Hindu Seva Pratishtana: Where service comes first

The youngsters trained with the Hindu Seva Pratishthana work to brighten the lives of those afflicted by poverty, injustice and natural disasters, discovers Sharada Prahladrao
Here’s an organisation that believes that volunterrism is the back bone of any social development. Hindu Seva Pratishthana established in 1980, identifies and trains volunteers for social action, social change and development in and around the State.

When HSP was established, there were several questions about gathering volunteers. Who would work as Sevavrathis (dedicated volunteers)? The concept of training volunteers for social action was new at that point of time. What kind of curriculum was needed? Who will train the volunteers and where will they be trained? Who is going to make use of the trained Sevavrathis?

When HSP plunged into volunteerism, they discovered that a large chunk of the people who approached them were youngsters. More than 90 per cent of volunteers trained by HSP were young women! This showed that there was tremendous goodwill in our society and most of them often thought about contributing to society.

HSP identified those areas where there was an urgent need for voluntary action. Protection of human rights and dignity of people with disabilities, people in the tribal areas, rights of street children, education for children from the deprived section of the society, promotion of Sanskrit to develop an integrated society, are just some of the areas where HSP have launched their projects. These projects were evaluated and were later made into large scale programmes. The projects went under a different banner — Aruna Chetana, Seva in Action, Sanskrit Bharathi, Prasanna counselling centre.

HSP believes that volunteering should be a symbiotic experience between the volunteer and the NGO. Mr Sridhar Sagar, Director HSP says, “it is important for HSP that each Sevavrathi believes in the cause that she is involved in, in order to be successful in her work. For any cause to succeed, we need committed and dedicated volunteers.”

The training of Sevavrathis is unique. The curriculum was designed taking into account the present local needs. Sevavrathis came from varying educational, social and economic backgrounds.

The curriculum was designed to give the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to serve with dedication and commitment.

The curriculum is evolved using participatory approach with constant upgradation to ensure it retains its relevance to the needs of society.

To join HSP as a Sevavrathi, a person must be between the age of 18-60 and must be healthy. He/she must be willing to give three years of voluntary service to HSP after training. Donations to HSP are exempted from income tax under section 80G. A portion would also go to Sevavrathis corpus fund, to ensure continuation of HSP activities and to support volunteers committing themselves for life.

In addition, HSP will soon start 100 early child-care centres, 200 free tuition classes, and 100 non-formal education centres. For more on the organisation contact, 26608926/2623088.
Source: http://archive.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar72006/spectrum103852200636.asp


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