A minute of kindness is more precious than a hundred years of intense austerities.
– Sri M
Taking Sri M’s words to heart, members of the Satsang Seva Mission (SSM) across India have tried to walk the path of selfless service. It is heartening to see that an endeavour that was initiated during the days of the pandemic, has garnered more and more volunteers who are working wholeheartedly to provide necessary relief.
The month of November 2021, ushered in an annadaanam and seva week on the joyous twin occasions of Deepavali and the birthday of Sri M on the 6th of the month. Healthy and hearty meals were served at different venues to diverse groups of socially and economically marginalized communities. Unlike other initiatives, this service rendered to Daridra Narayan—the Divine in human form, has evolved organically and unfolded myriad opportunities to be of assistance.
School children from indigenous communities in the Nilgiris have been provided with tables and chairs to make the learning experience more comfortable in their spartan classrooms. Young girls at a hostel for indigenous communities in Kottur, Thiruvananthapuram, have received personal hygiene kits. Dry rations are now offered every month in Chandigarh to the needy. In Bangalore, regular educational support is offered to the children at the Vallabh Niketan Orphanage, after the children partake a nutritious breakfast. Differently-abled children at Aniket Seva Bhavi Sanstha in Pune look forward to regular interactions with the SSM team who not only provide hot meals, but also surprise them with special gifts like elasticated easy to wear track pants for their sporting activities, and so on.
When bitter cold waves engulfed several mega cities in December 2021, the SSM team members ventured on nocturnal rides, lovingly covering those sleeping on the pavements or roadsides with blankets or distributing bedsheets, shawls, and warm clothes to the sick, the homeless, the dispossessed, and often neglected groups like the daily wage workers and rural laborers. SSM Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Hyderabad were foremost in spreading warmth amidst dipping temperatures.
In Chennai, the provision of kitchen equipment such as mixers became part of the flood relief efforts at an old age home. More recently, the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the 12th of January 2022, was chosen for the donation of essential medicines to leprosy patients at the Acworth Municipal Hospital and the distribution of milk and biscuits to care-givers of cancer patients at the Sri Ghadge Maharaj Dharmashalain Mumbai.
Team members in Kolkata who visited the Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashram with the weekly stock of fresh vegetables and staples, immediately supplied socks to the adorable little ‘stars’ of this orphanage, recognising their need.
Yet again, on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the 22nd of January 2022, pavement dwellers who live near the Syed Baba Mazar in Kolkata received dry rations and warm clothes from the team. The pigeons too got their fair share of grains!
As part of the sustained efforts by the SSM team, annadaanam is provided through a daily serving of morning tea and meals at Brij Bhumi by SSM Delhi-NCR and Mathura; the weekly langar seva at the Malad Gurudwara in Mumbai; the fortnightly distribution of food boxes to care-givers of patients at St. John’s Hospital in Bengaluru; and the distribution of freshly-prepared meals to the needy after the monthly Satsang in Hyderabad.
Team SSM hopes to be sustained by the force that has guided them towards the generosity and goodwill generated by Satsangis all over the world and will continue to provide much-needed succor to all.
To read more about each of these sevas, click the following link to the Journal of the Satsang Seva Mission.