms the foundation for his/her later life. The Adhichitta and Adhiprajna Shikshana that should follow at the Gurukula was enunciated by Swami Vivekananda as Man Making Education. It is only when such men with capital 'M' are produced through the educational system that Bharat will shine forth in her pristine glory like a colossus among the global nations and regain her status as the enlightener of the universe or Jagadguru.

With this end in view the, Maitreyi Gurukula has been started as an alternative to the present education system. Here the girl child is targeted to make her blossom forth into ideal womanhood, patriotic, service-oriented and devoted towards Bharatiyata. It is obviously through her that the ideal society of the future is going to be shaped.
Boarding, lodging, clothes, study material and all necessary facilities are provided free to all the inmates of the Gurukula. No fees are charged.

* It is for blossoming of the inner potency of the child.
* It is for the all-sided development of her personality.
* It is for arousing unalloyed nationalism.
* It is for self-study, self-thinking, self-discipline and self-dependence.
* Behavioural learning through emulation of elders.
* Enrichment of information along with enhancement of the assimilational capacity.
* Learning with a spiritual outlook.
* Learning through the medium of the mother tongue - Kannada.
* Working knowledge of Conversational Samskrit.
* Ancient Knowledge judiciously blended with modern information. Hence Veda, Yoga, Agriculture, native medicines and modern science for the core subjects of this multidimensional curriculum.
* Additional orientation in the use of English and Hindi.
* Extra facilities to study literature and also for cultivation of music and other fine arts for those who are desirous of learning them.
* To be always under motherly care of in-charge matrons.
* The curriculum designed and capsulized by eminent educationists who also guide the day - to - day activities.
A Few Relevant Details
> Open to all Hindu girls above 10 years without considerations of caste and class.
> Admission limited to 20 girls only for each batch.
> Six years course in the first phase. Higher Course on the completion of the first phase if desired by the student and parents.
> Higher Course optional
> The Gurukula is situated in a vast verdant area and serene atmosphere in Moorukaje Village, 4 kms, off Vittla, Bantwal Taluk, Dhakshina Kannada district, Karnataka.

"We shall be required to produce such institutions which will kindle the spirit of action in us, which will replace the self centredness and selfishness by a desire to serve the Nation, which will produce not only sympathy towards our brethren, but a sense of affection and oneness with them. Such institutions can truly reflect our Chiti." - Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya

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