Guru Poornima 2014
On the auspicious occasion of Guru Poornima 2014 altogether 2013 Bal Vikas children from 35 Sai centres took out rallies at different parts of the country. The sweet little flowers of Swami’s garden offered their gratitude to their Satguru Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba singing bhajans as they walked through the streets, witnessed by crowd of Sai devotees and curious onlookers. The children adorning colorful costumes representing different world religions and holding placards with Swami’s messages on religious harmony was a feast to the eyes. ( pic 1a and 1b )
Flood Relief Work
Monsoon, while it is a great boon to the parched farm land, at times it becomes anathema to people living near the river. Due to the landslides and floods at various parts of the country, so far 269 persons have been killed, 86 injured, 127 missing, and 20,500 families displaced.
On 25 July, 2014 a devastating massive landslide in Mankha village washed away big chunk of mountain that buried 123 houses under mud debris; blocked one of the biggest rivers of Nepal besides washing away 3 km of highway that connects Nepal with Tibet of China. The massive landslide occurred in the midnight sweeping away 156 sleeping people besides rendering many homeless.
The SSSON Nepal immediately came into action. Seven Seva Dal carried relief materials containing utensils, blankets and mattresses for the landslide victims of 56 houses. But as there was no access to the victims and Government formed Natural Disaster Relief Committee was coordinating the relief work, SSSON handed over the materials to the committee. SSSON is contemplating rehabilitation seva of the victims after the initial relief work is complete. (pic .2a )
Simultaneous with this, incessant heavy rain on 9 August caused floods and landslides at many parts of the country causing deaths of at least 260 people with 254 still missing. So far by this flood alone 1601 houses have been gutted down; 5257 partially damaged; and 16,304 houses affected by the inundation. Altogether 23,886 no. of people are displaced due to this calamity. Books, uniforms and educational materials of more than 20 thousand students were swept away and 40 thousand school children are affected by the flood. The schools became shelter for the victims. The SSSON came into action immediately with Seva dals reaching the site with food and relief materials even before government and/or non government agencies reached there. ( Pic 2b ,2c and 2c )
At another place, SSSON served 247 victims with food items (confectionaries, beaten rice, etc) for 9 days, and provided clothes, tents and blankets. This apart, SSSON provided daily one meal to 50 people sheltering in a school. They also served 2 newly delivered babies and the mother with clothes and post delivery food items.
Still at another place they distributed tents to 28 families, utensils and confectioneries to 155 households. Here also they served one newly delivered baby and mother with clothes, post delivery food items, confectioneries, quilts and blankets. ( pic 2d)
Inter School Quiz Competition in Spirituality
As part of reaching to the youths outside the organisation with Bhagavan Baba’s Message, the SSSON has been launching various Message Dissemination Programs. One such program is the Inter School Quiz Competitions on Spirituality. This year such competitions were held at 4 different places in the country. Altogether 469 students of 34 schools took part in the competition. The General Knowledge Book published by the SSSON served the main reference book from which all the questions were drawn. Majority of the questions were on Bhagavan Baba, Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, Human Values, Ramayan, Geeta, Mahabharat, Inter Faith, and other Spiritual topics. Books on Bhagavan Baba/framed photos were given at the end of the program to each participant as Token of Love with shield to the meritorious participants/schools. The management and the students of the participating schools were highly pleased with the program and the arrangements and have requested the organisation for the continuity of such programs in future.( pic 3a)
Education in Human Values Training
The Institute of Sathya Sai Education Nepal continued conducting Two Days Introductory Training on EHV. One such program was organised in the eastern part of Nepal on 5-6 September, 2014 where 300 teachers of private schools received this training. The program inaugurated by the District Education Officer of Government of Nepal spoke very high about the relevancy of the program in the present educational milieu. The program came to an end on the second day with very positive comments by the participants as well. The participants resolved to implement the teachings of Bhagavan Baba in their respective schools .
The ISSE Nepal has so far trained 10,690 teachers of private schools and 3,848 master trainers of Department of Education, Government of Nepal besides providing Parenting Talks to 2,238 parents. . (pic.3b)
Jail Seva during Hari Talika Festival
On August 25, 2014, on Fathers’ Day SSSON served lunch to 1809 male inmates in 5 jails at different places in the country. In Kathmandu, the 645 inmates patiently attended the melodious Sai Bhajans which was followed by a brief talk by the director of the ISSEN on how to Develop and Practise the Inherent Human Values in their day to day life. On the occasion, at another place, the SSSON offered clothes and confectionaries to all the elderly inmates of the Sri Sathya Sai Old Age Home, Bhairawa. (pic. 4a)
On 26 August, 2014, like in the previous years, on the occasion of Hari Talika Teej festival, the equivalent of Karva Chauth in India, women wing of SSSON served delicious lunch to 492 inmates of female prison at 5 different places. As this festival is celebrated by the female with 24 hours Upavasha abandoning even drinking water praying Lord Shiva for the long lives of their spouses, bangles, beads and bindis, the symbols of conjugal life, were also distributed to them. The love and care with which the Sai Seva Dal served the jail inmates, reminded them the good old days that brought tears in the eyes of some. It was a moment of emotion. (pic. 4b )
At another place, drinking water was served to the over 2000 pilgrims visiting the nearby Shiva temple. Similarly on the same occasion, 25 ladies participated with great enthusiasm in cotton wick making competition at another place. ( pic. 4c)
Near about 99 Sai youths of regional committee 3 organized a service programme in the orphanage in Minbhavan to 66 children 0n 22nd March. They cut nails, hair, bathed the children, cleaned their rooms and toilets, washed their clothes and distributed books and copy coverings. Free health checkup of these children was done by the 3 pediatricians . The doctors found the children severely affected by scabies. On 28 March 18 youth volunteers applied scabies lotion to the children. On 29th March 10 volunteers distributed the medicines prescribed by those doctors to the children. They concluded their service with five bhajans and aarati to Bhagvan . On 4th April 8 volunteers applied the 2nd dose of the lotion. The 45 youths again conducted seva in the same orphanage second time where they did all the cleanings and washings. A free dental checkup was done by the 3 dentists. On April 28 and 30 and 1st and 2nd of may 10,16,18 and 7 children were taken to the dental clinic respectively for their curative dental checkup by 2 youth volunteers.
Aaradhana Mahotsav in Nepal
Aaradhana Mahotsav was celebrated in Nepal organizing numerous Sadhana and Service Activities where thousands of devotees participated. All the 196 Sai centres across the country invoked divinity in Brahma Muturtha with Aumkaram, Suprabhatam and Nagarsankirtan/Gramsankirtan. Thousands of Narayans were served form of which differed from place to place. While majority of centres offered food to the Narayans, cereal packets of 27 kg each were distributed to seventy ‘Chepang’ families, a wild aborigine which survive on wild tubers for nine months a year. Similarly, mosquito nets and clothes were served to 120 fire victim families in the western part of Nepal, while blankets were distributed to Narayans in the remotest snowy Himalayan region adjoining China boarder. Pleased with the service work of the local Sai centre, the local people named one street of the district headquarter “Sai Marg” in the presence of the Chief District Officer (Magistrate).
In the afternoon, talk programs were organised in each of seven regions where local heads of different religious faiths shared their views. The speakers mainly synchronised the teachings of their religious gurus with Swami’s and some even recalled the unparalleled contribution made by Bhagavan Baba in the areas of education, health, and social sector.
Special Bhajan sessions in loving memory of beloved Bhagavan in the evening echoed in every centre that culminated with the Mangal Aarati. Thus, the Aradhana Mahotsav was celebrated in divine fervor marking a sense of gratitude to Swami who tirelessly chiseled to carve each of us as an epitome of divinity.