Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Mass wedding on May 16th, 50 couples to tie knot

The Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Pune, will organise a mass wedding on May 16, the birth anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba, at Phulgaon village in Pune.

“We have booked 50 couples, which include some Muslim and Buddhist couples, who have agreed to get married on the appointed day,’’ said, Venkatesh Jalgi, district co-ordinator Pune, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.

The couples have been chosen from different rural areas of Pune and are not able to afford marriages. “The couples have been drawn from diverse backgrounds and they came forward for the marriage, which is being held free of cost. We are providing utensils and clothes to the couples,’’ Jalgi said.

The marriages are being held in an austere setting without any pomp and show and the estimated expenditure incurred by the organisation on each marriage is between Rs 10,000 and 15,000, he said.

“Some of the couples are from slum areas and some belong to families of farmers. We took the initiative as in villages such as Phulgaon, couples have been running into debt and cannot afford weddings,’’ Jalgi said.

The organisation looks into the area of socio-economic development of the people from the rural backgrounds of Pune, and it is for the first time that it is organising the marriages on such a large scale.

“We are targeting the solemnisation of around 85 marriages on Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birth anniversary. This is being held on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya,’’ added Jalgi.

The Sathya Seva Organisation plans to keep the event sombre. He said the organisation booked the marriage offers through its Grameen Seva Kendra at Phulgaon village and has collected donations for the event.

“We have a well-established network of philanthropists, who have come forward to fund the event. We are doing this as there are hardly any organizations that work towards helping people conduct marriages, thus laying the base for the basic social unit of the society,’’ said Jalgi.

He added that most of the couples who have come forward have got their respective matches arranged by their parents.

Indian Express Reference

Why should we serve society?

Why should we serve society?
Sai Reflections
Published: 17 Mar 2010

Love is equally present in all. You make use of this love for selfishness, self-interest and for service.

Unfortunately, in the present day world, selfishness and self-interest predominate. Everything is done now with an attitude of “my people and for me.” If there is no society, where do you and your people stand? You get education out of society and earn money from it. Even the position and reputation you hold come from the society. Having received so much from society, what help are you rendering in return? While receiving the benefits from it you still keep harming the society! Over the years, Sri Sathya Sai Baba has placed great emphasis on the value of selfless service by saying, “Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray.” When we are engaged in any kind of activity, our mind is focused on the task at hand. The mind has a free run and takes us along its whimsical path only when the body is not engaged in any activity. The adage, “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” is so true. In these times of fast communication and bombardment by the media, our lives are made stressful and peace of mind seems so far off. An idle mind can also trigger by itself all pent up negative feelings and imaginary fears. That is why Satya Sai Baba also defines rest thus: “Change of work is rest… otherwise it becomes rust!” The mind, which is a bundle of desires, is constantly fed by fleeting thoughts and hence it is virtually impossible to still the mind. We are mere expressions of our thoughts. Even prayers, meditation or singing the praises of the Lord cannot give quick results.

However, when the body is engaged in activity, the mind has a better chance to be focused away from useless and negative thoughts. Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind.” Therefore, whenever we are engaged in good deeds, like selflessly serving others, we are not only purifying our senses but also filling our minds with positive and Godly thoughts. Bending the body signifies humility, an essential quality for a true spiritual seeker. To please God, to please our conscience, we have an inescapable duty to perform—ie, to give something back to the world that has and still is sustaining us. What is service? Every activity is service, as long as there is no selfishness or ego. We offer the fruits of our labour to the Lord without any reward. It is up to Him if He gives us something in return—greater than our input, lesser than our input or even nothing at all. The manifest world is God’s kingdom, our Father’s kingdom and we, as His children, have rightfully inherited everything in the world to enjoy, but not exploit and destroy.

We cannot enjoy anything unless we do our part to care and share. After all, no one enjoys a great meal without sharing it with another! All the resources of the world and the benefits which society has to offer for our happiness are not just for ourselves alone. There are others around us who are less fortunate. We have an obligation to make the world a better place for future generations to inherit. Service is not confined to helping the sick and the disadvantaged alone. It also involves avoiding unnecessary waste and destruction of resources. Desires have a voracious appetite to consume far beyond our needs and breed selfishness. By learning to manage well all the God given resources—money, food, time and energy—we improve not only the quality of our own life, but also become privileged to share the surplus resources with those who are less fortunate. This is true spirituality and expansion of love in a practical way. When we wake up every morning, our prayers need not be in quantity, but improved in quality. We can ask ourselves: “What can I do today that will please God?” What is Sai Baba’s clarion call? Love! Love!! Love!!! And, what is love in action? Service! Service!! Service!!! Remember: “Love All Serve All”.

Guardian TT Reference

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs

FBISD Earns Seven State Awards For Partnership Programs
By: FortBendNow Staff on Fri, Feb 5, 2010
News

The Texas Association of Partners in Education recognized the Fort Bend Independent School District for seven outstanding partnerships at its 2010 Education Partnership Awards Luncheon, held Jan. 26 in Austin.

The TAPE Partnership Awards Program recognizes exemplary educational partners and partnership programs from across the state and FBISD earned seven awards: four crystal (awarded to best of category winners) and three gold (awarded to the second highest scoring nominees).

The 2010 TAPE award winners for FBISD include:

Crystal Award Winners

Barbara Adcock (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Role Model) – As curator of the Colony Meadows Elementary School Guided Reading Library, Adcock has been involved with the guided reading library since its inception five years ago. The program began with 25 sets of books, and now contains 2,180 sets of books. Adcock developed a library system that not only lists the books, but cross references the books by reading level, title, and genre. She also implemented a computerized system for checking books in and out of the library.

Bobbie Steinert (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Partnership Advocate) – Steinert has been the FBISD Shared Dreams Program full-time facilitator for the past five years. She works closely with all campus nurses, social workers, counselors and volunteers to help provide clothing and school supplies to children in need of assistance. With the help of volunteers, she opens the Shared Dreams facility three days a week to parents and guardians who qualify to participate in the program.

Briana Gifford (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Youth Leadership) – While a senior at Kempner High School, Gifford is an active member of several service organizations including the Sugar Land Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, the Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Board and the Fort Bend ISD Youth Advisory Board. In her advisory capacity for these organizations, Briana helps keep the organizations informed about student concerns and issues, and provides important insight in sharing ways to impact on the community.

CVS Pharmacy (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Career Education) – CVS opens doorways to learning for students across the Fort Bend ISD community. Through its internship program, CVS provides hands-on experiences for students, employment opportunities, funding for scholarships and continuing education for interns and pharmacy technicians who want to complete a six-year pharmacy program.

Gold Award Winners

Don McGinty (TAPE Individual Partnership Award, Wisdom) – A retired Shell employee, McGinty, recognizes the need for mentors in Fort Bend ISD not only for at-risk students, but also for those who are academically able. He eagerly volunteers to mentor at his neighborhood school, Quail Valley Elementary. Last year, he mentored three children and visited their school once a week, spending approximately 40 minutes with each child. McGinty gladly provided a positive male role-model for each of these students.

Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and Optimized Systems & Solutions (OS&O) (TAPE Business Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – Rolls-Royce Energy Systems, Inc. and OS&S “adopted” Blue Ridge Elementary School and regularly provide numerous levels of support to the students and teachers. Employees from both companies assist the school by providing mentors and volunteers for school-wide programs, especially those geared toward learning science and math concepts. They also provide financial and in-kind donations to the school.

The Saturday Math and Science Workshop – The Satya Sai Organization and Elkins High School(TAPE Community Partnership Award, Academic Impact) – The Sathya Sai Organization partnered with Elkins High School to provide tutorials to students in math and science. The organization provides more than 20 adult tutors (among them are teachers, lawyers, business professionals, college students and a retired surgeon), who work with nearly 90 Elkins students for two hours each Saturday.

Fort Bend Now Reference

Pennywise Head Dies At 73

Pennywise Head Dies At 73
By RHONDOR DOWLAT Sunday, September 6 2009

LALL PALADEE, founder/Chairman of Pennywise Cosmetics Limited passed away peacefully at the age of 73 on Friday at his Sai Centre, two houses away from his Prescott Lane, Tunapuna home.

Paladee was described by many as the “Community Charity Guru” for he was popularly known for serving people and helping them by giving groceries, establishing medical camps, giving away new clothes, medicines and eye glasses as well as building homes for the destitute.

On Friday at about 7 am Paladee went to his nearby Sai Centre to perform his daily meditation and offering of prayers. He was sitting in the centre, which he built, when he died.

Paladee’s funeral will take place tomorrow at about 9.30 am at his home in Tunapuna and then to the Daaha Sanshaar at the Caroni Cremation Site. All the eight branches and one warehouse of Pennywise Cosmetics will be closed as a mark of respect.

Speaking with Sunday Newsday, one of Paladee’s son, Satnarine, who is one of the directors in the company, described his father as a loving individual. He assured that he and his siblings will continue to carry on his father’s legacy. “He was such a loving person, very strict but loved by all. He built a centre accommodating all religions and served the community. He was fondly called ‘Mister Service’. We love him and he will be missed.”

Paladee was a frequent visitor to India, having visited there about 20 times and given the fact that he was a very strong Sathya Sai Baba devotee, considered himself blessed when he met with Sathya Sai Baba on three occasions, including a private session.

Paladee was the husband of Shanti and father of six children – five boys and one girl. He was also the grandfather of 12.

Paladee was born to Kausilya and Shree Paladee on November 20, 1935. He attended the Tunapuna CM (now Presbyterian) School, where he gained the School Leaving Certificate at the age of 15. He immediately entered the world of work, his first job being with a business in Tunapuna where he earned 50 cents per day as a salesman, among other things.

After three and a half years he joined Louis Thomas as a van salesman engaged in wholesaling haberdashery lines. His stay, however, was short-lived because one day his keen business sense spotted an opportunity for self-employment and with Thomas’ blessings, he launched out on his own.

He was about 19 years old at the time when he ventured into the wholesale business selling haberdashery items including hair pins, clips, toothbrushes, etc.

Initially he walked the streets, taking an order from a shop keeper or store owner and then returning with the merchandise. In the beginning, because capital was very limited, he had to fill order by order and there were times when on Fridays, especially, he would travel several times to Port-of-Spain to turn over his capital and deliver orders.

From pounding the pavements he graduated to a bicycle, which he won in a raffle. He then bought a used Husky van, followed by an almost new Husky motorcar. Eventually he bought a new Hillman Hunter station wagon, TW series. Between the ages of 37 and 40 years, Paladee suffered three heart attacks, which forced him out of business and confined him to home for several years. His wife, Shanti played a significant role. Her earnings as a professional seamstress and income received from her sewing classes helped sustain her family during this difficult period.

The Chaguanas market provided the solid foundation upon which the present corporate business was established. From small, insignificant beginnings the wholesale/retail business founded by Lall Paladee became LPS Trading, then Lall Paladee and Sons Trading as Pennywise Cosmetics and in 1996 the business was incorporated as Pennywise Cosmetics Limited.

The first branch was opened in Arima around 1984 followed by Trincity Mall, Tunapuna, Chaguanas, San Fernando, Grand Bazaar in 1996 and Port-of-Spain in 1998.

NewsDay Reference

Sathya Sai Organisation Of Australia In Fiji

Sathya Sai Organisation Of Australia In Fiji

Free checks draw crowd
By Mereseini Marau
Saturday, August 22, 2009

A TEAM of 32 doctors and nurses provided free medical service to people of Navua and surrounding areas at the Lomary Catholic Primary School on Thursday.

The team includes six general practitioners, four nurses, three dentists, one dental processor, two eye specialists, three pharmacists and two gynaecologists. They are members of Sathya Sai Organisation of Australia — a non-governmental organisation.

Team leader Dr Gunu Naker said they saw more than 3000 people at Tavua, Ba, Sigatoka and Navua.

“Many people come for eye check, blood pressure, heart check and skin rash,” Dr Naker said.

“Some problems we had were people didn’t bring their medication and glasses, so we are unable to offer much advice whether they should continue with that medication or start with the ones we give,” he said.

The main aim of the group was to provide free medical service to people in rural areas, who would otherwise could not go to hospital because they can’t pay for transportation.

“We met the Ministry of Health and they informed us which areas needed medical attention and we visited them.”

Ranadi Rokosalu had a free check at Lomary.

“I am happy because some of us from the interior find it hard to go to Suva for expert advice.”

The team was in Nadi yesterday.

Fiji Times Online Reference
Official Sathya Sai Baba Website

Sai camp provides free care
22-Aug-2009 11:25 AM

MORE than five hundred people of Nadi took advantage of a free medical camp set up by medical professionals associated with the Satya Sai Organization in Australia.

Team leader Doctor Gunu Naker who is a general practitioner based in Australia is in the country with a team of more than twenty highly trained specialists and general practitioner doctors.

Doctor Naker told Fiji Daily Post that the medical camp trip to Fiji which started last year is getting popular every year.

“Last year we were able to see over three thousand patients,” Doctor Naker said.

He said all medical services including specialist diagnosis given to patients were absolutely free.

“The Satya Sai Organization is not a religious but a spiritual organization and service to mankind is an absolute priority,” Doctor Naker said.

He said the medical wing of the SSO in Australia has a team of thirty medical professionals and there is a sister team based in New Zealand as well. “Our Kiwi counterparts have been coming over here for the past four years now and they mostly concentrate in Vanua Levu but they have spent two days in Viti Levu during their last visit as well,” Doctor Naker said.

He said the free medical camp this year had taken place following a medical conference which was held at Dr. Umanand Prasad Medical School based at the University of Fiji. “We were very fortunate to have had the company of the Honourable Minister for Health Dr. Neel Sharma in the conference as well.”

He said the medical conference was well attended by the medical fraternity and is gaining momentum each year.

“The conference and free medical camp will now be an ongoing thing because it was very important to have a good medical facility so that everyone benefits in the end.”

“Students from the school have been joining us as well ever since we started last year and it is nice to have them amongst us as they get to learn a lot from their experiences,” Doctor Naker said.

He also thanked the management and staff of Andrews Primary School for providing the venue for yesterday’s medical camp.

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Fiji Daily Post Reference
Official Sathya Sai Baba Website

New York Gears Up for Walk for Values USA

Walk For Values Logo

Walk For Values Logo


New York Gears Up for Walk for Values USA

NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Richmond Hill, NY, United States, 06/09/2009 – New Yorkers walk for what really matters: love, nonviolence, peace, right-conduct and truth. Walk for Values USA returns to downtown Manhattan as participants pledge to make a difference by selecting a value that they will practice for life.

On Sunday, June 21, New Yorkers will have a chance to walk for what really matters: love, nonviolence, peace, right-conduct and truth. For the second year in a row, Battery Park in downtown Manhattan will be the backdrop to Walk for Values USA, an opportunity to make a difference and inspire others to follow, one step at a time.

In New York City over 8.2 million people live barely steps away from each other. There’s a neighbor who looks out his window into our kitchen, a young woman sitting next to us on the train, a homeless man sleeping in a stoop down our block, an immigrant fruit vendor in the corner. In New York we walk together every day.

Human values shape the way we think, speak and behave; they inspire unexpected acts of kindness in a city ‘too busy’ to stop. Courage and compassion move a commuter to jump on the train tracks to save a stranger; empathy makes others hold doors; friendship and humility allow everyone to share community gardens. In other words, basic human values turn inhabitants into citizens and make us all better people. In New York City, people who care make a world of difference.

This unique event will bring together hundreds of Americans of all ages regardless of religion or race with the sole purpose of raising awareness of the importance of practicing universal values in our daily lives. Walk for Values USA is not a fund-raiser, protest, rally, nor demonstration. It is a human movement forward, a call to attention, a walk to adopt a value for life. It is also free of charge!

Walk for Values USA (walkforvaluesusa.org) is organized by the Sathya Sai Organization, a not-for-profit group, and is part of a global effort to promote the practice of human values by providing opportunities to participate in community-based service activities. Currently, the Walk for Values takes place in several cities across Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, and in the US.

Details
Event: Walk for Values USA -NY
Date: Sunday, June 21, 2009
Time: 9 am – 1 pm
Location: Battery Park, NYC – entrances from State Street and Battery Place
Contact Us: T: +1 718 803 2919
E: promotions[.]walkforvaluesusa.org

NewsWire Today Reference

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free

World Class Healthcare Absolutely Free
June 7th, 2009 – 1:00 pm ICT by IANS
By K. Jayaraman

Bangalore, June 7 (IANS) A super-speciality hospital here has redefined the approach to healthcare by providing world class treatment completely free.

Patients referred to Sri Satya Sai Institute for Higher Medical Sciences hospital do not have to come in with a credit card or a cheque book.

“Here we don’t charge for anything, whether it is a heart bypass, lung operation, or a brain surgery,” says Satyaranjandas Hegde, a top neurosurgeon and director of the 330-bed hospital. “In fact, we have no cashier or a billing section.”

Treatments, tests, medicines, food and hospital stay are all free, “and if some tests cannot be done here, we get them done outside at our cost,” says Hegde.

On an average day, surgeons here perform six neuro and seven heart surgeries. Together with laboratory tests, X-ray scans and outpatient procedures these are worth over Rs.5 million ($100,000) in commercial terms but done free, says Hegde, who quit his high paying job in another hospital because he did not like the “commercial culture” there.

He was not the only one to make the switch. Kolli Challam, head of anesthesia and critical care, left his flourishing practice in Abu Dhabi two years ago to join Hegde’s team.

Government dispensaries do offer free treatment for minor ailments but tertiary care always involves money, says Hegde. “It is a disaster for a poor family if one of its members requires brain or heart surgery. It means selling family jewels to meet hospital costs or just pray to god and hope for the best.”

For thousands of Indians – as well as patients from neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka – their god comes in the shape of the Sai hospital. Set up in 2001, it is run by a medical trust created by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual leader with a global following.

Built with trust funds, the Rs.200 million that the hospital spends annually on salaries, medicine, equipment and maintenance come entirely from unsolicited donations from his devotees.

“The state government gave us land and the power supply for hospital is free,” Hegde said. “Companies give us medical equipments at discount and one computer firm installed Rs.10 million ($20,000)-worth hospital software at no cost.”

The hospital does not advertise to fill non-clinical positions. Skilled workers queue up to volunteer their services because of their faith in Sathya Sai Baba.

Those who man the gates, serve at the reception and counsel patients are all volunteers inspired by Baba’s philosophy that “seva,” or selfless service, is service to god. People wanting to offer ’seva’ are so many that there is a waiting list for volunteers, says Hegde. “We keep rotating them to give everyone a chance.”

Sai hospital is actually known as a “temple of healing” as it provides medicare in a spiritual ambiance devoid of commercialism, its employees say. “I can see god’s mission being carried out here,” said former president of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam during a visit to the hospital in 2006. “The doctors and staff looked to me as angels.”

Free service does not mean compromising on quality or standards, Hegde points out. “Ours is as well equipped as, or better equipped than, corporate hospitals.”

The hospital, with highly qualified physicians and surgeons, attracts dozens of specialists from India and abroad because they are either devotees of Sathya Sai Baba or “infected by the desire to do seva”, says Hegde.

Sivaraman Yegyaraman, a practising cardiac electro physiologist in Stratford, New Jersey, is one such specialist who comes to Sai hospital twice a year at his own expense. “I had always wanted to place my medical training at the service of the under-privileged and Sai hospital presented me the opportunity,” he told IANS during his recent visit.

Another regular visitor, Ravindra Goyal, chairman of neurosciences at McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, is a Sathya Sai Baba devotee. “Each trip to this facility charges and motivates me to apply the principle of ’selfless service’ to my work back in the US on my return,” he said.

What makes the Sai hospital unique? It is not just the state-of-the-art technology or high quality service but the spiritual ambiance pervading through the campus, says hospital manager Sri Krishna.

“It actually makes me feel I am entering a temple and not a hospital,” said Akella Chendrasekhar, medical director of Wyckoff Medical Center in New York. He was one of three specialists who came from the US spending their own money to conduct a workshop on ‘critical care medicine’ at the Sai hospital last week.

By redefining medical care Sai hospital has clearly shown it is certainly possible to provide the best treatment absolutely free, says Hegde. “There is no reason why this model cannot be replicated in other places in India and even abroad.”

The Indian Reference