Monday, March 11, 2013

Seva for all

There are a lot of needs in this world which remain unfulfilled .Many charitable organizations are making Herculean efforts to address the needs. Philanthropy is many cases is very specific.Some will address needs of homeless kids by providing shelters & educating them & yet another one will take care of older people who have nowhere to go.I have always dreamt that there must be one organization which can devote itself to wants of many -the kids,senior citizens,etal.

This is because ,I feel that kids & elder get along so fabulously -they get so attached to each other in no time.My daughter is a case in point.She is always enquiring from my parents whenever they go back to my brother's home,"When are you coming back ?"Elders can help with the studies of the youngsters & guide them in life.Youngsters can assist the elders in learning new age fundas like operating the mobiles,computers,etc.In effect ,they can complement each other.

One of my e-mates sorry, friend on my email list had sent me this mail about Sevalaya as they were looking for funds. As I read about Sevalaya ,it became clear, that this is the one, which was very comprehensive as it caters to  orphans,senior citizens, rural women.Moreover ,it is for all irrespective of caste ,creed, religion,gender etc.It is in rural Tamil Nadu, in Kasuva hamlet near Thiruninravur,to the west of Chennai. Sevalaya means temple of service.It is service for those who have  nowhere to go as they are too poor.

Sevalaya has separate homes for destitute boys & girls- the Swami Vivekananada Boys home & the Mother Teresa  Girls home respectively.It runs a medical centre-Mahatma Gandhiji medical centre for the inmates of Sevalaya as also for the villagers .This is so, as the nearest hospital for the hamlet is nearly 6 km away in Thiruninravaur.

Image courtesy : Home page of Sevalya 

Sevalaya runs a school- the Mahakavi Bhartiyar Higher secondary school which provides free education to the children of the Kasuva & the surrounding villages.Even uniforms are provided free of cost.The villagers being very poor, could not afford to send their kids to school. Sevalaya's gesture of free education has changed all that .The result is that nearly 1450 kids are now enrolled in the Mahakavi Bhartiyar Higher secondary school. Sevalaya also runs the Swami Vivekananda Library & reading room for making reading popular among the youth.The library is free.It also has a mobile van, to carry books to the villagers for free ,once in a week.

Crafts like book binding ,screen printing ,tailoring ,wire bag making etc are a part of the school syllabus in Sevalaya. This is possible through the Kasthurba Craft centre at Sevalaya .Rural women are being trained in tailoring, with the result, that many women have been gainfully employed- on their own & in export units.This is empowerment of women which is the the utmost need of the day & age ! Moreover ,it is in at the grass root level, in the villages !

The old age  home is run by Sevalaya for those elders who have no one to take  care .These elders cannot opt for old age homes where they have to pay for being cared for.Hence Sevalaya runs this old age home -Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Old Age home for such senior citizens.The elders keep themselves busy by watering the gardens,cutting vegetables ,making envelopes etc.

The Vinobhaji Goshala is another foray by Sevalaya.This houses cows which yield milk & those which are past the milk yielding age.The milk is consumed by inmates at Sevalaya & the remaining  milk is sold in the nearby villages to supplement the numerous activities of Sevalaya. Organic manure is made at Sevalaya by vermin compost method.It is used in the garden & marketed as well.A green gesture  symbolising waste management .

Sevalaya is the brainchild of Mr.V.Muralidharan & his friends who were inspired by the  ideals of Mahatma Gandhi ,Mahakavi Bharatiyar & Swami Vivekananda. Sevalaya's first home for children opened on 29th May,1988.Many corporates,clubs,public associations & well wishers from India & abroad fund the numerous activities of Sevalaya.

The success of Sevalaya has prompted Sevalaya to establish units in 2011 & 2012 - in Vadanallur village in Kanchivaram district & another in Aayular village respectively. Sevalaya has a dream project -of starting its own University !

Sevalaya has been swamped with many awards - Bharathi award,Best Green Campus award,Pramerica Award,Best "Social Reformer" ,"Karuna Ratna",Mudhalvan award,Seva Ratna award,& many more.

Sevalaya works on three basic principles - service for all without any discrimination,free service & service with love & affection.This is service, in its truest sense !


JANU said...

We need many more organizations like Sevalaya. Indeed, there are many but they don't crave for limelight yet survive on whatever donations they get.
Nice article Vasu.

vasu said...

Thanks,Janaki !

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