Sewa Sandesh July 2015
BHARAT PLEDGES $1 BN AID TO QUAKE-RAVAGED NEPAL
Bharat pledged an assistance of $1 billion to the quake-ravaged Nepal for its massive re-construction programme. The announcement was made by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the International Donors’ Conference in Kathmandu on June 22.
Led by Bharat and China, global donors pledged over $3.5 billion as aid to Nepal, meeting half of the $6.7 billion needed to rebuild the nation, as Nepalese Prime Minister vowed “full transparency” and ”zero-tolerance” to corruption in disbursing the relief money to the victims. Pledging the aid, Swaraj asserted Bharat would strongly stand behind the Nepalese Government, which is seeking to “wipe the tears” of every Nepalese citizen.
“EKAL VIDYALAYA FOUNDATION” COMMITS RS. 2 CRORES FOR NEPAL VICTIMS
Shyamji Gupta, Founder-Chairman of “Ekal-India” happened to be in Nepal when the earthquake struck and so he personally initiated the relief efforts after witnessing the tragedy first-hand that unfolded. As of April’2015, Ekal had 1,500 schools operating in Nepal’s rural areas. Ekal, was not only familiar with its people, its culture and life’s necessities, but also, had well-established rapport with the local governments. As the news of destruction hit the world, ‘Ekal Organization’ under the leadership of Ravidev ji Gupta sprang into action to start coordinating rescue, relief, and rehabilitation efforts with its selfless volunteering force of 1,600 Nepali regulars. Within days, Ekal’s own survey indicated that 626 Ekal-Villages were affected, 365 Ekal teacher’s housings were destroyed and over 250 Ekal schools were badly damaged. In earthquake ravaged regions, Ekal extended help irrespective of caste, region and creed etc. Essential food items and medicines, 9743 tarpaulin, and 11,500 blankets were distributed which benefitted approximately 5,000 families in 400 villages. The team of Doctors treated 500 patients in ‘Sindupalchowk’ district and 400 patients in ‘Lalitpur’ district for wounds, gastric problems, psychiatric interventions and orthopedic injuries. According to Subhashji Gupta, past President and current Advisor to Ekal-USA, total commitment of Ekal in Nepal is likely to exceed Rs. 2 Crores.
ROOFTOP POWER PLANT IN CHITRAKOOT
Krishna Devi Vanvasi Awasiya Vidyalaya is a residential school for Vanvasi girls at Majhgawan in Chitrakoot region of Madhya Pradesh. The school and its hostel is supported by Deendayal Research Institute (DRI). The school has few buildings in the campus which are used as classrooms and hostels with an electricity connection from the grid, which is highly unstable. Power cuts are for more than 12 to 15 hours daily and mainly in the evenings.
Frequent power cuts caused problem in the study of Vanvasi girls staying in the hostel. School was struggling to provide clean light to students as diesel generator was getting expensive day-by-day. When it came to the attention of Sewa International, a detailed survey was conducted. The survey found that the total electricity load including lights, fans and computers was about 1.2kw. About 24sq.m. free space was identified on the roof of the administration building. A 2 KWp solar power plant was installed on the available roof space of the school with 5 hours battery backup. The total project cost was Rs.4,02,380, out of which MNRE gave a subsidy worth Rs.1,20,714. The Sewa international arranged the remaining funds of Rs.2,81,666 through donation from NRIs in USA. From the date of its installation in 2013, the system has been supporting 17 fans, 32 CFL lights 3 TVs and 2 computers. The girls now have uninterrupted power supply in the evening to study.
MASS MARRIAGE IN SILIGURI BY KALYAN ASHRAM
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram recently organised mass marriage at Salibari near Siliguri in North Bengal where 101 couples got married. All the couples came along with their relatives, family members and the villagers. All the rituals were conducted with complete sanctity. After rituals, the couples visited temple and had blessings of the elders. Such functions were also organised in Guwahati where 19 couples got married. The people working in tea garden of Assam, Tripura and West Bengal live under poverty. In such situation organising wedding ceremony becomes difficult for them. Therefore, many youth prefer the short cut i.e. Gandharva Vivah for wedding. But in this process they get cut from the society.
FREE MEAL TO HOSPITAL PATIENTS BY SEWA BHARATI ERNAKULAM
Ernakulam unit of Sewa Bharati has started serving mid-day meal to the patients at Government General Hospital in Kochi from July 1. Noted Physician Dr Sachidananda Kamath inaugurated the initiative. The food will be served daily from 7 am onwards. Sewa Bharati has been providing free meals for many years in Kerala. In Kasaragod, it is actively involved in the scheme, which has received huge public applause. RSS Kochi Mahanagar Karyavah Shri Rajesh Chandran, Bauddhik Pramukh Shri Abhinu Suresh, Sewa Bharati coordinator Shri PS Manikantan, Nagar Sanghachalak Shri Lakshminarayanan, and other local functionaries attended the function.
Solar Mini-Grid Project in Jharkhand
ILLUMINATING THE LIVES OF VANVASIS
Darmi and Nawadih Villages in Rehala region of Jharkhand consist of 114 households with a population of around 600, mostly depending on farming. Water supply for cultivation has been a big issue. Existing source of power supply is national grid, but the villagers hardly get power for an hour in a day, and that too under very low voltage. People still depend on kerosene, an additional burden to the economy.
Solar Mini-Grid solution was offered by Crux Power Pvt Ltd, Bhubaneshwar, after the villagers agreed to provide adequate land for Solar Module installation and to take the maintenance part of the project. Considering a basic need for household a centralised Mini-Grid system of 34.5KWp capacity was designed with a minimum power supply (total of 6 hours including morning and evening time) to each household. The provision was made so that each household pays Rs 100 in a month for maintenance and smooth functioning of the project. A village level committee was formed to look after the project.
As a result the villagers now get uninterrupted power supply for minimum 6 hours in a day. Each household gets 150W peak load power supply. A water purification system with storage capacity of 6,.000 liters cater to drinking water needs. It has increased the study hours of students. It has provided scope for further economic activities for small entrepreneurs.
SEWA BASTI TURNED INTO AN IDEAL GRAM
Sewa Bharati workers near Sikandara in Agra have turned a Sewa Basti into an ideal village. RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Suhasrao hiremath visited the Basti on July 17 to meet the people. The work in the Basti is being carried out under the leadership of a retired police officer Shri Ashok Bhatnagar. The villagers including the parents of the children who attend the Bal Sanskar Kendra informed Shri Hiremath not even a single child of the Basti went to school about eight years back. Now majority of the children go to school. A temple has also been constructed in the Basti where regular puja is held. A mobile library has also been set up. Shri Hiremath said a person becomes great y getting good samskars and having sound mind and intellect. The Sewa Bharati is trying to change the mindest of the people through such activities. Kshetra Sewa Pramukh Shri Gangaram, mahanagar Sewa Pramukh Shri Ashok Sharma also accompanied the workers.
SWAYAMSEVAKS CLEAN THE PREMISES AND LAKE OF 800 YEAR OLD GOURI GANGADHARESHWARA TEMPLE
Second time in the same week, RSS swayamsevaks of Kolar in Karnataka cleaned the premises and temple lake of historic 800 year old Sri Gouri Gangadhareshwara Temple in Kolar on July 5. As a part of Sewa Sanghik, they along with other voluntary organisations including scouts and guides took the initiative of cleaning the Temple lake. The temple was built during Chola Empire. The lake was badly polluted.
SOLAR POWER IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
RIWATCH is a community based research organisation working at Roing in Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. Even till date this District is highly dependent on electric supply from Assam. People face complete power cut for days or weeks throughout the year. The work of RIWATCH involves study of people, their life style, their physical appearances, customs, technology, their music, dance ceremonies and rituals. It attracts many researchers across the world during various parts of the year. With the unreliable source of power it was getting very difficult for RIWATCH to continue its core activities. RIWATCH campus has 31 CFL lights, 5 street lights, 14 fans, 8 computers, and 3 TVs. After preliminary survey it was decided to construct a Canopy Based 3KWp Solar Project in its campus to support the critical load of around 2 KW. The plant was designed with a provision of expanding it to 5 KW. The total project cost was Rs. 6,08,375 from which MNRE contributed Rs 1,82,512 as subsidy. Sewa International’s Clean Tech Initiative contributed remaining Rs 4,25,863.
The success of this project became a role model in Lower Dibang Valley and surrounding districts. Many government officials have visited the campus to understand the modalities of the project. Now the district administration and a local school are planning to adopt roof top solar power plant motivated by the RIWATCH project.
SANJEEVANI IN YOUR KITCHEN
Quite often the solution is far easier than even imagined. More than a dozen infants died in Government hospitals within a single week a few months back in Dharmapuri District of Tamil Nadu. The cause was found as malnutrition. Recently, the volunteers of Ekal Vidyalaya movement found that simple home remedies improve the health level of pregnant mothers and new born infants. It happened like this; 1,011 women in hamlets where Ekal Vidyalaya work were administered a combination of herbal home remedies and Ayurveda-Siddha medicines under the guidance of experts in the respective systems. The nutrition level of 846 of them (84 per cent) improved. This successful attempt at fighting malnutrition was conducted in Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts of Tamil Nadu too. The Ekal Movement pressed into service the Arogya Foundation of India.
SWAYAMSEVAKS IN THE LANDSLIDE RELIEF OPERATION IN DARJEELING
A series of landslides triggered by overnight heavy rain left at least 50 people dead, 23 missing and more than 500 displaced in West Bengal’s Darjeeling District on July 1. The landslides at 25 places in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions also washed away portions of highways, including a bridge, cutting off the road link to the region. 22 deaths occurred in Mirik, where 13 people were also reported missing. The remaining 17 died in Kalimpong, Lava, Sukhia and Gorubathan areas. Twenty persons were reported injured and 15 missing at 8 Mile and 11 Mile areas in Kalimpong. About 300 people shifted to relief camps organised by the administration. Union Minister of State Shri Kiren Rijiju and MP Shri SS Ahluwalia visited the affected areas. The Sangh volunteers rushed to the affected areas as they got the news of landslide. About 60 workers under the banner of Uttar Bang Sewa Bharati joined the relief activity. They provided eatable items, milk powder, biscuits, water, tarpaulin, blankets, clothes, rice, flour, etc to the victims. Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti from Kolkata also dispatched relief material. A team of doctors from Siliguri under the leadership of Dr Mani Lama also rushed to the spot.
- Service rendered to the community by a Dalit girl has brought laurels to her and Isayankulam. Sushri P. Thayammal (28) of Isayankulam, a village in Srivaikuntam taluk in Thuthukudi district (Tamilnadu, Bharat), was presented with the Woman Exemplar Programme – 2015 Award of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which carries Rs. 3 lakh and a medal by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi on April 6, 2015. Thayammal, a fatherless woman who hails from a poor family, is involved in providing free coaching for rural students to ensure better academic performance. She is one of the seven children of the family and the first to have earned a Master’s degree in Commerce. She developed a skill for teaching after overcoming hurdles as a slow learner. Her father, a farm labourer, was struck dead by lightning while at work on October 21 last year. She began coaching children at an anganwadi centre opposite her house. Now she coaches 30 students from class six to eight in the evening. . She has persuaded 35 children, identified as school dropouts in 2007-08, to continue their education. She also offers free coaching to those appearing for competitive examinations besides helping villagers fill up applications for government assistance. Her brothers are working in stone quarries.
- Whenever 67 – year old Shri Katnam Bala Gangadhara Tilak, ventures out in his car, he is on the lookout for tar mixed gravel dumped on roadsides. Tilak’s mission is to collect the unclaimed tar and gravel and fill potholes elsewhere. Tilak is a resident of Hydershakote near Rajendranagar, Hyderabad (Telengana, Bharat). Starting his day at nine in the morning, he travels along different routes and scouts for potholes. (His score: 1,125 potholes!) The moment, he spots one, he immediately stops his car and puts up two red flags to alert road users. Using a crowbar, spade, broomsticks and tar mixed gravel, he then takes up the task of filling the pothole, even as passersby watch him puzzled. After retiring as a senior section engineer from South Central Railway (SCR), Vijayawada, he got a designer engineer’s job at Infotech Company, Manikonda. While going to office, he was a witness to few road accidents. Several youngsters were crushed to death under the wheels of heavy vehicles after their motorcycles skidded off the road due to a crater. Such situations do not allow him to concentrate on his job. He spends over Rs.500 towards fuel expenses every day. Impressed with Tilak’s initiative, GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu lauded him for contributing for the society’s development. He directed officials concerned to arrange a vehicle with required material to assist Tilak to take up patch up works effectively
- It is quite easy to locate Dr. K.Ramaswamy’s small clinic tucked away in an old building along the Kulasekaranathar Kovil Street of Thenkasi, a municipality in Thirunelveli District (Tamilnadu, Bharat). A mere mention of “ten rupee doctor” will do. For the last 33 years he treats ailments of the people of the town and several villages around by charging just Rs 10 as consultation fee. Early during the period, it was just Re 1. The hike is for paying the salaries of his assistants, the kind hearted doctor informs. This MBBS doctor, a skin specialist, had settled down in this town after serving in government hospitals in many towns. He married off his only daughter and having few needs, Ramaswamy and his wife Bhagavathi have chosen to lead a frugal life serving the needy.
Food For Thought:
“All birds find shelter during a rain. But Eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds.”
– DR. A.P.J. Abdul kalam