Sadhu Vaswani Mission Serves In Corona Epidemic

Sadhu Vaswani Mission Serves In Corona Pandemic

What the world needs today, more than anything else is love – in – action. Love – in –action is sympathy, service, sacrifice.

— Rev. Dada J.P. Vaswani

As the Corona virus pandemic started happening, Sadhu Vaswani Mission started getting ready to deploy resources to help. Soon, the Prime Minister of India announced the 21-day lockdown, calling upon his countrymen with hope and faith, with an appeal of compassion and service — a sanskara innate to India! ‘Corona Ka Jawab Karuna Se’, was the slogan.

Thousands of migrants, daily wage labourers were stranded and left penniless overnight! To the assistance of these brothers and sisters of the nation, he called upon the service of the nation.  The eve of 24th March 2020 brought to the nation an unprecedented announcement! Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, with his address to achieve a greater good, a greater cause, brought India to a standstill — a 21 day lockdown to break the chain of the unbridled pandemic! While the world is racing against time to find a cure, to save lives, to save nations, the Prime Minister of India called upon his countrymen with hope and faith, with a call and appeal of compassion and service — a sanskara innate to India! ‘Corona Ka Jawab Karuna Se’, was the slogan.

Thousands of migrants, daily wage labourers were stranded and left penniless overnight! To the assistance of these brothers and sisters of the nation, he called upon the service of the nation.  Sadhu Vaswani Mission, whose touchstone stands on the edifice of ‘karuna’, was instantly moved to action. Sevadaars — volunteers at the Mission were charged with vigour of love, compassion and selfless service. Permissions, protocols and due compliances were immediately set in order.

27th March, the Mission, within its 2 km radius undertook the distribution of biscuits, khichdi, wada pav, chiwda and water. The eyes of the recipients shone with gratitude and the volunteers resolve was further strengthened. A day ago, all these people had some place to stay, something to eat. No wonder the world calls this worse than the World Wars!

Moved deeply, the next day, 28th March, started even earlier. The Mission expanded the sevas for three meals a day — 6:30 am, 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Distribution of items in the first slot included water, cream roll, chiwda packet and rusk; the second slot included frooti, biscuits and water and the third slot included khichdi, banana and water.

29th March, the Pune Municipal Corporation shelter area was catered to 275+ people were served with khichdi, banana and water and 400+ people were served with biscuits, and water. A volunteer said, “They are in dire need! Given the soaring temperatures, water is the one thing they keep asking for! Dada guides to the right recipients!"

On 30th March, Sadhu Vaswani Mission stepped up its efforts to ease the impact of the pandemic on the stranded migrants and the poor. Ration and a daily one-time meal for a shelter (with 80 families) located at far-off Undri was also taken up by the Mission. A van filled with freshly prepared packaged food reached out to those waiting ones. Meanwhile, at the other locations, 200 people were served in the morning with tea, biscuits, chiwda and pav. And then, lunch meals of rice, dal, roti & bhaji were served at the municipal shelter. The Mission also provided the ones lodged at the shelter with basic toiletries— towels, napkins, tooth paste, body soap and washing soap for clothes. Additionally, biscuits frooti, chiwda and water was served to 300 people.

The following day, 31st March, was busier. With locations identified, the task was to reach out to as many as possible. At 7:00 am, 170 people were served with tea-biscuit and bun-jam and 400 people were served with biscuits, chiwda, frooti and water within the 2kms radius. The lunch meals of rice, dal, bhaji, roti & pickle continued at the shelter.

 

From 1st April, the meal distribution seva was further expanded by providing ration kits to stranded & needy families. Each ration kit contains 3 kgs rice, 3 kgs wheat flour, 1 kg dal, 1 kg pulses, 1 kg poha/suji/sabudana, 1 kg sugar, 1L cooking oil, 1/2 kg tea & hygiene packets that contain soap and toothpaste. One ration kit can provide for 10 days for a family of four with 3 meals a day and for more days for smaller families.

The Mission has reached out to remote and interior areas that have been hard for others to reach or where no help has been able to reach and families have been on the brink of starvation. In the 16 wards in Pune City, entire wards including several localities — Dhole Patil Shelter home, Ghorpadi hutment areas, Aundh, Ghole Road, Bibwewadi, Swargate, Wanowrie, Kasba Peth, Yeolwadi, Punawale, Kothrud, Warje, Undri, Shikrapur, Lepers Colony, Faraskhana, Mangalwar Peth, Budhwar Peth, Manjri Village, Circuit House, Dandekar Pool, Baner, Pashan, Sus Road, Sassoon Road, Maldhaka, & Khadi have been provided with ration kits.

Especially in the slums, the condition of the daily wage workers, widowed/separated & senior-citizen women is hard to see. Most of them live in a single room in tin-roofed hutments, surviving somehow in the scorching heat, not to forget the acute hunger. “It is not the virus but the hunger that will kill our children,” said a starving mother.

“At Krishnanagar, a remote area amidst the skyscrapers of the city witnessed a heart-numbing tragedy. A 6 year boy, crying for a piece of chapatti for 4 long days lost his life to hunger. This is when we thought that stories as these were remote, right in our neighbourhoods, a child lived on water for 4 long days and succumbed to the curse of hunger. We immediately stepped up the efforts and distributed kits in this area,” recalled a volunteer.

Stranded migrants, families of the local poor and needy, families of slum-dwellers, families with dependent persons, families from remote villages have benefitted from the seva initiative to this day. “When we went to survey these hutments, some of them did not have a single grain. It was a painful plight which words fail to describe,” said a volunteer. The workers were so thrilled and thankful to receive the rations that one of them prostrated in front of a volunteer.

Remote village sevas included distribution of ration-kits to families of Bhor Taluka. 40 volunteers of the Mission, in a 4-day seva to Bhor district distributed 3000 ration kits to the needy families, providing for 2,52,000 meals to 12,000 people. “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." remarked a volunteer. An elderly man exclaimed, "The blessing of a hungry one is from the soul."

Didi Krishna Kumari, while addressing the volunteers who are risking their lives and serving tirelessly in pandemic times said, “Each one of you has made an indelible contribution; the dedication in your seva is noteworthy and commendable. Beloved Dada would always say that a truly wealthy one is one who dedicates himself to seva and naam simran — repetition of the Name Divine. Each one of you is wealthy in the realm beyond. I seek your blessings.”

 

The Mission is now cooking an average of 1000 meals a day. The cooked meals are prepared hygienically with full sanitation procedures. The delivery vehicles are fully sanitised before and after distribution of meals to the designated city shelters. Preparations begin early in the morning as volunteers at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission’s Ashram, singing the Name Divine, prepare the meal items. Withstanding all odds, the volunteers make the trips, tirelessly, day in and day out. 15 volunteers cook meals at the ashram and 20 volunteers are engaged in distribution activities.

 

Remote village sevas included distribution of ration-kits to families of Bhor Taluka. 40 volunteers of the Mission, in a 4-day seva to Bhor district distributed 3000 ration kits to the needy families, providing for 2,52,000 meals to 12,000 people. “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." remarked a volunteer. An elderly man exclaimed, "The blessing of a hungry one is from the soul."

A 2-day seva was conducted in Saswad area where 40 villages were covered. 2400 ration kits were given out to provide for 9600 villagers. The Mission has been increasing its coverage of kindness and compassion to more areas.

 

In the month of April, 9643 ration-kits have been distributed.

In the month of May so far, 5000 ration-kits have been distributed.

 

11th May 2020, Indian Railways began operating ‘Shramik’ trains to help stranded migrants head back home. In Pune, there was an overzealous response and on day one, three ‘Shramik’ trains originated from the Pune Junction. 60 PMPML buses with 20 passengers in each, reached the Pune Railway Station to be pleasantly surprised by the volunteers of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. Biscuits, chiwda, and water while bananas and masala idli’s to some was distributed to the passengers onboard the first train. A team of 12 volunteers with 4 on rotational basis and others waiting all day, the seva for the passengers has been on full swing. They are stationed there all day from morning till night, waiting to serve all those in need. 15,000 passengers have been served.

 

The Mission has also been carrying out sevas for birds, stray dogs, cats and cattle on a daily basis. Food material is dispatched to volunteers at different locations in the city who take upon themselves the task of feeding the voiceless ones. The seva items are packaged to last for a month and include 500 kg rice to feed 1000 dogs at Manjri, 60 kg poha or 15 kg rice to feed over 60 dogs and cats at Tingre Nagar, 160 kg poha or 150 kg rice along with biscuits to 100 dogs and cattle in Dhankawdi, 100kg rice to over 60 dogs in Chikhali, 75kg poha and biscuits to over 60 dogs in Hadapsar and Mahadevnagar, 400 kg rice for 500 dogs and cats in Undri, 50 kg rice/poha to over 60 dogs and cats in MG Road, East Street and Pulgate, 50 kg dry dog food for over 60 dogs in Kondhwa, 125 kg rice/ poha to over 110 dogs in Hadapsar, 75 kg poha/rice to nearly 90 dogs at Magarpatta and Amanora, poha/rice to nearly 80 dogs around Magarpatta, 50 poha/rice to nearly 100 dogs in Vishrantwadi, 25 kg poha/rice to 50-60 dogs in Kalyani Nagar, 125 kg rice to over 200 dogs at Vadgaonsheri, and 100 kg rice for nearly 100 dogs in Bavdhan. Until now, 1700 kg of rice / poha has been distributed. The weightage of the items is based on the request of the animal feeders & shelters. 

 

The Mission has been able to provide for 2 Million meals as on 12th May 2020. 

 

Inspired by our Beloved Master, the Mission shall continue on, as much as possible to meet the hunger needs with the help of our supporters and well-wishers.

 

The pandemic looms large, but looms larger ‘The Curse of Hunger!’

It is pertinent to mention that all sevas are carried out with adherence to the protocols of social-distancing and personal hygiene, which includes wearing masks and gloves. These efforts undertaken by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission shall continue until any period of time required.

Sadhu Vaswani Mission, through its medical institutions, is prepared with isolation wards — a task which has been initiated on priority. The medical complex has also adopted 180 quarantined persons by providing them with daily needs and meals.

Other centres of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission have also come forward and magnificently risen to the occasion. Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Mumbai is giving out rations to the migrants, stranded and the needy. The rations include packaged hampers containing rice, dal, cooking oil, wheat flour, sugar, tea, sujiand poha. Miraculously, the volunteers say, they are guided to reach the right places, the right persons and at the right time. A moving instance was when a widow, Mohini, with a special child thanked for the timely help. Ration was also distributed in slums at Berambaugh over two days in addition to widowed families at Sion, Chembur, Bhagat Singh Nagar in Andheri, Khar, Bandra Santacruz and other Mumbai suburbs! 800 food packet distributions has also been organised in collaboration with local NGO’s. Bird-feeding seva is also being carried out at four locations every day. Not forgotten are our heroes who stand in vigil day and night to ensure our security and protection. 150 packets of poha was distributed on 27th March to RCF Police Station Chembur, Mumbai. Two police stations, in areas between Chembur to Sion, are being provided vada paav. Volunteers are also serving them to traffic officials, on duty, enroute. 100 face shields were also provided to LTMG Hospital — Sion Hospital.

Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Baroda is distributing 600+ food packets including lassi right from day one of the lockdown- 25th March 2020. 4000 masks were also procured and handed over to city officials.

At this hour, it is pertinent to mention that all sevas are carried out with adherence to the protocols of social-distancing and personal hygiene, which includes wearing masks and gloves. These efforts undertaken by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission shall continue until any period of time required. Commending the efforts of the volunteers, a local remarked, “Humble salutations to each and every volunteer who is engaged in this beautiful service.” Another offered his prayers saying, “Very nice and inspiring activity. I pray for the volunteers.” It is also observed and deserves to be commended that several other organisations have come out in this battle against the pandemic, alongside the Mission.