Sadhu Vaswani Mission serves in Bhor Taluka in Corona Pandemic
A Mega Seva by Sadhu Vaswani Mission
2nd May — 4th May 2020
A life lived only for oneself becomes stale and stagnant. But a life spent in the service of others, flows clean and free like a sparkling river and ultimately reaches the ocean of the Supreme Self.
— Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani
2nd May 2020 — 4th May 2020 Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune carried out a mega seva in the Bhor Taluka of Maharashtra.
Identification of needy families by the Tehsildar was the first step in execution. A detailed list with the number of persons in each family was provided to the Mission. “While we were there at the survey, a person in dire need asked, ‘Sir, aap vapis ayenge na?’ The question moved us to tears and we were rendered numb and speechless! We are presuming their hopes had been shattered and even our assurance didn’t make a difference until we actually showed up. It’s beyond tragic.
“Imagine someone who hasn’t eaten food for several days having to trudge along to a well and pinning their hope on water for survival. “It pained us to come back with the survey numbers and not give anything that day,” said another dismayed volunteer.They had absolutely nothing,” the official said.Divided into 8 zones, the Taluka has several villages under its jurisdiction. “A distress call from the Bhor Taluka showed that the villagers are comprised of fishermen, brick-kiln workers, craftsmen, farmers and street-food hawkers.
The pandemic lockdown has exhausted their savings and almost all of them are rendered without a livelihood,” said a volunteer of the Mission. “We immediately swung into action and organised a 4 day seva,” he added.
The Taluka is situated on different terrains: hill-tops, highway road-sides and ghats with the roads leading into the villages being inaccessible in most cases. “It came to our notice that especially villagers living on the hill-tops are cut-off from the city and a grocery store is about a 10 km hike. Also the ones living in accessible areas are in abject poverty with almost all of them having a thatched roof in a small parcel of land for a home. All their resources had been exhausted with only some having boiled rice for food,” said a volunteer.
Back at the Mission, the volunteers immediately swung into action. “Ration kits of 18 kgs each that contained 5kg wheat flour, 5kg rice, 1kg dal, 1kg pulses, 1kg poha/ sabudana/suji, 1kg sugar, 1kg cooking oil, 250gms tea powder and a hygiene kit including 2 bathing soaps, 2 washing soaps, 1 toothpaste and 1 bottle coconut oil were packed for distribution.. On day one, a temporary warehouse was setup near the Tehsildar’s office. A truck loaded with the groceries along with our volunteers arranged the packaged kits in the warehouse having it ready for distribution the next day,” a volunteer informed.
40 volunteers in 15 vehicles left for the Taluka to carry out a doorstep seva. “Upon the sound of our van, the villagers rushed to their doors! They didn’t say anything, but their eyes did. Suddenly their sunken faces had a little light, a light of hope, someone had come with food,” recalled a volunteer.
“The eyes of the recipients shone with relief. Although they had no food for themselves and only had water fetched from a well, they offered it to us. They blessed us and thanked Dada with utmost gratitude. A senior, especially, said, ‘a blessing of a hungry one is from the soul. May you be abundantly blessed’ moving us thoroughly,” said another volunteer. “But I must commend their resilience; they are smiling through these tough times. We have so much to learn from them,” he added.
“On the last day of the seva, the villagers approached us and said with tears in their eyes, ‘please look after us once these rations are exhausted. We have our hopes in you,” recounted a volunteer. “Another 14 year old orphan girl who was also an HIV+ was given the kit. She lives on her own and it was saddening to see here thus. There were also toddlers who joined their hands and thanked us when their parents asked them too,” he added.The seva was executed in 4 days with 2 days of warehousing the kits at a temporary granary set up at a local Tehsildar’s office by the volunteers and 2 days of distribution. Government officials helped in organising the seva efficiently. Coordination and distribution was carried with adherence to social protocols. Recipients were briefed on social distancing and non-crowding a day earlier of the distribution.
“The Mission has executed an unprecedented service activity. It is undoubtedly going to be remembered for years to come. It also makes us keen to know of the Masters and their teachings more,” said Baban Tadwi, a government official.
Didi Krishna Kumari, on the execution of the seva shared her thoughts saying, "Take charge of the less fortunate ones of your country. Do what you can for them; do whatever is in your power to help them."“It’s Dada who led us to them. They were in dire need. A woman showed me around her tiny house. All the pots were absolutely empty. No one should have to face hunger, no one should have to live a pitiable life. We hope our seva reinstated their faith in God,” said another volunteer.
The Mission, through the seva distributed 3000 ration kits bringing food on the plate to nearly 12000 people and serving about 2,52,000 meals.