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

E.B. resident organizes large shipment to Haiti

E.B. resident organizes large shipment to Haiti
BY JANE MEGGITT Staff Writer

EAST BRUNSWICK — As she watched TV newscasts showing the bodies of Haitian earthquake victims alongside the rubble of Port-au-Prince, Lucy Aita knew she had to do something.

Aita had lost her fiancé, Paul Innella, 33, of East Brunswick, in the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, and she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by the sight of collapsed buildings.

Aita decided she had to help the victims of this latest disaster, and through an e-mail chain she began coordinating donations of food, water, medical supplies and clothing for the earthquake victims. This resulted in a truckload of items picked up Monday by the Mercy Center, Asbury Park, which will have them shipped to Haiti.

According to Aita, at least 200 people responded with donations. While she thought she might collect 40-50 boxes of items, the number was in excess of 100 boxes and 50 garbage bags full of materials. These included 700 bottles of water, 400 cans of food, 10,000 items of clothing, shoes, towels and sheets, and medical supplies such as alcohol, bandages and antiseptics. There were so many items that Aita’s garage could not hold them all, so her neighbor, Anita Varshney, who also aided the effort, stored many in her garage.

Among the organizations donating were the Sri Sathya Sai Baba centers in Edison and East Brunswick. Venkat Kannepalli, who coordinated the donations for the Edison chapter of the spiritual organization, said his group collected 75 boxes of items, which took nine people to load for delivery to Aita’s house. All of the goods were collected within 18 hours of receiving the e-mail, he said. The organizer for the East Brunswick chapter, Ramesh Gulrajani, said donors went to Hamilton to buy toiletries for men and women and put them in ziplock bags. He said volunteers Rewo Nawani and Mia Matovic helped coordinate the donations.

Aita’s boyfriend, Charles Macagnone, is the grand knight of the St. Ambrose Knights of Columbus, Old Bridge, and his group collected 15 bags for the Haitian relief effort.

Soledad Marcelus of Asbury Park, whose family founded the Laurence Georgette Lizaire Foundation in memory of their grandmother, worked with the Mercy Center in the effort. Her grandmother, who died in 1997, was from Haiti and regularly sent supplies to her native country, according to Marcelus. After her death, her children and grandchildren formed the foundation to continue her legacy.

Marcelus said the group is working with Joint Base McGuire-Dix- Lakehurst to have the donations shipped.

Setinel Reference

Also see:
Haiti Earthquake 2010 – Pictures, News & Resources

Sai Baba In The News – November 2009

Sai Baba In The News – November 2009

Aswamedha Trust in service of the poor
Express News Service
First Published : 22 Nov 2009 03:55:00 AM IST

ANANTAPUR: Inspired by Sri Sathya Sai Baba and Mother Teresa, Aswamedha Charitable Trust, the brain child of NT Chowdary was founded in 2007 to sponsor education of poor students in drought-prone Anantapur district.

The trust helps poor students, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to pursue higher education. It also provides free coaching for Public Service Commission examinations, ICET etc.

Scholarships are also being provided to the students pursuing MBA, MCA, B.Tech, MBBS, degree, Inter and nursing courses. So far 850 students were given scholarships.

Group insurance facility was also extended to 850 students by the Trust.

Differently abled and mentally challenged students are also being taken care by the Spandana Orphanage and the the Trust has donated Rs.50,000 to the orphanage. The trust has provided mid-day meals to nearly 650 students for a period of 45 days and donated Rs 2 lakh to NTR Trust through Governor ND Tiwari.

In order to eliminate corruption from the society, the District Collector N Sreedhar had organised a 3K Run on anticorruption in Anantapur. The trust distributed biscuit packets and fruits to those participated in the run. It donated Rs 2.5 lakh to the Teachers Associations and Unions.

Under Anantha Pratibha programme, 300 students have been provided help to secure admission in corporate colleges.

Free coaching for clerks recruitment examination in State Bank of India was given for 600 candidates by the Trust.

Expess Buzz Reference


Blood donation camp held at Civil Hospital
Ludhiana: Shri Sathya Sai Baba Sewa Samithy, a non-governmental organisation, organised a blood donation camp at Civil Hospital on Saturday. Sanjay Sondhi, a member of the NGO, said the camp was held as a part of birthday of Shri Sathya Sai Baba.

Indian Express Reference

Song Of The Twin Seekers

Song Of The Twin Seekers
Rosemary Sorensen | June 19, 2009
Article from: The Australian

BEING looked at is so much part of the experience of identical twins, according to Moyia O’Brien, that putting the story of her and her sister on to the stage is perfectly natural.

Moyia and Dorothy are the subject of a new musical theatre production, written and directed by Sue Rider. A “good local story”, Rider says, The Pink Twins is also a production that lets us look at the phenomenon of twinning, not just as the topic of the play but also literally. Two sets of twins will perform in the show starting in Brisbane next month: identical twin actors Anni and Maude Davey, and twin singer-musicians, Heather and Marjorie Michael.

It’s a situation that has composer John Rodgers salivating. He has long been fascinated by the way twins’ voices mimic and diverge from each other, and Rider’s Pink Twins has given him a rare opportunity to work that into his music.

“The notes start together, then veer out in a pattern,” is how Rider describes it. “It’s very bent, and that’s just what twins are like, a bit bent.”

Her twins, the O’Brien sisters, were eccentric in a genteel way, their nickname deriving from their obsession with the colour pink. But there is so much more to the slightly sweet and sanitised version which the women themselves put about and carefully exploited until Dorothy’s death in 2004.

It was precisely hearing the news of Dorothy’s death that galvanised Rider into action on her play. Aware of their story, and of the women themselves when they used to come occasionally to see plays at La Boite Theatre, where she was artistic director in the 1990s, Rider realised the jumping-off point for the play she had vaguely thought about writing for many years would now have to be the question: what happens to the twin left behind when the other dies?

“It’s about their life and work,” Rider says, “and the idea of interdependence, this same-but-different thing. Their story was like a continuing line of surprises, from their birth on, and they continue to do things to surprise.”

The O’Briens were born in Toowoomba and they have an older sister who still lives there. Their father died when they were three, as a consequence of being gassed in the trenches in World War I, according to the twins. The first surprise was their arrival, as the doctor had not detected two heartbeats, so only one baby was expected.

Their mother plays an enormous role, in the story as told by the twins and in Rider’s musical. As we move through their childhood years, when they would pinch flowers from gardens, horses from paddocks and even little boys from off the street to bring home and present to their loving mother – to make her as happy as they believed she deserved to be – we sense an intensity in their mother that is almost “bent” itself, to use the word in the way Rider uses it to describe twins. When a path is followed with such conviction and strength of purpose, it can seem, to a dawdling onlooker, to curve away from the simple and ordinary.

It was, in fact, the twins’ mother who brought them, quite late in their lives, to their guru, the controversial Indian spiritual leader, Sathya Sai Baba. That connection led to an ugly incident this year at the Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association, which the twins set up in 1975. SWARA, the acronym by which the organisation has been known from the outset, is a place where intellectually disabled people, those deemed unfit by government agencies for rehabilitation into the workforce, are given “understanding, care and love”, with daily schedules of activities designed “for personal growth”.

According to the twins’ story as told to Rider, SWARA was set up a few years before their mother, still living in Toowoomba, asked them to accompany her to a film about Sathya Sai Baba. All three were smitten with the guru’s powerful presence and rhetoric. He embodied their beliefs about love as an invincible fount of happiness.

Swara is also the name of an Indian musical scale. Sai Baba’s group is one of those whose devotees wear sunshine colours, across the range from orange to red or pink. The sisters felt these coincidences were signs of the confluence of their work with that of their guru. But a previous manager of SWARA went public with claims that such signs were proof the Pink Twins were running a dangerous cult centre.

The storm, which included protests and finger-pointing aimed at uncovering the twins’ connection with their Indian guru, passed (Ref), Rider says, and SWARA is back to running as it has for more than 30 years.

Moyia was recognised last year by the Queensland State Government with a lifetime achievement award for her work in disability services (Ref). Being the focus of a television expose-style current affairs program appeared not to faze her: she told an interviewer at the time the suggestions were rubbish. “SWARA is not a cult, it’s a service organisation.”

Rider’s play picks up, and delicately handles this intensely personal but fascinating side to the twins’ experience, suggesting this was a kind of secret part of their lives. They chose not to share it because they must have known it could be misunderstood. In her 60s, Dorothy, the twin who had always been the blue one, ever since her parents dressed her thus to distinguish her from her pink sister Moyia, decided to swing across to the pink side. The decision may have been influenced by their increasing interest in the spirituality of Sathya Sai Baba.

Moyia, now 85, puts the story more simply. Wearing pink was simply something they liked to do. Towards the end of Dorothy’s life they became a kind of local oddity, admired but smiled at, the couple of elderly twins who dressed in pink, furnished their house in pink and drove about in a pink car.

“The pink thing marked them out,” Rider says. “They became aware of the advantage of it, when, as funds for their centre became scarce, they needed the promotion, and they were quite canny really, at playing the game, but in a different way from everyone else.”

When her final illness made it clear she was dying, Dorothy was taken to India by Moyia, to spend her last days near their guru. She was cremated and her ashes scattered in the Ganges. It would take a very different work of art to interrogate how this sits alongside the family’s strong Catholicism, and their “spiritual journey” which they also described in an autobiography, written in 1999, called The Touch of the Lord.

Rider says Moyia, who knows the theatre production is a fictional development of their lives, is “overwhelmed with excitement” about this project. Both women were pioneers in occupational therapy, moving to Sydney when they were young women to train in the first courses of a branch of medicine they could see would become important.

When they moved back to Brisbane Dorothy went to work at the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Centre, Moyia at a hospital and then at the Queensland Spastic Centre. Their determination to set up SWARA, how they managed first to secure, then gradually improve, the facilities, and how their city-edge premises became the subject of huge frustration and eventual compromise for a string of state governments, is all part of Rider’s storytelling in The Pink Twins.

But she uses the facts as the mere bones. Around the real lives, she has spun a weave of ideas and themes: about interdependence, about faith and transformation and, most excitingly, about “appreciating difference”.

Early on, Rider says, she had the thought, half-formed, that her music theatre piece would have to involve the people who attend SWARA.

“The people the twins worked with as occupational therapists were, like them, seen as different from the rest of the community, but at SWARA they were exploring what is the same about them or, on the other hand, getting them to appreciate their own different-ness.

As twins, Moyia and Dorothy were always stared at. They couldn’t not be the centre of attention, and a lot of the people they worked with are in the same position. So they learned to accept that, and to understand that’s who they are.”

Rider’s first thought was to use footage from SWARA, particularly of the group singing, which is a big part of their daily schedule, but eventually she realised they needed to become part of the show.

“There’s a really moving song they sing,” Rider says, “which is about how I love myself the way I am, there’s nothing I need to change. I realised it would be dishonest, in a play that is about embracing the work they do at SWARA, not to have the people from the centre there. It would be sanitising it.”

Getting The Pink Twins to stage has been an immense labour of love for Rider, who has had to be producer and director. The play is being presented by Queensland Performing Arts Centre as part of the Queensland Music Festival, which provided good foundation support, but Rider was still following up on various small grant applications right up to the last minute.

In keeping with the “spirit of transformation” theme which threads through the work, she headed into the rehearsal room this week with an open mind as to how her two sets of twins would transform the script she has worked so hard, over several years, to get to its final draft.

“A long time ago, when I started out as a director,” Rider says, “I thought I had to plan everything, to tell everyone exactly what to do. Thank God I’ve relaxed over the years. The collaborative meeting of minds in the rehearsal room is so exciting.”

The Pink Twins, presented by QPAC and the Queensland Music Festival, is at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane, July 22 to August 1.

The Australian Reference

Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing

Sathya Sai Baba And The Twin Towers Of Healing


Twin Towers Of Healing
by Dr. A.N. Safaya
Sanathana Sarathi Special Edition

Desire to have knowledge about the Divine and its manifestations including the phenomenon of life in the living has been in the human mind since the beginning of human intellectual evolution. Along side it, there has been the urge for the practice of the art of healing the afflictions and injuries of the human form. The two have been together since eternity. The Vedas, which present the most ancient documentation on spirituality, amply exemplify the togetherness of thoughts on Divinity and the art of healing.

The Principles of Arogya
It is therefore but natural that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba emphasised the importance of human body and mind remaining in a state of good health to achieve the desired results when He initiated the Sai Seva Mission for the service of mankind. Advocating the importance of the awareness of Divinity and the practice of the principles of spirituality, He emphasises the need for the prevention of bad health and avoiding unhealthy personal hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle. Every now and then, Bhagavan keeps on laying stress on the observance of good and healthy principles of personal hygiene, food, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle.

Bhagavan advocates the golden principles of Arogya (absence of ill health). Seva Dal volunteers of Sri Sathya Sai Samithis all over the country are spreading the awareness of these principles effectively and diligently. Under this programme of awareness, society is going on a steady march, at grass root level, towards a state of positive health for its members. This is how Sai Health Mission took its first step towards Arogya with the message that it was the foremost duty of man to keep his body healthy.

Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals
The second step in the direction of treatment of disease, once it had occurred, was the establishment of two Sri Sathya Sai General Hospitals, one at Prasanthi Nilayam and other at Whitefield, Bangalore. These two general hospitals look after the patients of all general ailments, conduct tests, give treatment, drugs and do surgical interventions completely free of charge. Nearly one crore patients have been benefited by the services of these two hospitals since their inception years ago.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthi Nilayam
The third step was to establish the twin towers of Sai Health Mission in the form of two Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Sciences-one in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh and the other at Whitefield, Karnataka.

On the occasion of His Birthday on 23rd November 1990, Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai Baba made a momentous declaration of establishing a Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi for highly specialised treatment of diseases of heart, kidney and eyes. As a consequence of this Divine Sankalpa of Bhagavan, Institute of Higher Medical Sciences was conceptualised, planned and built in a record time of six months. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri P.V. Narasimha Rao on 22nd November 1991 and started functioning fully from that day. It has never looked back. Established in an architecturally and aesthetically beautiful building, which sits majestically in the centre of its sprawling lush green lawns, it lodges the specialities of cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, urology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, laboratory medicine, blood bank, bio-medical and general engineering services. The staff working in these departments is hand picked, well chosen with care and dedicated to the service of ailing patients. The equipment used in diagnosis and treatment of the patients is the latest and state of the art. All the parameters of functioning of the Super Speciality Hospital in all its branches are highly satisfactory and of international standard. It is highly popular, well renowned and well known all over the world, and is open for treatment to all, irrespective of the distinction of caste, creed, colour, religion or country. All the diagnostic investigations, laboratory tests and the treatment including surgery are done completely free of cost to one and all, rich and poor!

Service with Love and Humility
All this workload is shouldered by the hospital creditably and completely free of cost to the enormous number of patients it has served so far. All the treatment is given by the dedicated staff of doctors, nurses and technicians to each and every patient with humility and love, amidst spiritual environment, with the name of God on their lips. The hospital maintains very high standard of cleanliness, purity and discipline with the help of nearly 100 Seva Dal volunteers working round the clock.

Seva Dal volunteers are the dedicated devotees of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and come by turn from every State of the country under a laid down scheduled programme. They dedicate their Seva at the Divine Feet of Bhagavan Baba and work in the hospital in honorary capacity for varied intervals of time of few days to few weeks or months. This is an excellent example of community participation in the healthcare programme. Middle level management and the care of the equipment including its preventive maintenance is done by a group of Technical Officers who are highly skilled graduates and postgraduates from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a deemed university. Their dedication and diligence is responsible for nearly 100 per cent uptime of all the equipment of the Institute. This Institute of excellence has developed within typical rural environment and has been functioning in a purely rurai setting since its inception. Of course, now an airport and a railway station have come up in close proximity, a great boon for the patients and their attendants. Patients of concerned specialities come from all over the country and are examined fully. Urgent cases are given prompt medical attention and those who can wait are put on waiting list and are called when their turn comes. Attendants of patients have a dormitory facility with a canteen attached.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield
Bhagavan Sri Sathya SaiBaba’s infinite love and compassion for the suffering masses concretised in the establishment of yet another Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefield, Bangalore. It is, in fact, a second Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. The Institute was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister of India, Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 19th January 2001. It is functional since then. The Institute is situated in a fully developed urban-cum-industrial setting, in fact, next door neighbour being the world famous International Technology Park. The palace-like architecture of the huge hospital building is breathtakingly impressive. This white brilliant jewel of a building sits pretty in the emerald green lawns surrounding it. It lodges the super specialities of cardiac sciences and neurosciences with all of their necessary support services. It has a bed strength of 333 which is looked after by highly dedicated, well qualified and experienced staff. Like the Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Prasanthi Nilayam, this Institute also gives international standard treatment to its patients for the diseases of heart and brain completely free of charge. Patients are served by the staff, doctors, nurses and technicians with love, understanding and sympathy in keeping with Bhagavan’s principles of loving selfless service.

The hospital is equipped with latest, state-of-the-art equipment; some of the systems for diagnosis and treatment are made available to patients for the first time in the country. A bigger team of Technical Officers keeps the equipment of the hospital in a state of perfect functioning at all times with practically no down time. They are supported by the Biomedical and General Engineering Departments. Though not connected directly with the treatment of patients, the workers of the support departments have thorough technical experience and knowledge to keep the hospital infrastructure and support services in ideal state of functioning in a manner which should serve as a model to other hospitals of the country.

The data and the indices of patient care are comparable to the data available from any other hospital at international level.

Patient Counselling Service
A unique feature in the patient care process of the two Institutes is the Patient Counselling Service. This service has been introduced as a model project in Super Speciality Hospital at Whitefietd. The consultants of the treating department of the Institute keep the patient under health surveillance after he is discharged from the hospital with the help of the volunteers of Sai Organisation.

The counselling activities cover all the three phases of the hospital-patient contact period, that is, the pre-hospital phase, the hospital phase for which the patient is admitted for surgery or treatment and the post-hospital phase after discharge of the patient from the hospital. This arrangement ensures that the counselling continues at the locality of the patient’s residence also. Counselling to every patient also includes spiritual counseling and offering suggestions on issues like faith, prayer, meditation and control of emotional stress, etc. Such a comprehensive counselling care is not only disease and person specific but is also holistic, and amounts to almost emotional adoption of the patient with a firm promise of help for his ailment. This is a distinct feature of the functioning of Sai Health Mission. The system is in operation in the State of Karnataka at present and is in the process of being extended to all other States of the country.

Twin Towers
Our country has incomparably large population and has equally huge incidence of disease and ill health. We have no illusion that these Twin Towers of Healing will treat all the patients of the diseases of heart, brain, kidney and eyes and will wipe the tears of all suffering patient population. No, it will help only a few – a drop in a big ocean! But, these Twin Towers of Healing will serve as models for establishing such Institutes all over the country and all over the world. Such centres will provide state-of-the-art medical treatment through dedicated staff with love, understanding and compassion, free of cost and without any restriction of caste, creed, colour and country, like these two Institutes provide to every patient everyday.

81 Ways to Serve Mankind

Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai


81 Ways to Serve Mankind
Helping the Less-privileged Sections of Society

  1. Organising Narayana Seva by distributing food and clothes to needy people.
  2. Organising free food centres for needy people.
  3. Providing Amruta Kalasham (bag of food items) to needy families.
  4. Providing rugs and blankets during winter season to poor people.
  5. Providing Sai Protein to meet the nutritional needs of poor people.
  6. Organising systematic poverty alleviation schemes for the most needy sections of society by adopting needy families.
  7. Organising Grama Seva in villages for conducting programmes of total village uplift.
  8. Providing training and means of self-employment to needy people.
  9. Providing training and efficient tool kits to plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other trained professional workers to make them self-reliant.
  10. Organising self-help groups in villages for maintaining sanitation and for constructing public utility conveniences like approach roads, water storage tanks, bus shelters, etc.
  11. Constructing houses / shelters for those who are without shelter.
  12. Providing help in repairing of houses for those who live in dilapidated or unsafe houses.
  13. Setting up orphanages to take care of destitute children.
  14. Setting up old age homes for old people.
  15. Organising visits to old age homes to help aged people.
  16. Providing drinking water to people in scarcity affected areas by digging wells and setting up water supply schemes in rural and remote areas.
  17. Providing electric supply to remote areas which are still without electricity.
  18. Organising cleanliness drives in villages.
  19. Adopting villages for village uplift programmes.
  20. Providing the services of agricultural scientists to farmers at their doorstep to improve the agricultural yield.
  21. Conducting mass marriages to save on wasteful expenditure on marriages.
  22. Organising rehabilitation programmes for homeless street children.
  23. Providing tricycles to physically challenged persons to make them mobile.
  24. Conducting Seva camps during religious fairs for providing sanitation, medical aid and guidance to pilgrims.
  25. Conducting youth camps to guide the youth on the path of Seva and spirituality.
  26. Conducting youth camps to provide training in disaster management.
  27. Organising disaster management during calamities like floods, earthquakes, etc., for saving lives of people.
  28. Organising relief measures for the rehabilitation of victims of disasters.
  29. Setting up small-scale village industries for providing employment to villagers, especially the housewives to utilise their spare time and increase the income of the family.
  30. Providing electronic devices like iCARE developed by Sathya Sai Organisation of Arizona (U.S.A.) to help the visually challenged persons to read books and to identify people.
  31. Helping the villagers to make water safe for drinking by chlorination of wells and water tanks.
  32. Setting up agricultural institutes for training the children of farmers in better techniques of farming.
  33. Providing value-based education to students for proper use of water and other natural resources so as to avoid wastage.
  34. Organising tree plantation drives for planting more trees to combat deforestation.
  35. Conducting surveys in villages for providing need-based services to the villagers.
  36. Organising Bhajans, meditation and lectures in jails for the reformation of the inmates.
  37. Conducting health check-up camps and organising health education meets to prevent the spread of diseases.
  38. Putting up health education exhibitions to provide guidance to people on health education.
  39. Organising medical camps for providing free medicare to underprivileged sections of society in villages, urban slums and remote areas.
  40. Setting up free homoeopathic, ayurvedic and allopathic dispensaries to dispense medicines to needy people.
  41. Setting up hospitals for providing free medical treatment to less privileged sections of society.
  42. Setting up hospices for terminally ill patients like the one set up by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of Sri Lanka
  43. Organising malaria eradication programmes like the Sainet Project started by the Sai Organisation in Kenya.
  44. Organising visits to spastic homes to help spastic children.
  45. Setting up leprosy home for rehabilitating lepers and providing treatment to them.
  46. Setting up schools for deaf and dumb children for their rehabilitation
  47. One single act of service offered to the God whom you visualise in another is worth all the years of yearning for God.
  48. Providing hearing aids and spectacles to needy people.
  49. Providing artificial limbs to needy physically challenged people.
  50. Organising medical help and counselling to mentally challenged people.
  51. Setting up schools for the visually challenged.
  52. Monitoring and improving the health and nutritional needs of expecting mothers.
  53. Providing health check-ups in schools and colleges for students.
  54. Organising special medical camps for drug de- addiction and freedom from bad habits like smoking.
  55. Visiting hospitals and distributing gifts with humility and love to patients on various festive occasions.
  56. Conducting free veterinary camps for treating domestic animals in rural areas
  57. Providing the services of livestock experts to villagers at their doorstep for improving the health of the livestock, and for the eradication of diseases of the livestock.
  58. Setting up schools, colleges and other educational institutions for providing free value-based education to students.
  59. Conducting literacy classes to eradicate illiteracy in rural areas, urban slums and other backward areas.
  60. Providing scholarships, books and other teaching and reading material to needy school children.
  61. Conducting free coaching classes for helping needy students.
  62. Constructing buildings for schools in villages with the help and cooperation of villagers.
  63. Conducting Bal Vikas classes for providing education in human values to children.
  64. Conducting seminars to provide value-orientation to school and college teachers.
  65. Conducting interfaith meetings to foster love and harmony between followers of different religions.
  66. Conducting summer courses on Indian Culture and Spirituality to spread awareness about Bharat’s cultural and spiritual heritage.
  67. Setting up forums of professionals like lawyers, professors, businessmen, doctors to provide value-orientation to professionals.
  68. Setting up exhibitions to spread the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on social service, village uplift and for spreading the values like Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema, Ahimsa in society.
  69. Conducting Pallaki Seva (palanquin processions) and Nagar Sankirtan in villages, towns and cities for the spiritual regeneration of people.
  70. Spreading awareness about the need of values in society through Ratha Yatra, seminars, conferences, etc.
  71. Organising cultural activities like dramas, Burra Katha to spread values among people.
  72. Holding exhibitions and seminars on Sathya Sai Parenting to educate the parents how to inculcate values in children.
  73. Setting up Sathya Sai Human Values Institutes to train human values teachers.
  74. Conducting Bhajan classes and Bhajan centres.
  75. Conducting spiritual retreats and Sadhana camps for the spiritual advancement of people.
  76. Conducting functions like Mass Upanayanam to initiate children on spiritual path.
  77. Conducting Yajnas for the welfare of the world and promoting the teaching and learning of Vedas by setting up Vedic schools and honouring Vedic scholars.
  78. Publishing books and magazines and producing films to make people aware of the humanitarian work of Bhagavan.
  79. Producing serials on the Life and Message of Bhagavan for broadcasting to educate people about the ideals of Bhagavan like “Love All Serve All”.
  80. Producing ACD’s VCD’s, DVD’s on the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to spread values in society.
  81. Holding meetings at local, national and international levels to propagate the ideals of morality, ethics, spirituality taught by Bhagavan.

(Reference: Sanathana Sarathi Pgs 370-373 November 2005)

Pleased To Serve

Pleased To Serve
Originally published March 26, 2009

High school and college students are often criticized for their general attitudes about life. Charges of selfishness and self-absorbed behavior are frequently among the complaints. One image that has emerged over recent generations is that of a vacuous, self-indulgent, pleasure- and wealth-oriented bunch that is unaware of and unconcerned about what’s going on in the world around them.

For some that may be true, and, well, if the shoe fits, wear it. And, of course, they’ll always have plenty of adult company.

But many among the current crop of young people are bucking that stereotype, showing a genuine interest in politics, social justice and the fate of others that is perceived to have been missing to some extent in recent generations.

Frederick News-Post reporter Marge Neal’s March 20 story on “alternative spring break” clearly showed that you can’t paint an entire generation with one brush.

It seems that while a lot of their peers are partying out in places such as Daytona Beach, Fla., the Bahamas, Mexico and ever more exotic locales, some young people are choosing to tend to the needs of others as opposed to the desires of self.

Neal’s story recounted the spring break experiences of a number of local college students, including groups from Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University. Rather than lying on the beach all day and partying all night for a week, these young people devoted their time and energy to their fellow man. They engaged in work such as tutoring and helping rebuilding houses. Some traveled to Florida, others to North Carolina and West Virginia.

While we have no doubt that college students who went the more traditional spring-break route had fun, we wonder how memorable a life experience their week will be. It appears from their comments that those who chose the alternative had fun, but their experience was also truly meaningful.

It’s arguable which group “enjoyed” itself more, the traditional spring-break crowd or the more altruistic ones. Ironically, it may well have been those who decided to spend their vacation in service to others. Helping other people is every bit as rewarding to those doing it as it is to those they’re helping — ask anyone who volunteers.

We hope that more college students will consider this kind of alterative next year at spring break. Otherwise, they may never discover what they’re missing.

As the Indian spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba succinctly put it: “The body has to be utilized for service to others. More bliss can be got from serving others than from merely serving oneself.”

Who doesn’t need a little more bliss in their lives?

Frederick News Post Reference