Swami Dayananda Saraswati on ‘
• The culture of Hindus is one of caring. Elders, animals, air, water, earth,people all these we care for. As an individual ,as a corporate entity, asa collective body, we care and we express that care. We grow by car-ing, from being only a consumer to be a contributor. Daanam, giving andsharing, is a mark of growth. Remaining a consumer all the time, and notbecoming a contributor, is not the Vedic view of life.• One’s self-worth is not mere money. It is one’s culture. We have starteda movement, a seva movement , that includes validation of cultures.Validation of one’s culture brings respect and appreciation and one gainsself-worth.• If you do not have love , act lovingly; you will discover love. Similarly, inthe act of giving, you grow, people grow and your country grows.• Keep giving until it hurts. “Giving” is like weight-lifting. You cannot takea small mug and practise weight-lifting! The capacity of weight-lifting isin the attempt of shaking something that you cannot shake. You can giveyour time, you can lend a sympathetic ear to someone; lots of peoplewant ears. You can express worlds of appreciation, encouragement, em-pathy and so on. Sharing your knowledge with somebody is also caring.You can also pray for somebody; there are may ways of giving.
Sanatana Dharma Foundation’s “Vidya Daanam” empowers under-privileged children bornin rural and remote tribal areas in India by providing them the opportunity to gain a de-cent education. “Vidya Daanam” works with its Partner organization in India called “Aimfor Seva” whose Vision is to create a National movement of caring to transform society,by bridging the urban – rural divide in India, through a network of Seva services. Aim forSeva is an NGO with special Consultative status with the Economic and Social council of the United Nations.The primary vehicle through which Aim for Sevamakes its services available is through a StudentHome – also called a “Chatralaya’. The Chatralayasoffer the children a nurturing, stable residentialenvironment, and become the hub of other activi-ties such as health care, counseling, mobile medi-cal facilities for the children as well for the peoplein the rural and tribal areas. Women receive specialcounseling on post natal care, hygiene, child nutri-tion and so on. Thus the Chatralaya enables theintegration of backward segments of society intothe mainstream society.The children in a Chatralaya are inculcated a disci-plined daily routine that includes prayers, exercises,study, and recreation. Special emphasis is given toimparting value based education to build characterof children, enabling them to grow in a safe, healthyand conducive environment till they complete theirsecondary education. During the weekends art & craft classes are also conducted. Special classes(Sandhya Gurukulam) are held for those children,who require additional help in their academics. Theolder children help in keeping the Chatralaya clean.Periodic medical checkups ensure healthy progressof the children.Chatralayas are located close to a School, so that theteachers and the School Principal can take personalinterest in the welfare and progress of the children.Thus the Chatralaya is a source of stability in the life of a child whose future may otherwise be uncertain. Aimfor Seva currently manages over 70 Chatralayas in 13States, and 10 Schools in 4 states. In addition, Aim forSeva also runs 100+ Balwadis (Pre-school centers) and130 Sandhya Gurukulams in India.