The groundwork for what is SAI SEVA SANGH today was laid on August 1988, when a few like-minded people came together for a common cause to educate underprivileged children in their neighborhood, provide free shelter to old women, and a cost-free support system for a rural Special School for the differently abled.
To educate the underprivileged children, the slum that we chose was surrounded by small scale industries. With no formal system or infrastructure in place, all that was there was a purpose to get together as many children as we could from the slums nearby and teach them how to read and write
We started with 26 children. We also introduced extracurricular activities such as art, dance, and sports to expose the children to learning opportunities that would go beyond the regular academic curriculum.
As an offshoot of the school logically led to the starting of an orphanage for girl children who lost either one or both of their parents to tragic circumstances beyond their control.
SRI SATHYA SAI VIDYAMANDIR SCHOOL
Sai Seva Sangh, a registered voluntary organization started the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Mandir, with the help of a small group of members with a primary objective of eradicating child labor in the Moosapet slum area surrounded by small scale industries
This slum has been selected by the organization as the child labor problem is prominent in the area. The school was started in this area with the primary objective of giving basic education to the children who undertake part-time jobs in the surrounding areas.
The love and interest shown by the members of this organization attracted the children and the zeal & enthusiasm shown by the children to learn more made the school to expand further up to Xl standard within a short span of ten years.
What school does?
The school provides a free supply of textbooks and other related teaching materials eg., audio visual equipment etc. The school has provided a good seating arrangement along with a supply of notebooks. The school also provides free clothing, uniforms, school bags etc. for the children, which are sponsored by a few like -minded volunteers.
Free mid-day meals are also provided by a voluntary organization to compensate the children, as they would have otherwise earned their livelihood for the day by working in the small industries around. Apart from these, routine medical check-ups are also being conducted and free medicines are provided to them by a voluntary medical team. Some teachers are volunteers and the rest are paid which are also sponsored by volunteers. This active involvement of the community and voluntary organizations have helped the school to develop in a big way.
SRI SATYA SAI DENNAJOANODHRANA PATHAKAM
The Pathakam was started on 17 February 2006, with an orphanage for young girls, a destitute home for ladies and an Old Age Home for the elderly ladies.
Observing the suffering children who attend the free school (Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Mandir) and the other people around, the need to provide food and shelter to the orphans, destitute and the elderly became quite evident. And with that the idea of starting a center which houses all the three categories became clear.
The concept behind starting the three units together is that each unit provides moral support to each other, shares love and helps each other. The destitute women take care of the children and the elderly who in turn love them as their own family. The elderly also gain the affection of the small children and forget their pain. They also share their experiences and give their valuable advice wherever necessary.
All the three units work together in harmony. They share their routine work like cooking, washing, cleaning etc. which would otherwise be a cumbersome task. Now they enjoy doing their work.
HOME FOR DESTITUTE & OLD AGE WOMEN
The home now houses 18 elderly ladies. There is provision for 25 inmates.These inmates are being taken care of well by the other unit members and the other volunteers as well These ladies are self-sufficient, they cook their own meals mostly, help the other unit cooking by cutting vegetables, make pickles, snacks etc. They are given nutritious food.
The inmates feel happy in the premises where they get the love and affection of the young children and school children along with the other ladies. Medical facility is also available to them through the free clinic that operates on the premises.
A free medical clinic is functional at the premises on all Sundays. This clinic caters to school children, orphanages, destitute ladies, old people and also the families of the school children. Around 200 families have been adopted and are provided free medical help.
Eminent doctors and efficient volunteers offer their services to this clinic. Medicines are supplied by good pharmaceutical companies free of cost, which are distributed by medical prescription of the doctors. For any serious ailments patients are referred to other hospitals.
ORPHANAGE HOME FOR GIRLS
The orphanage is now open and running with 36 children and also has a capacity to house around 50 children. The little girls are mostly below the age of 8 years. The children come from disturbed homes like different cases of parental abuse, born to unwed mothers, orphans for whom no one is there to take care, girl children being sold by their fathers.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Sai Seva Sangh provides financial aid to the children for their junior and senior graduation years, be it for mainstream college or open school, a vocational or professional course or coaching classes.
The aim of the program is to be a mentor and guide for students to help them stay focused on their goal as they begin their second phase of learning journey. It is an anchor for each child, post Grade 10, to turn to for emotional, moral, academic and financial support to tide over the trying period of doubts and decisions.
It begins with sessions of aptitude testing and career counselling to understand one’s strengths and challenges in order to choose an appropriate course of study. A one-on-one counselling session helps students make an informed choice towards the path of higher level education.
So far about 243 girls have been supported in pre-university studies, diploma and graduation courses, such as nursing, engineering, pharmacy, agricultural sciences and are successfully employed in their respective fields of education.
The parents of the children are requested to take part in medical camps conducted quarterly at the school premises for the students as well as for the parents. The mothers are given training in tailoring after school hours at school. Community prayers are held with multi-religious songs to inculcate that religions may be many but god is one. Festivals of all religions are celebrated in the school to promote religious harmony. Parents’ education is conducted once a week.
These activities help the parents to give them a feeling of being a part of the whole project.