Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sewa Sandesh 126: February 8, 2010

From Editor’s Desk
“Seva Sangam” turned out to be a most memorable event for all the 927 delegates as well as for the organizers. Kudos to organizers who did all they could to make this event successful. P. P Sarasanghchalak Shri Mohanji Bhagwat and Ma. Sarkaryawah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi took time out of their busy schedule to address and meet the delegates of the Seva Sangam. The venue was a technological institution which was most befitting and was decorated imaginatively for the event. The exhibition which sported the canvas of Seva activities across all the states of Bharat, was an example of ingenuity. Ex-Sarsanghchalak Shri Sudarshanji, famous spiritual Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji and Yoga master Baba Ramdevji made it to the venue to inaugurate and address the gathering.
Some of the deliberations were participatory and one could understand the enthusiasm the delegates had. By the end of the three days of gruelling schedule, all the delegates were sporting smiles that spoke of the achievement and not of fatigue. The quality of programs and the feeling of togetherness had played magic on them, most probably.
First Sewa Sangam Organised in Bengaluru
Sewa Sangam Resolved To Empower The Weaker Sections of Indian Society
"SERVICE needs to be done without expecting anything in exchange. The God gives us everything we need in our life but He never expects anything from us. We too should serve the society in the similar way without expecting anything from those who are being served," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji while inaugurating the Sewa Sangam at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, Yelahanka in Bengaluru on February 6.
The three-day Sangam was organised by Rashtriya Sewa Bharati in order to ensure better coordination between the like-minded service organisations of the country so that the needy people could be served more effectively. The Rashtriya Sewa Bharati came into existence in 2003 with the objective of bringing all sewa organisations at one platform, imparting organisational training to the people interested in service activities.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also stressed the need to have better coordination among all service organisations of the country. "It has been witnessed at certain places that there are many service projects catering to a particular need of the people and they fail to focus on other requirements of the society. There is no need to start another school at the place where there is already one school. If the society needs a dispensary or anything else that should be provided with by other organisations. If we have coordination, there will be no repetition," he said.
Emphasising on engaging maximum number of youth in service activities he said the youth should be encouraged to work for the society through yoga and dhyana. "We have a rich tradition of sewa, sadhana and satsang. They all should be promoted together. The unique confluence of these three things is found nowhere in the world, except Bharat, hence it is the field in which we can guide the whole world," he said.

Baba Ramdev stressed the need to organise all good forces of the country through service activities. "When we see our own image in others then we feel their problems as our own problems. This is what is called sewa. We have to understand the sufferings of our own brethren who have been languishing for years and extending them a helping hand is our responsibility. Serving the needy is the best work in the world. Our services should reach all those who are incapable. The service needs to be rendered with utmost honesty and commitment," he said.

RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat said our basic task should be to make the society strong. "We have to reach the society. If the common man is hungry and is not literate, we have to first make him capable of earning his livelihood with dignity and honour and this can be done only through sewa," he said. He further said, “The prime objective of certain alien forces in the country is to convert our people. But while serving our people we have to keep in mind that we have to first make them samartha (capable) and self-dependent. The service being rendered by RSS workers is to make people strong and it should be ego-free.”
He said, “We are the followers of the culture which teaches that the person whom we are serving may be God.” He praised the work being done by Ekal Vidyalaya activists and Arogya Rakshaks in remote areas. "A swayamsevak has to dedicate all his strength to the society and, if need arises, he should not hesitate to sacrifice his life for the benefit of the society," he said.
Former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan stressed the need to infuse the feeling of oneness into those who are being served. He said our culture helps the man in becoming Narayan (God). He also stressed the need to remove the inferiority complex from the Hindu society.

Speaking at the concluding ceremony RSS rkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi said there is no lack of resources today, what we lack is workforce. We need more workers as the work has to be started in various fields to address many problems of the society. He said the feeling, which generates among us after seeing the sufferings of others, is the real inspiration for serving others. We have to mobilise the people who have such a feeling and should also generate this feeling among those who do not have it. He suggested the workers to draw inspiration from the life of the senior workers as they have seen many ups and downs in the field. "How many projects are being run by us is not important, rather we have to see how effective our project is and how perfectly we are serving the society," he said.
Sahsarkaryavah Shri Madan Das stressed the need to make the work multi-dimensional. He said our overall objective of service activities should be to strengthen the social harmony.

Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Sitaram Kedilaya said sewa has been regarded as param dharma (supreme duty) in Hinduism. He said service is an effective tool to bring positive change in the society. First Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh of RSS Shri K Suryanarayan Rao, Dr NR Shetty and Dr Dayananda Pai were also present.
Inspired by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh more than 700 social service organizations have been formed throughout the country. All these organisations have engaged themselves in the field of education, rural development, economic uplift and many other fields where there is necessity of service. Some highly useful results have been achieved through more than 1,57,000 service activities by swayamsevaks across the country.

Some Highlights
1. 927 delegates representing 452 service organisations of the country attended the Sewa Sangam
2. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Spiritual Leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and R.S.S. Sarsanghchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat addressed the gathering in different sessions.
3. An exhibition depicting various Sewa Activities remained a centre of attraction for all the participants. The exhibition was coordinated by Youth For Seva (YFS)
4. A Souvenir namely ‘Parivartan’ was also released by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Sangam.

Emerging Points/Ideas
1. “Think globally, act locally” – It should be outlook of every Sewa worker.
2. To make Sewa work multi dimensional.
3. To increase one’s personal domain through Sewa and reach the status of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”
4. Adopt Sewa as a medium for complete transformation from Nar to Narayan.
5. Natural farming (Bio-farming) practice should be popularized.
6. Sewa is not just charity. It is about transforming the lives of people.
7. Sewa is a means. It is not an end in itself.
8. Mobilization of Resources should be encouraged at local level.
9. The quality of Sewa work should not be compromized.
10. Honesty, accountability and transparency must be maintained in financial matters.
Sevavardhini, a support service initiative was established in 1998 in Maharashtra with the aim to facilitate the field level voluntary activism.
* Sevavardhini aims to connect field level voluntary initiatives and support agencies with each other for best use of resources.
Nationwide network of 200 plus such initiatives engaged in variety of social sectors like Energy, Self-employment, Agriculture, Rural Development, Watershed, Women & Child Empowerment, Education, Health, Culture, Rehabilitation etc.
* Sevavardhini provides various support services like Project formulation, Survey, PRA & other studies, Case study, Assessment & Evaluation, Training workshops etc. to these organizations and to trying to streamline resources and techonology from where they are available to those areas where it is really required.
1. Empowerment of field level voluntary agencies.
2. Development of a strong interface between donor agencies & voluntary organisations.
3. Basic and Applied research and development in various Seva Initiatives.
4. Evaluation and monitoring of Sewa Projects
* Training programs and workshops.
* Exhibitions & Seva Fairs
* Exposure visits to Seva projects
* Sevafairs – Access to Markets for Gramodyog/village-cottage industries.
* Evaluation and Monitoring of Organisational structure.
National, regional and Sectoral Advisory Boards for
1. Voluntary Initiatives
2. Donors
3. Government Initiatives
4. Overseas Funding
Panel of experts to guide these Seva initiatives in their day to day activities.
Operational Methodology
* Identification of Seva Projects of field level voluntary organisation.’
* Evaluation of Seva Projects.
* Survey and need identification for Seva Projects.
* Networking of Seva Projects with other similar Seva initiatives, individuals.
* Periodic training programs for member organisations.
* Streamlining resources to Seva projects.
Capacity Building Programs
1. Registration of voluntary organisation.
2. Management of voluntary organization
3. Accounts keeping
4. Project proposal formulation
Training on Waste management-Biogas-Entrepreneurship development etc.
Success Stories
* Bee keeping training has resulted in increased earnings for tribal youth living in remote parts of Raigad, Nanded, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Nandurbar, and Dhule districts.
* Sequence of Entrepreneurship Development Programs and training in Modern Management skills for Women SHG members has boosted their confidence of self employments.
* Training in food processing has promoted tribal people for best use of local natural resources for their livelihood.
1. Provide platform for SHGs, Artisans, to showcase their products.
2. Sevafairs in Corporates around Pune in Diwali and other fevtivals.
Project planning & Proposal drafting: Through this service number of organistion have been benefitted with funding and other support from Government, Corporate and individuals donors.
Organisations it works with
1. Khadi and village industries commission.
3. Bank of Maharashtra
4. Ministry of Agriculture
5. Institution of Engineers
6. Centre for Environment Education
You can participate by
* Sharing your time and expertize
Fund and other resource mobilization
* Connecting like minded people with this cause.
Nanaji Deshmukh: An Obituary
If white is the colour of renunciation, it suited Nanaji Deshmukh perfectly. It was the favourite colour of this great modern-day sanyasi who passed away in Chitrakoot on February 27 at age 94. Clad in spotless white dhoti and kurta, and sporting a flowing white beard, he looked every bit the yogi he was.

Nanaji was one of the heroes of the underground struggle against the Emergency. However, when the Emergency was lifted in 1977 and the Janata Party won a landslide victory in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, he declined Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s offer to join his cabinet. He lamented that power-oriented politics created divisions in society. He therefore renounced it, went to Chitrakoot to implement his vision of rural development, and never looked back. What he achieved there on a micro-scale in two districts, one in UP and the other in MP, was impressive and earned kudos from everybody who visited Chitrakoot — from JRD Tata to A P J Abdul Kalam. He established India’s first rural university. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras that he set up were among the best in the country.
"Nobody from our village has migrated to cities in the past six years," said a farmer. That is the best tribute anyone could pay to this remarkable social activist who was part RSS, part Gandhian and part socialist.

“NO nation devoid of faith in high moral principles can really rise high and attainment of these principles should coincide with, if not precede, material prosperity to make it really great.”
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad