Volume 18 - Issue 05
May 2020
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Posted on: May 19, 2020

The Sai Organisation Springs into Action To
Mitigate the Suffering from Covid19

Part 01

 

Part 02 | Part 03

“There are any number of service organisations in the world. The uniqueness of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation consists in the fact that it regards Seva as a form of service to the Divinity that is in each being. The bliss that is derived from such service is incomparable. It is a spiritual experience.”

• Bhagawan Baba, November 18, 1984


The members of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations long to experience this bliss by reaching out and serving the Divinity present in all, especially the ones who are in need of help, support and succour.

On March 24, 2020 when the Indian Government announced a hitherto unprecedented national lockdown to contain the Covid19 health crisis, it changed the lives of 1.3 billion Indians in several unforeseen ways.

The worst affected group however was the over 40 million migrant labourers.

Overnight, these poor daily wage earners lost their jobs. With no money, they had no means to even fill their stomachs. There was no way they could return to their villages too.

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around the world


Humongous Selflessness with Himalayan Humility

Unable to see the sorrow of this vulnerable lot, Sai devotees in many parts of the country instantly reached out to these disadvantaged groups of people and served them meals on a daily basis for them to keep their flesh and bone together.

What started as little streams of selflessness by inspired Sai devotees in various corners of India, soon merged into a massive movement of compassion.

As on May 16, 2020 the Sai Sevadals all over India, have served 12,63,161 food packets cooked in 108 free Community Kitchens set up in different states of the country.

When some of the migrants moved back to their home states, 20 Community Kitchens were no longer needed. Currently 88 Kitchens are operational all over India.

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

Besides, over 2,50,000 masks have been distributed free to public servants, sanitary workers, labourers, and so on.

The organisation has not stopped with just this.

Throughout India 16,81,650 kilograms of cereals and grains have been offered to 1,10,500 families through the volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

While the food served and groceries given away was understandably a manna from heaven for these deeply troubled lives, it was a manna from heaven for the Sai devotees who served too.

Do you know why?

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected
 
Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected
 
Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected
 
Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

The state of Telangana alone has served 4,62,951 food packets. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh has distributed 2,53,694, Delhi & NCR - 1,73,790, Karnataka - 1,46,562, and so on.


A Restless Heart to Reach Out to the Needy in Bengaluru Rural District

“I had never seen such a terrible situation until now in my life,” said Manohar R, aged 40, who owns an oil mill in the Bengaluru Rural District. His face was red with shock and sorrow.

But what bothered him was not the loss he had in his business.

“I live in Hoskote, East Bengaluru. Once the lockdown started, whenever I walked out of my house, the distress and despondency of scores of workers living around me, disturbed me greatly,” Manohar recalled in a voice choking with pain.

He went on to explain, “Bengaluru has a lot of labourers who have come from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra and so on. These are all contract labourers. They can be hired and fired anytime. They get only daily wages. They can eat only if they have worked that day.

“The lockdown had made all their lives miserable. I could not bear to see their suffering.

“So some of us who are Sai devotees, got together and decided we must do something. We started cooking meals for them. We began serving food to 300 families.”

Once this was initiated, Manohar and his team were happy no doubt, but not totally satisfied. They wanted to do more. But it was difficult to scale up the work, what with all the restrictions put down by the government especially with regard to the movement of men and material during this period.

Then, came the solution.

“We were most happy on April 1, 2020 when the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation sent us the guidelines to form Community Kitchens. Now we could do this work formally and with all permissions secured from local government authorities.”

Manohar’s team was now jubilant.

It consisted of not just sevadals from the Hoskote and Vagata Samithis of the Bengaluru Rural District but also brought in all the employees from his small factory too. They too were positively charged with the opportunity to serve.

So they immediately raised their quantum of service from preparing 300 food packets to 1000.

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

They began offering food to the policemen, postmen and all public servants too. “But these people consisted only 10% of the beneficiaries,” Manohar explained and continued, “90% were the most-needy. With the permission of local government authorities we went to the interior areas, 40 kms in and around Bengaluru, and identified most vulnerable people who were dying of hunger.

“For more than 50 continuous days now, we have been offering food packets to these 1000 families. And we change the menu every day. If one day it is veg pulao, the next day it is aloo pulao, the third day it is bisibela bath, and so on.

“Of course, we conform to all social distancing norms. That is why we don’t distribute the packets personally. We hand them over to leaders of these habitations at nodal points.”

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected
 
Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

We asked Manohar, “What has been your most thrilling moment?”

With joy dancing on his face he said, “Our food packets go to these disadvantaged areas in the ‘Sri Sathya Sai Mobile Van’. The moment the people see our vehicle, they are thrilled. The children especially are in seventh heaven.

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

“Truly, that joy and satisfaction cannot be described in words. They accept the food packets as if it is an item of worship and touch it to their foreheads. They keep saying ‘Sairam, Sairam, Baba’s Prasadam!’ No other happiness in the world can match this!”

Sathya sai seva organisation covid-19 service all around india, breakfast service, lunch and dinner service to migrants corona effected

Manohar’s immense bliss in doing this work was obvious. He leaves no stone unturned to see that what is offered is the best. “It is Swami’s Prasadam. So we do not compromise on anything, be it quality or quantity,” he added emphatically.

When we asked him about the setbacks in his business during this period, he just brushed it aside and said, “Money can be earned anytime but this chance to serve will not come again. Now there is so much need! We really do not want to miss the opportunity at any cost. I have full confidence in my Swami; He will take care of my business. I just have to ensure that no one goes hungry in and around our district.”

As Vice President of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Bengaluru Rural District, Manohar in fact works more than usual, these days. To him this work is more important than any assignment he has ever done before, be it for the Sai Organisation or for his own business.

And Manohar is not alone.

Part 02 | Part 03


- Radio Sai Team

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