There is no higher religion than human service .To work for the common good is the greatest creed ~ Woodrow Wilson


Sewa (Service) can be both, a practice as well as a lifestyle. Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian philosopher and poet has wisely said “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy”. Service to mankind is the highest ideal emphasized by all great personages of all times. Be it Buddha, Jesus, Guru Nanak, Zoroaster, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King or any other great soul whom the world admires emphasized on serving the mankind.

With the same purpose, Sewa International began as a movement in 1993 to engage the Indian Diaspora worldwide. It encouraged these people to remain connected with Indian roots through contribution to humanitarian causes locally and in India. The movement has spread its wings worldwide to more than 25 countries now.

In India, Sewa International was established in 1997 as a registered non-profit trust, based on the Indian ethos of “Service before Self” and “World is One Family”. Since its inception, Sewa International is relentlessly serving humanity irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion, race or region.

Over the past decade, the transition has happened from providing support to short term disaster relief & rescue activities, towards more effective long-term rehabilitation and development projects in the underserved areas. The organization is driven by the need to provide more permanent solutions to the underlying socio-economic issues. Sewa International is presently working in the domains of health, education, livelihood generation, environment protection, community/rural development, women empowerment, water conservation across 20 states in India. Some of these projects were taken up with direct intervention and some with the help of committed grassroot organizations. Sewa International aids local communities in various domains and till now provided beneficiaries in various domains including education, women empowerment, disaster management, skill development, health care and many more. .

But amidst the virus spreading like wildfire and every individual tackling their insecurities and worries, Sewa International has showcased the true essence of the pious word ”SEWA”

In Karnataka, due to the grim situation of COVID-19, the state announced a two-week lockdown.

Sewa team designed a strategy to reach out to those who will be most affected by the lockdown. They got a list of BPL families from the government (BBMP) and did a survey. The volunteers reached out to everyone and verified their needs and found that 700 underprivileged families are looking for the donation of essential kits to get their daily bread.

Just before the lockdown started, Sewa volunteers drove 25 km to Asha Kirana and distributed 100 essential kits to unprivileged families. Each of these kits comprised of flour, rice, pulses, sugar, spices, and coconut. 

They are in the process of preparing another 400 kits which will be done in a couple of days. They are also providing medicines to COVID-positive patients under home isolation. 

The essential kits were not only distributed to families but to all those in Asha Kirana who were working in the unorganized sector, child care sector, garment workers, Asha health workers, and construction workers. Through this, an attempt has been made by the Sewa organization to ease the lives of all the workers, affected families, and the underprivileged sector of the society. 

Now during the lockdown, they have got special permission from the BBMP team to move out and do their job. They have a plan to provide cooked meals twice a day to home isolated people, front-line workers and street vendors.

Amid the pandemic, when life and death have become so unpredictable and the only thing one is longing for at the moment is the safety and sanity of themselves and their loved ones, SEWA INTERNATIONAL is showcasing the REAL ESSENCE OF SEWA.

Authored by: Harshita Bhansali

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