Indian Floods: Seva Bharati saving lives
Floods have devastated Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and bordering districts of Maharashtra. With millions losing their homes and families many government and non-government organizations have pitched in to help. One of the organizations playing a leading role is the Seva Bharati. The Seva Bharati is a Non-Governmental organization (NGO) which works especially among the economically weaker sections, the tribal and indigenous communities in India. It runs thousands of service projects across India in the field of education, health-care, rural development and rehabilitation of differently abled and special needs children.
The massive relief work carried out by Seva Bharati during the Gujarat Earthquake in 2001, Bihar floods in 2008 and 2005 Tsunami that hit the Southern coast of India, came in for considerable appreciation from various quarters.
In a similar spirit and determined show of selfless service the volunteers of the organization have been battling it against the elements trying to help the people in distress. The seva karya (voluteer service) is being run at ground zero by the volunteers and they are trying to get any help they can through the limited channels they have.
HYDERABAD: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other like-minded organisations are involving themselves in relief work in the floodaffected districts of the State.In the first phase of relief operations, they distributed over one lakh food packets collected from neighboring villages and districts in the interior rural areas of Kurnool, Mahaboobnagar and Nalgonda districts.
The Swayamsevaks said that since links to Kurnool had been cut off, material was being brought in from Anantapur, Kadapa, Nellore in the State, and Raichur in Karnataka. The RSS set up relief camps in Karnool town at Saraswati Sishu Mandir and G Pulla Reddy Engineering College.
Volunteers from Adoni cleaned the Raghavendra Swamy temple in Mantralayam and cleared the carcasses of the cows of Goshala and other animals, and handed them over to the police.
In Hyderabad, 2,000 Swayamsevaks went round the city collecting money, food and other material needed for the flood-affected. Two donation collection centres have come up at the State headquarters of RSS and the Keshav Memorial School. Every day four truckloads of food material, two trucksloads of other essentials are dispatched to flood-affected areas. Besides, 200 volunteers from the city are engaged in sanitation work there.
The all-India secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) visited the affected areas of Kurnool and met the volunteers engaged in relief work there. RSS State president TV Deshmukh and Seva Bharati organising secretary Vidwan Reddy have visited the relief camp at Gadwal in Mahaboobnagar district and met the volunteers there.
In the second phase of relief operations, the RSS surveyed the affected areas of Mahaboobnagar district and found that 58 villages were badly destroyed and 16,000 families were devastated.The organisation decided to supply kits to 5,000 families to enable them to lead a normal life. Each kit consists of kitchen utensils, foodgrains and other material of daily use.
In Kurnool district, 250 to 300 villages are still under water hampering their survey. In the third and final phase of operations, the RSS plans to rehabilitate devastated people and reconstruct destroyed villages.
“We have identified various means of rehabilitation of people like supplying them implements required for their occupation,’’ Swayamsevaks said, adding that they were involving several voluntary organisations.
Seva Bharati has done commendable job in past and has been one of the few organizations that has been very transparent in the work it does. It releases an annual report which is audited. The organization runs a string of other services like schools for tribal children, polio vaccination campaigns, rehabilitation programs for orphan children and women ravaged by militancy to list a few.
The volunteers of Seva Bharati today are involved in more than one lakh service projects in remote areas of the country. Seva Bharati runs 13,786 projects in education, 10,908 in health care, 17,560 in social welfare and 7,452 self-reliance projects. These projects, serving the economically weaker and socially neglected sections of the society range from medical assistance, crèche, library, hostel, basic education, adult education, vocational and industrial training, upliftment of street children and the lepers.
India is in need of such organizations which are saving lives when it's needed the most.