Sewa International inaugurated its first school in a remote village, Chhinka, in district Chamoli (Uttarakhand) on December 5, 2015. It is a co-ed school with 148 students receiving education till 8th class.
The old school was badly damaged during Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and needed to be re-built. After inspection of the damaged site in 2013-2014, its new construction was sponsored by the benevolent donors of Sewa International UK.
The occasion was graced by Harish Bhudia, Executive Director, Sewa UK, and Lalit Goswami, All India General Secretary, Vidya Bharati, along with many other dignitaries including ADM (Chamoli), District Education Officer etc., who all were full of praise and gratitude for the noble effort. About 300 people attended the function.
RSS EXTENDS AID FOR DROUGHT HIT PEOPLE IN MAHARASHTRA
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has come forward to find out ground level relief measures for drought hit people in Maharashtra. In association with some organizations which work in the field of water conservation RSS plans to build barrages as well as widening, deepening and rejuvenation of rivers in 12 districts of Maharashtra. Briefing media on steps taken to give relief for drought hit people in Maharashtra, RSS Western Region Sewa Pramukh Dr. Upendra Kulkarni told that with an estimated amount of Rs 7 crore RSS along with 23 different NGO's are about to launch relief programmes for drought affected areas & people in various districts of state.
According to the RSS Maharashtra Unit meeting which held earlier this month, the state is facing water scarcity as the monsoon this year was below 50 percent due to which the crops in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Western Maharashtra are damaged on large scale. The estimated amount for relief work would be collected from corporate houses based on CSR method and individual philanthropic donors.
SEWA USA DELIVERS 150 HANDMADE SCARVES, BLANKETS TO WOMEN’S SHELTERS
On the occasion of Diwali, Sewa USA delivered 150 hand-knit scarves and baby blankets to Chicago-based women's shelters. Sixty people from 15 states participated in the drive by knitting and mailing in their handmade items. Participants included knitting novices as well as experts and ranged from the ages of 10 to 75. In some families, mothers and grandmothers used this project as an opportunity to teach their children the art of knitting and crochet.
The scarves and blankets were delivered to Chicago's South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) and Connections for Abused Women and their Children (CAWC). These organizations serve victims of domestic violence by providing counseling, legal services, and emergency shelter.
"These women have been through so much suffering, and our aim is to bring warmth to their lives - both literally and figuratively," said Aparna Soni, coordinator of Knit for Sewa.
"Diwali is a time of year when we try to bring the light of love and service into our own lives, as well as the lives of others," said Sreevidya Radhakrishna, coordinator of Knit for Sewa.
SWAYAMSEVAKS RESCUE FLOOD VICTIMS IN CHENNAI
Recent heavy rains lashed Chennai city throwing normal life out of gear. The city saw severe water logging and people wading through knee deep water. RSS swayamsevaks in their respective areas carried out the relief activities. In Villiwakkam, Annai Satya Nagar, food packets were distributed to the victims. The swayamsevaks carried out the relief activity at MKB Nagar Vyasarpadi, North Chennai. They cleared the street lamp post which had fallen down and blocked the main road, thus helping in clearing the traffic. The swayamsevaks prepared and distributed food to around 400 people in Arundathi Nagar, Mettupalayam, Perambur Bhag.
SPORTS MEET OF BHARATIYA SHIKSHA SAMITI J&K
Bharatiya Shiksha Samiti J&K organised 27th State sports Meet Athletics 2015 at Zoravar Singh Sports Stadium Reasi. About 120 athletes from 5 zones comprising 16 schools of Bharatiya Shiksha Samiti namely Kishtwar, Bhaderwah, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur, Kathua, Basholi, Samba & Jammu participated in the event. The prize distribution function was presided over by Shri Ramlal Sharma, working president of Bharatiya Shiksha Samiti J&K. The chief guest on the occasion was Shri Hari Krishan Nazar, SP Deputy commandant IRP-1 J&K Police. Jammu zone won the overall championship by securing 162 points, Udhampur remained 2nd with 106 points and Doda at 3rd place with 93 points. The best athlete was Sonia Verma from BVM Hira Nagar who won the gold medal.
SIDDHINATH SINGH NEW PRESIDENT OF RASHTRIYA SEWA BHARATI
Shri Siddhinath Singh, Bihar Kshetra Sanghachalak of RSS and an engineer by education, is the new national president of Rashtriya Sewa Bharati. He replaced Shri Suryaprakash Tonk, who completed his term as president. Shri Tonk will continue to devote his time for Rashtriya Sewa Bharati as a Trustee. The election to new office bearers took place in Kanyakumari on November 30. All senior office bearers were present at the meeting. Apart from it, Shri Yashpal Gupta was appointed new Treasurer. He replaced Shri KL Mallya whose term also ended. Shri Yashpal Gupta is Sah Zilla Sanghachalak of RSS in East Delhi. Shri KL Mallya will also continue to devote his time for Rashtriya Sewa Bharati as a Trustee.
PROTECT THE INDIGENOUS BREEDS OF COWS: SHANKARLAL
A Gau Sevak Milan was organised in Chennai to highlight and realise the usefulness of indigenous breeds of cow for organic farming and health issues. Addressing the gathering RSS Akhil Bharatiya Gau Seva Pramukh Shri Shankarlal said protection of the cow is must for economic, spiritual and physical well being. Prant Pramukh of Kisan Sangh Shri Gopi and Gau Seva Pramuk of Uttar Tamil Nadu Shri Kalyan Singh were also present.
Stressing the uniqueness of native regional breeds, to name a few, Gir of Gujarat, Sahiwal of Haryana, Red Sindi of Punjab, Rathi of Rajasthan, Ongole of Andhra Pradesh, Kandhari of Maharasthra, Nimari and Malvi of Madhya Pradesh, Amritmahal and Kallihar of Karnataka, Kangeyam, Umblacherry and Baraguru of Tamil Nadu and Kasargod, Vechur breeds from Kerala, etc. they are natural habitat of the vernacular eco-system adapted to the respective areas, weather and climate. The indigenous regional breed, for example, the Rajasthani breed can survive extreme cold of (minus) -8 degrees up to a sunny day of +49 degrees without any man-made support systems.
“Today we are left with only 37 indigenous breeds wherein once we had 110 unique breeds. We had about 48 crore of cow population before Independence but today only around 6 crore indigenous breeds of cows are left. There are also references in Quran and Bible scripture which speak the importance of the cow”, he cited.
EDUCATION IN MOTHER TONGUE DEVELOPS BETTER UNDERSTANDING - MOHAN BHAGWAT
“Learning is a process that takes place in a school as well as at home. If children get an opportunity to learn in their own mother tongue, it helps them develop better understanding,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat while speaking at the silver jubilee function of Saraswati Shishu Sansthan in Raipur on November 24. More than 3,000 students, drawn from various schools, demonstrated their yoga skills during the function held at city's Outdoor Stadium.
He said Bharatiyas should have knowledge of ‘Rashtra Bhasha’ as it keeps the nation united. “Hindi is a language that keeps nation united. Everyone should have knowledge of Hindi,” he said adding that it is also necessary to learn other foreign languages as well in order to keep Bharat ahead in the global arena. "Education is not just for earning a livelihood. Education not only makes a person self-reliant but also entrust a responsibility on the person to work for the society", he added.
The Sarsanghachalak expressed satisfaction that the students produced by Saraswati Shishu Mandirs have proved to be successful in developing the generation which is committed to the nation. “Apart from urban areas, there are schools in rural and Vanvasi areas imparting quality education. But this work should not stop here. The Vidya Bharati should ensure its contribution in social development with a bigger goal,” he said.
It is to be noted that today over 12,000 schools are being run by Saraswati Shiksha Sansthan in Chhattisgarh alone. Presiding over the function Shri Chhagan Mundra, chairman of Chhattisgarh Financial Development Corporation, said Saraswati Shishu Mandirs have been successful in playing a very big role in national development. In the age of burgeoning cost education the Saraswati Shishu Mandirs are imparting the best education, he said. Some senior workers of the Vidya Bharati were also felicitated on this occasion.
ICAR JOINS HANDS WITH SEWA BHARATI TO EDUCATE FARMERS
The ICAR Research in Meghalaya joined hands with the Sewa Bharati Meghalaya to educate the farmers. A joint project—Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav (My Village, My Pride) was formally launched at Marngar on November 24. It was attended by over 150 farmers from five villages—Nalapara-Joigang, Lalumpam, Purangang, Borgang, Nongagang of Marngar at Nongpo in Ri Bhoi District. A team of scientists from ICAR has adopted these villages for successful dissemination of improved technologies under MGMG scheme in association with the Sewa Bharati.
Prant Seva Pramukh Shri Surendra Talkhedkar highlighted the importance of the programme. Dr AK Mohanty, Principal Scientist, ICAR Research Complex, Umiam spelt out the action plan of ICAR under MGMG programme and emphasised on 3C and 1S (Community participation, Commodity based village development and Custom hiring based development and Sustainability) for improving the agricultural status of the villages. He asked the farmers to go for zero tillage mustard/lentil or field pea cultivation in rice fallow for increasing the oilseed and pulse production in the State. Shri Pravin Sewale and Shri Gaurang Rai from Seva Bharati also spoke on the occasion.
About 3 quintal seeds of different winter vegetable crops like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, capsicum, garden pea, carrot, radish etc. , oil seed crop like mustard and pulses crops like lentil and field pea were distributed among the farmers and demonstration on the vegetable nursery raising technology and zero tillage mustard/lentil cultivation were conducted.
THE 10 YEAR OLD WHO SAVED THE LIVES OF 850 PASSENGERS
'I was not scared. I have seen trains every day of my life. I only wanted to stop the train.'
Siddesh Manjunath, who averted a major rail mishap, speaks to A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
On March 15, the Harihara-Chitradurga passenger train was passing through Avaregere village in Davangere district, Karnataka. The locomotive driver saw a young boy running towards the train on the track waving a red cloth vigorously. The driver applied the brakes and stopped the train.
The boy, Siddesh Manjunath, 10, may have saved the lives of about 850 passengers on that train.
Siddesh told Rediff.com that after breakfast he decided to go to his father's tea shop. To get there he had to cross the railway track.
When he neared the track, he had to wait as there was a train passing by. "I regularly cross the track here and I am familiar with the sound that the train makes on the tracks. I noticed that the train was louder than it normally was."
"After it passed I examined the tracks and saw a big gap on one track. I ran to my father's shop which is nearby."
His father Manjunath along with a few villagers came back with Siddhesh to check the track.
They all agreed that it was a risky gap and were discussing what to do.
While they were talking among themselves they heard the sound of another train approaching. One of the villagers suggested that they should wave a red cloth to try and stop the train.
"It was luck that I was wearing a red T-shirt that day," Siddhesh tells Rediff.com "I immediately took it out and started running towards the train."
"I waved the T-shirt vigorously and held it high while I ran. I was not scared. I have seen trains every day of my life. I only wanted to stop the train."
"My father and the other villagers were running behind me. The locomotive driver saw us and stopped the train," he adds.
"I am very happy with my only son, he has made us proud," says Manjunath who has studied only up to Class 5, but would like his son to get a proper education.
Last week, the Karnataka government presented Siddhesh a bravery award on Children's Day.
Living up to her name that means light of the world, Noor Jahan has been spreading light in at least 500 homes in Bairi Dariyaon in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh, Bharat) and its neighbouring villages for the last 10 years. A mother of seven who became a widow 25 years ago, Noor Jahan came in contact with Shramik Bharti, an NGO teaching people about the power of solar energy. An inspired Noor Jahan proposed to distribute solar lanterns in 50 houses of her village. “I convinced people to use solar lamps as they were cheaper and safer,” she recalled. The next hurdle was how to charge these lamps. Noor Jahan formed a group that helped her set up a solar power centre equipped with solar panels. She began to rent out the lanterns for Rs 100 per month. Every evening, villagers come to collect a charged lantern and return it in the morning. From the money that she earns, Noor Jehan deposits Rs 1,700 in the centre for maintenance. (When Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the nation about her good work in his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on November 29, 2015, it came as a pleasant surprise for 55-year-old Noor Jahan).
A group of like-minded loco pilots in Chennai Central railway station (Tamilnadu, Bharat) felt a need for an organisation to help the hundreds of destitute and orphaned people who make railway stations their home — sometimes even without food and proper clothing. D Kulararasan, a loco pilot and one of the founders of the organisation, Good Samaritan Saviours, says, years back, when he got off the locomotive he saw a weak and malnourished woman lying on Platform No 1. She had raging fever and was unable to move. “I contacted an NGO, they came and helped rehabilitate her”. That was before his group was formed. “We contribute Rs 200 every month. We spend the money for rehabilitating the destitute. We help NGOs to take care of the people we rescue,” explains G Rajapandian, one of the members of the organisation. Started in 2004, the group has helped over 125 destitute and orphaned people at railway stations last year. “We began with hardly 10 people, but now we have over 50 loco-pilots in the organisation. People who see a destitute person at railway stations across Chennai and other cities give us a call,” adds G Rajapandian, another member. “We work 102 hours a fortnight running locomotives, and hardly get time for such things. In case we need to attend to destitute people, whoever gets a two-hour break does what’s needed. The pilot leaves after two hours and hands over to the next pilot who gets his break,” he says. Many of the rescued people have been reunited with their families.
Shri P Manimaran (29), a coolie and Class VIII dropout from Thalayampallam village located 10 km from Tiruvannamalai town (Tamilnadu, Bharat), was presented the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disability on December 3, 2015 by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Manimaran donated his entire cash award of ₹ one lakh for helping leprosy patients who were affected during the recent floods in Cuddalore and Chennai. He said, “Leprosy patients left stranded in knee-deep water were at high risk as maggots infection starts to spread easily and luckily with the help of the cash given by the government we were able to rescue over 350 patients in these two districts”. Manimaran, who started social work since he was 13 by rehabilitating destitute in and around his village, has now reportedly adopted 338 leprosy patients, helped close to 50,000 leprosy patients, helped 1,800 mentally- challenged of which 170 are now in rehabilitation centres across 18 districts of the State. Manimaran is also known for cremating unclaimed bodies. Till date, he claims to have buried 138 unidentified bodies. Interestingly, Manimaran has volunteered to provide educational aids for 500 physically- challenged children and said that he had to sell some of his properties to support this.
Shri Dilip Singh Malaviya, a mason by profession and resident of Bhojpura village in Sehore district (Madhya Pradesh, Bharat) has built toilets in 100 houses in his village without demanding wages. Till just three months back all the villagers including Sarpanch Surendra Singh were constrained to defecate in the open. They used to go to a forest a km away for the purpose. Women particularly were put to great difficulty. No more that unhygienic habit there. Dilip singh’s wife Binda began opposing this habit. At first Dilip did not pay much attention to her grievance. But when she stood firm in her demand, Dilip arranged funds and in 7 days built a toilet. Then he resolved to put up a fight against open defecation in his village. He discussed the issue with the Sarpanch and the village development committee. They too took the matter seriously but they had reservations about getting government funds for it. Meanwhile, at a meeting of the villagers, Dilip volunteered with his proposal that if the villagers arranged building material for the toilets, he would build them for free. They accepted and he did as he had said. (Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 15th ‘man ki baat’ radio broadcast on December 27 made a mention of Dilip Singh’s good work)- Courtesy: Panchaamritam