Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sewa Sandesh 123: November 8, 2009

From Editor’s Desk:
Sewa USA is wholly engaged in serving the Bhutanese refugees in as many as 17 cities across the country, empowering them in as many ways as possible. It is said that more than 15000 Bhutanese have already reached USA out of a total expected number of 60000 that the country has accepted to accommodate. This is according to an accord signed in 2007 under the United Nation High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) program. Other countries that would welcome the remaining number of 50000 Bhutanese refugees are UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark and Norway.
We appreciate the effort of Sewa USA in serving the Bhutanese refugees and providing them the social & cultural support that the host country cannot provide and this is being appreciated by the beneficiaries as well as the host country. A detailed report of the same will be carried in the next issue of Sewa Sandesh.
Ekal Kumbh Resolves To Reach
One Lakh Tribal Villages

A massive Ekal Kumbh organized by Ekal Vidyalayas was inaugurated by the Sarsanghchalak of the RSS Shri Mohan Bhagwat in Delhi on October 30. More than 12,000 vanvasis & girivasis (Forest & Mountain dwellers) of Ekal Vidyalayas assembled in Swarna Jayanti Park of Rohini in North west Delhi. Vanvasis from almost all the states of India participated in the three day conclave.
Started in 1988 from Jharkhand, the Ekal Vidyalaya Movement has made its presence in 27110 villages of 22 states of India. Presently. 7,78,965 students are getting their education through these schools. With the objective of making India ‘Sikshit, swasthya and samridh’ (literate, healthy and prosperous), the Ekal Vidyalaya has also undertaken the responsibility of imparting education for health care, community development and promoting village folk for constructive activities.

The three day conclave formally concluded with the address of Sadhvi Ritambhara on the first of November with the resolve to reach out to one lakh tribal villages. A grand exhibition depicting real India living in rural and forest areas was also inaugurated by the Yoga guru Baba Ram Dev on 29th October evening. Many NRIs also participated in the conference hosted by the Bharat Lok Siksha Parishad, Delhi. All the sessions were organized and conducted by vanvasi volunteers exclusively.
Eight townships were setup in the 24 acres of land in Swarna Jayanti Park. A common conference hall, grand exhibition hall, reception booth, health centre and office etc. occupied another 20 acres of the park area. Speaking on the occasion Shri Mohan Bhagwat appreciated the work being done by Ekal Volunteers in providing education in the remote areas of India. He said, “It is only education that would make the country great. In fact, through Ekal Vidyalayas, we are not only running schools but trying to make India of our dreams”. Addressing the gathering Baba Ramdev described the Ekal Movement as Master Plan for country’s integrated development “The body of human being is nothing but a temple and Ekal Vidyalaya is nothing but worship of the God”, he added. Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) President Shri Ashok Singhal expressed his concern saying that the benefits of Independence have not reached the villages whereas 60 percent of national resources should have reached there.
Dr. Hedgewar Seva Samiti:
Providing Livelihood Security
The Satpuda Mountains in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra is a Vanvasi (tribal) area with features similar to many such areas in western and central Bharat. The forests are fast eroding, the land is losing its fertility, agriculture is at chronic loss, and poverty and malnutrition are taking a heavy price. The solutions provided– by Government as well as NGOs – have not proved so effective. Distribution of free food or diet to the children in tribal villages has never solved the problem of malnutrition.

The Volunteers of Dr. Hedgewar Seva Samiti evolved a model of livelihood security for tribal villages of Satpuda. They thought that to prevent malnutrition and eliminate poverty, a multi-dimensional approach was needed. Soil conservation measures were to be adopted, water to be harvested, cropping pattern to be improved, a vegetable kitchen-garden to be included with vegetables in daily diet, value – addition to forest – based micro-
enterprises and improved sale price for these enterprises – all this together could secure livelihoods for people and ensure nutrition for coming generations.
HSS sent its proposal of Livelihood Security programme to UNDP’s “Small Grants Program”. Their proposal was accepted and a full-fledged project was launched. A team of field karyakartas and scientists from the HSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra joined to implement the ideas in a cluster of five villages in Dhadgaon Taluka. All villages were on the contact list of its karyakartas. This helped in the beginning. The elders and farmers in the villages were encouraged to form Technology Transfer Clubs (Tantragyan Hastantaran Mandal). These clubs became the vanguards of the project. The first phase of the project included changes in cropping pattern. Inter-cropping and improved varieties of seeds were introduced. Soyabean was introduced for the first time. The production of Tur, Jawar, and Soyabean has now been doubled. Simultaneously, at the down end of fields, farmers were asked to dig 2-feet deep pits. These pits stopped the fertile soil from erosion. Vegetative buds with Khas grass were added to this soil-conserving activity. 23 farmers participated in the first year programme. The results encouraged other farmers too and theyjoined the activity. The Gram Panchayat incorporated this digging of pits – through National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra developed a model of kitchen garden that could be suitable for each season (Monsoon, winter, and summer). The model was designed by including various vegetables to ensure nutritious diet. The kitchen-gardens – even at a 50% success level … would ensure that no member of the family would suffer from malnutrition. The cultivation of kitchen gardens was constantly monitored by the scientists and karyakartas. The crops were protected by the farmers for eight months. The target for next year is to ensure this diet for full year. The team has developed a micro-irrigation kit with drip pipes and it can irrigate 100 sq. meter kitchen garden from two pots of water.

The project has achieved all its planned goals: improvement in farm yield, improvement in nutrition through kitchen garden, and awareness in the villages towards development. Micro-enterprises will be started in the next year. The project will be completed within two years. After that, these five villages will be projected as a model of development for the rest of the region.
1. Rehabilitation Plan For Karnataka :
Seva Bharathi Karnataka Selects Villages For Reconstruction
Sewabharathi Karnataka volunteers had conducted an extensive survey in all the flood affected areas of Karnatka to identity the homes that need to be reconstructed. Based on the data and in consultation with the state government, following plan has been made. The cost of constructing 1 Home is Rs. 1 lakh (Rs. 100,000) and Sevabharathi – Karnataka is planning to build 2349 homes with the help provided by Sewa International and India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF). Sewa International and India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF).

2. Rehabilitation Plan For Andhra Pradesh
After conducting, a survey in 145 villages of Andhra Pradesh and consulting with the state government, Sewa Bharati, Western Andhra Pradesh has prepared a rehabilitation plan for the flood affected people. The plan has covered five integrated sectors: Livelihood support, Community rehabilitation, Community based needs and assessments, Healthcare and Education. Salient features of the plan are as follows:-
* To distribute school kits.
* To construct Community Welfare Centres (CWCs) in 30 places in Mahaboobnagar and Kurnool districts.
* To support the village artisans.
* To distribute agricultural tools.
* To conduct study and tuition centres.
* To develop Self Help Groups (SHGs).
* To launch skills development programme.
* To facilitate Institutional Financing and Cooperative Management in Dairy &Textile Industry.
Details of Expenses:
1. Community Welfare Centres : Rs. 1 crore
2. Agricultural Tools : Rs. 1.35 crore
3. Entrepreneurship : Rs. 1 crore
. . Total Rs. 3.35 crores
A year ago a footage emerged from a remote village in India . The video showed a young girl receiving surgery to separate her fingers, which were badly burned and fused together. Why did this operation make headlines around the world? The surgery was performed by a 7-year-old boy named Akrit Jaswal.
Now 13 years old, Akrit has an IQ of 146 and is considered the smartest person of his age in India a country of more than a billion people. Before Akrit could even speak, his parents say they knew he was special.
'He learned very fast,' says Raksha, Akrit's mother. 'After learning the alphabet, we started to teach him joining of words, and he started writing as well. He was two.'
At an age when most children learn their ABCs, Akrit was reading Shakespeare and assembling a library of medical textbooks. When he was 5 years old, he enrolled in a school. One year later, Akrit was teaching English and maths classes.
Akrit developed a passion for science and anatomy at an early age. Doctors at local hospitals took notice and started allowing him to observe surgeries when he was 6 years old. Inspired by what he saw, Akrit read everything he could on the topic. When an impoverished family heard about his amazing abilities, they asked if he would operate on their daughter for free. Her surgery was a success.
After the surgery, Akrit was hailed as a medical genius in India . Neighbors and strangers flocked to him for advice and treatment. At age 11, Akrit was admitted to Punjab University . He's the youngest student ever to attend an Indian university. That same year, he was also invited to London 's famed Imperial College to exchange ideas with scientists on the cutting edge of medical research.
Akrit says he has millions of medical ideas, but he's currently focused on developing a cure for cancer. 'I've developed a concept called oral gene therapy on the basis of my research and my theories,' he says. 'I'm quite dedicated towards working on this mechanism.'
Growing up, Akrit says he used to see cancer patients lying on the side of the road because they couldn't afford treatment or hospitals had no space for them.. Now, he wants to use his intellect to ease their suffering. '[I've been] visiting to hospitals since the age of 6, so I have seen people firsthand suffering from pain,' he says. 'I get very sad, and so that's the main motive of my passion about medicine, my passion about cancer.'
Currently, Akrit is working toward a bachelor's degree in zoology, botany and chemistry. Someday, he hopes to continue his studies at Harvard University .
Akhil Chopra Memorial Scholarship Awarded

In a bid to support needy and meritorious students/scholars to pursue their career in various fields, Sewa International US had raised funds in the United States and sent it to Sewa International Bharat for disbursement. In the memories of Shri Akhil Chopra, Sewa international Bharat through National Institute of Mass Communication and Journalism (NIMCJ) provided five students with the scholarship of Rs. 10,000/- each (Total Rs. 50,000/-).

National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism (NIMCJ) a media institute, recognized by Gujarat University is situated in Ahmedabad. NIMCJ Offers two-year full time “Post Graduate Diploma” in Mass Communication & Journalism. NIMCJ also provides the benefits of scholarship to the meritorious students as well as to those, who are in need of financial support to make their career in Mass Communication & journalism field.

Keeping this in mind, NIMCJ had formed a three-member selection committee of eminent personalities in this field and according to their recommendation, total five students of NIMCJ were selected for the scholarship, which was supported by Late Shri Akhil Chopra Memorial Fund. Scholarship award ceremony was organized by NIMCJ on November 7, 09 at 3.00 p.m. at the institute’s premises. Mrs. Uma Chopra (mother of late shri Akhil Chopra) presided over the function. Mr. and Mrs. Rupesh Shah, Dr. Shirish Kashikar welcomed her and other participants. Shri Pradip Jain, Managing Trustee of NIMCJ and Shri Sunilbhai Mehta, Member of Scholarship Committee, were also present on the occasion.

Titbits: 1. Premraja, a Sri Lankan Tamil who had come from Denmark on a tour, hired an autorickshaw on July 26, from Gopalapuram to Teynampet. While getting down at the destination, the passenger forgot to take the suitcase containing Rs 1.87 lakh in both Indian and foreign currencies and passports. When Premraja realised that he left the suitcase with cash in the autorickshaw, he lodged a complaint at the Teynampet Police station. Meanwhile, auto driver Vel Murugan who found the suitcase in his vehicle returned it to the police control room. The police personnel alerted the Teynampet station which in turn informed the passenger. The Commissioner handed over the suitcase to its owner. Vel Murugan was rewarded for honesty by the Chennai City Police Commissioner T Rajendran
2. People of India are sending petitions to the Hon'ble President of India to demand that the cow (Gomata) be declared as the `national animal' and cow slaughter be banned by law throughout India ; this petition- campaign is part of the ongoing nationwide mass movement - `Vishwa Mangala Gau Grama Yatra'. Parents of the students of Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Mathur, near Manali ( North Chennai ) took active interest in collecting signatures on the petition. Father of Sayi Prasad of Class 2, is one such. All 5 of his family readily signed the petition. He also secured 10 signatures from his co-workers at his place of work. Sayi's mother, a working woman, took the petition slip to her office. She was amused when her colleagues refused to sign the petition saying they consume beef. The lady presented before those gentlemen the case of cow-based agriculture, agro-based village economy and the need to cherish the noble village culture based on cow and agro-crafts. The gentlemen, all 15 of them at the office that day, listened in rapt attention and silently signed the petition. They also voluntarily vowed that they won't touch beef ever again in their life.
3. Nagini and her husband, Madan Lal of Mohalla Amarpura in Ludhiana ( Punjab , Bharat), were in a very difficult situation after they came to know that their only son — 14-year old Durga Dass — had a huge hole in his heart. He was examined by Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, Head of Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, at the prestigious Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana. Dr Bedi realised that the hole was leading to a shunting of blood with resultant tremendous strain on the heart and lungs. Durga was not growing as his body was not getting enough blood. He needed an emergency surgery. His case was further complicated by the fact that he had a prior surgery for a defect of his food pipe at birth. The problem now was that his parents were unable to raise the finances even after a significant concession from the Institute. On getting to know of Durga's dilemma, some of previous patients of CMC contributed for the surgery. A major open-heart surgery was successfully performed after putting the body on a heart lung machine and stopping the heart. Durga Dass is now doing well. According to Dr Bedi, he should now have an absolutely normal life. He will be able to follow any profession of his choice and in fact can even join the Armed Forces as he is fully fit now. —- Courtesy: Panchaamritam.

From now on you have become casteless. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will be to the other a bhai (brother). And, between the Hindus and Muslims, you will act as a bridge and serve the poor without distinction of caste, colour, country or creed.
- Guru Govind Singh


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