Sewa Sandesh January, 2019
The first month of the Year 2019 has presented itself in the form of new opportunities to serve the fellow citizens and to take steps towards new goals and aspirations for Sewa International. To begin with, we wish everyone a very happy Republic Day. The event was celebrated with great joy and patriotic fervor in all our center locations. While the Uttarakhand vertical opened a new chapter by hosting guests at our newly developing destinations for voluntourism, the Kashi farmers have started the year by using technology to better their understanding of agriculture and incorporate modern techniques into their cultivation practices. Artisans and weavers from Kutch and Kashi had the distinct opportunity to participate in the Pravasi Bharati Diwas, and showcase their work to the members of the Indian diaspora. As a matter of great pride, Shri Gitesh Desai (President, Sewa Houston) received the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award at the PBD 2019. With the onset of the Maha Kumbh at Prayagraj, Youth For Seva organized a voluntary platform called Kumbh SewaMitra to engage doctors on a volunteer basis to provide health services to the pilgrims.
We are all indebted to our esteemed supporters who have always been supportive of our endeavors and hope to continue with even more engagement in this year too!!
70th Republic Day Celebrated Across SewaCentres
70th Republic Day was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm throughout Sewaclusters in Uttarakhand, Kashi, Tripura and many other locations in India. Flag hoisting ceremony was held in Simli, Tapovan, Chandrapuri and other centers in Uttarakhand. Women and students also engaged in collaborative activities and singing of traditional and patriotic songs to commemorate the occasion. The upper regions of Tapovan saw heavy snowfall, but despite that, the locals turned out in good numbers for flag hoisting and other events. In our Kashi center, apart from the flag hoisting ceremony, the children showcased the culture of the land by participating in fancy dress activities, patriotic singing competition etc. At its Tripura learning centers, it was heartwarming to see little children from the Bru tribal community participating in flag hoisting and other activities, thus, putting up a wonderful example of what Republic Day means to every Indian, irrespective of the language, dress, culture or state, inculcating patriotic values required for a Strong Nation!!
Sewa Saahas Organises Adventure Trip
Onset of 2019 became a milestone for Sewa Saahas, Uttarakhand, (Sewa‘s adventure tourism and disaster management initiative), as it hosted a group of 9 young travelers from Tamil Nadu who experienced authentic Himalayan life between 2nd-6th January, with a variety of activities including skiing, snow trekking, jungle camping, rock climbing and homestay in Karchhon village. During the course of the trip, they visited Haridwar, moving on to Joshimath, Auli, and Durkund which are some of the most picturesque winter destinations of the region. The tourists chose to shun the luxurious traveling style and engaged on the ground level with the people and their way of life in the mountains.
Their feedback and enthusiastic participation of the community has been overwhelming as well as humbling for us. We hope to expand and curate more of such trips in the future as well.
Community Knitting Training Program in Pokhari
Sewa Mahila Jyoti, our non-farm skill development initiative, inaugurated a 20-days community knitting training program in Pokhari(Chamoli), in which the local women from nearby villages were trained to operate modern knitting machines so as to diversify their income options and set up their own small businesses. It was heartwarming to see these women diligently taking out time to attend such training despite the rigorous and busy life in the mountains. Such training not just fosters a community spirit of oneness within the women but also engages them in a skill that can become an alternate source of revenue in the future.
Sewa International Participates In Pravasi Bharati Divas 2019
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) is celebrated once in every two years to strengthen the engagement of the overseas Indian community with the GoI and reconnect them with their roots. The 15th PBD Convention was held on 21-23 January 2019 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The theme of PBD Convention 2019 was “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”. On the occasion, Sewa International showcased the handloom weaving and carpet weaving products made by its artisans in Kashi and Kutch region.
The running theme for its stalls was ‘Hamari Sanskriti Hamari Sabhyata’, an endeavor to link the Indian diaspora to the traditional fabric of the country. We also had put a Live Demo of the Carpet Loom at our stall for the visitors to see the work in action. Various dignitaries and our Sewa Associates from various other countries like Mauritius, USA, Nepal, UK, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, EU countries etc, attended the 3-days event.
Training Program – Potato Cultivation
Sewa International, Kashi organized an agricultural training program on potato cultivation, diseases associated and the role of pesticides. Dr. J.P Rai, senior scientist at BHU was the chief guest of the training program. He briefed the farmers regarding the good practices needed for increasing the productivity of potato crop. A detailed discussion was undertaken regarding the ways and means to avoid pesticides like Vidomile MJ being sprayed on the plants that increases the toxicity of the soil. The farmers were told about the mode of identification of moths and pests that affect the potato plants. Effective ways of prevention and cure against various bacterial infections, waterborne diseases, viruses etc were told to the farmers.
The guests also visited Sewa International’s demo farms in the area along with other team members. The event was a success as it gave a new direction to farmers involved in potato farming and other agricultural endeavors.
Shri Gitesh Desai (President, Sewa Houston) wins Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award at PBD 2019
Sewa International is glad to inform that Shri Gitesh Desai – President of SewaHouston Chapter, won the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held at Varanasi on Jan 23, 2019 for Community Service and Leadership. The award was presented by Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of India to 28 eminent NRIs and two organizations of the Indian diaspora for their achievements in various fields.
Doctors for Seva – Volunteering at Kumbh
Kumbh Mela, one of the ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ listed by UNESCO, is a major Hindu pilgrimage, and has the distinction of being the world’s largest gathering of people. Lasting for a total of 49 days, the Kumbh Mela culminates to the festival of Maha Shivratri. Amassing a huge gathering of 120 million people this year, the need for health services is of paramount importance. Doctors for Seva, an initiative of Youth for Seva – Sewa International’s local partner, has been working as part of the voluntary platform of ‘Kumbh Sevamitra’ to engage doctors in delivering essential services — another step towards ensuring a truly memorable experience for the visitors. Over 2,000 medical practitioners, including 300 doctors, have volunteered to cater to the pilgrims during this mega festival. The team of doctors includes General Physicians, Cardiologists, E&T specialists, Anesthetists, Surgeons, Dermatologists, Gynecologists, and Orthopedics who were ably supported by nursing staff, technicians, and other support staff.
We are witnessing huge interest in the festival with the numbers of visitors increasing by the day, so we request more doctors to volunteer at the Kumbh and make your contribution.
Toilet And Hygiene Project
January 2019 Highlights
Bio-toilets installation – Dindigul, Tamil Nadu
Need Analysis – Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Access to Potable Water – Agra, Uttar Pradesh
I. Bio-toilets installation
Area of work, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu; Beneficiaries: 500+ school children
In its previous report, SIB had shared the need analysis conducted in Dindigul, Tami Nadu. It has built 15 toilet units in these identified schools in Dindigul, 5 toilet units – Govt.aided school, Chattarapatti, 10 toilet units – GGHSS Gopalpatti
II. Need Analysis
Area of work: Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Sewa team conducted need analysis in 10 government schools, Gorakhpur. Under Repair and Renovation Phase I, Sewa International is planning to repair and renovate 50 toilet units in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
III. Access to Potable Water Area of work: Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in and due to lack of water supply, many toilets in government schools in India have become non-functional. SIB has provided water connections in 11 schools so far in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.