In 1979, veteran social worker and the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Balasaheb Deoras addressed a mammoth gathering of volunteers at Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi, on April 8, 1978, where he called upon them to start service activities among the neglected sections of the society. He asked the volunteers to raise self-respect of the socially and economically deprived people of India. This speech is considered to be the initiating first step that led to starting the Seva Bharati.Although the volunteers of RSS and other allied organisations had been informally working for the betterment of the under-privileged, it was opined that a formal structure would help coordinate the service programs all over the country. Seva Bharati was thus established later that year. On October 2 1979 the first centre of sewa bharati was inaugarated at E block Jahangir Puri and Later in the year 1981, January it was duly registered.
The story of Sewa Bharati Delhi is no different from the River Ganga which after originating from the Goumukh assumes a gigantic form before joining the Yamuna and the Saraswati in Prayag. Who had thought that a tiny project started way back in 1979 with 4-5 kids would become flagship of entire Sewa Bharati work and stand as the talking monument of social reforms and development?
Our diverse society with uneven economic and social opportunities can be woven into one thread, only through love, empathy, co-operation and attitude of sacrifice putting larger good and welfare in picture. The foundation of the Sewa Bharati work was laid by the then senior Sangh Pracharak of Delhi the late Shri Vishnu Kumar. The work informally began in a small room near Valmiki Basti of Sangam Park. Indutai of Rashtra Sevika Samiti with her warm and affectionate persona won the hearts of kids through narrating inspirational stories, lucid poems and historical experiences. It had cascading effect and the work with its right virtue and intent became instantly popular and talking subject in all houses and families situated nearby.
Impressed with the success of this project, the then RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Balasaheb Deoras formally inaugurated the Sewa Bharati project at E Block of Jehangir Puri on Vijayadashami Day in 1979. Shri Vishnu Kumar, Shri Sushil Bakhadi, Shri Vishwamitra Pushkarana further accentuated it by starting child care and development centres. Communication skills of Shri Om Prakash Pathak saw the work attracting donors and soon the projects multiplied in numbers. This resulted in simultaneously opening of new coaching centres in Majnu Ka Tilla, Chandraval and Lalbagh. Many young and adults alike soon joined the work and in the short duration of one year, 64 centres were started. After deliberations and consensus, a Constitution of Sewa Bharati was framed to complete the legal formalities.
At the first stage itself the Sewa Bharati effectively connected with the masses. Soon a hostel for students with peaceful and harmonious academic environment was started in Sawan Park, which witnessed a lot of students successfully pursuing academics. Shri Sengram Gupta was courteous enough to increase the hostel space and rooms. A mobile Medical Van was introduced to serve the health needs. Professional courses, such as shorthand and typewriting in those years and full fledged Computer courses at present have won the trusts of not only the students but also of their parents. To back these activities ideologically and also to apprise other people of the sewa activities the publication of Sewa Samarpan began in 1988 by forming the Sewa Samarpan Nyas.
Sewadham Residential School
In order to facilitate and inculcate the knowledge of science, art and sports among youth, Shri Ashok Singhal inspired the formation of Sewa Dham Residential School in 1985. Shri Jaswant Singh Arora offered 5 bigha land for this project at Mandoli village, while Shri Harikishan Rathi nurtured it though his contribution in construction of building. Over the years the Sewa Dham students have excelled not only in their academics and professional careers but also made Sewa Dham proud of through their services to the society. Currently, 322 students from over 23 states are availing the facilities here.
The year 1988 proved to be a big milestone in the history of Sewa Bharati Delhi. It started one more path breaking initiative in the form of Matrichhaya at Mukherjee Nagar for the abandoned kids. The Matrichhaya project was formally inaugurated by the then Deputy Prime Minister of India Shri LK Advani on May 20, 2002. Today the Matrichhaya centres of Udasin Ashram and Miyanwali Nagar have been issued licences by the Government of India and Delhi. By now, 500 kids have been adopted by various issueless families from these centres. Those kids who are not adopted due to some reasons are nurtured by the Sewa Bharati itself.
Street Children Project
Delhi might have registered phenomenal growth during all these years, the fact is that 2/3 of Delhi’s citizens are still deprived of meaningful social benefits like education, employment and samskars. Kids waste their time and energy in fighting or begging in the streets. To uplift such children the Sewa Bharati started a Street Children Project at Dilshad Garden. Currently, eight such centres in 6 various locations are educating and uplifting 540 street kids offering them better life and access to employability. Ministry of Women and Child Welfare bears 90 per cent expenses of these projects, while the rest 10 per cent is borne by the Sewa Bharati.
Bhajan Mandalis and cutting tailoring centres
The condition of women is no better in Delhi. The workers realised that unless the women are financially empowered, the society cannot make desired progress. Hence, a cutting tailoring centre was started. Many women of Sewa Bastis found them useful and started availing the benefits. To increase the awareness and consciousness of women on cleanliness, health, fitness, self reliance, an initiative of group discussions were started on Makar Sankaranti Day. Now over 2000 women take part in monthly and biweekly get togethers over Bhajan-Kirtan and can feel the difference of awareness, enablement and empowerment. Women from well-to-do families also joined this initiative in 1988 with the inspiration of Smt Nirmal Mahajan. Today, more than 200 groups of women regularly perform Bhajan-Kirtan on monthly or fortnightly basis.
Awareness about primary healthcare and fitness for individuals and families was facilitated by introducing three medical vans in 1966. Today, this facility is available in the form of allopathy, homeopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy centres at 56 different places. Dentistry has also been included recently. This service is being availed by over one lakh people annually. After 20 years of research and hard work, Dr Dhruv Chakravarti of Kolkata discovered a homeopathic medicine which cures blood circulation and body wellness. This medicine has given new life of scores of lepers in Delhi.
Creativity and development have to go hands in hands. During the last two decades the Sewa Bharati positively influenced various strata of the society. However, efforts to inspire the youth were still incomplete. In 2001, Lt Governor of Delhi Shri Vijay Kapoor inaugurated the first computer training centre and subsequently 18 such centres were started, which is being benefited over 5000 students.
The period between 2001 and 2008 can be attributed to the development of education, self-reliance and social security. In order to make entire Delhi literate the Sewa Bharati conducted a drive from February 1 to April 20, 2006 and made over 10,000 people literate. This work was done like a movement and people between 12 years to 50 were taught.
Apart from conducting group marriages, the Sewa Bharati started another unique step to bring the people of all sections together. It began in the form of Kanyapujan during Navratras. This strengthened the social harmony substantially. Apart from it, many women were helped in starting their own business like opening tea stalls or fruit, etc. Through this scheme, about 70 families have been uplifted from below poverty line.
With the inspiration of the then senior Pracharak Shri Vishwanathji, Shri Nagpal Bhattewale donated a piece of land in Bhopura. The project started on that land now also has terrorism-affected children from J&K. Shri Ramgopalji from Samalkha and his family also contributed immensely to this proejct. Today, there are 80 children in Gopaldham of which 24 are Muslims. Former secretary of Sewa Bharati Shri Rishipal played a key role in starting and nurturing this project.
By and large Sewa Bharati Delhi is consolidating its efforts and trying to expand its reach to more and more areas and sections of the needy people. Its prime focus is to expand and strengthen the organisational base according to the requirements of large geography of the national capital. The objective is also to enhance the participation of more people by bringing more workers into its fold so that an active, accountable and capable team of workers is there from district to Basti level. The increase in the number projects will automatically follow.
Thirty five year old organisation is young and full of energy. New experiments are being conducted in the field of sewa. It is also sincerely working to bring other sewa streams with it to speed up the round development of the nation.
The son of Shri Rameshwar Dutt, a terror stricken family of Udhampur, was suffering from Elipphenta diseases. Sewa Bharati borne the expenses of his treatment and he was fully cure. Now both husband and wife are full time workers of the Sewa Bharati.
2. A rape victim in Keshav Vihar Basti was rehabilitated.
3. The residents of Keshav Puram refused to getting influenced by the ills of free liquor distributed during elections. Instead they resolved to vote only for the candidate, who genuinely works for their upliftment.
4. Akash a promising student of Sewa Dham Vidya Mandir, whose mother worked as a maid in a family of Sewa Bharati donor, has been selected in Merchant Navy. He now gets Rs 40000 per month.
5. The conversion activities going on in leprosy colony of Nehru Nagar were curbed effectively.
6. Smt Jwala Devi and Smt Manorama were earlier paid workers of Sewa Bharati. Now they are working selflessly taking responsibilities in the organisation.
7. Shri Prem Sagar Bhatia, who had come to Sewa Bharati office for offering some donation, is now office secretary of Sewa Bharati Delhi.
Number of Projects from 1979 – 2013
|YEAR||No. of Projects|
1) The first school started by Sewa Bharti Delhi was in the year 1979 with 4-5 children in a DDA Flat near Valmiki Basti at Sangam Park
2) In the first year, It opened 64 projects
3) Shri Vishnu Kumar headed the first project of Sewa Bharti In Delhi followed by second project at Jahangir Puri E Block
4) All the projects focussed on Value education to small kids as well as basic education in academics through coaching centres.
5) With the huge success of each project, We were able to open centres at Timarpur, Majnu ka teela, Chandraval, Lal Bagh
6) On 5th January 1981 the constitution of Sewa Bharti was written
7) Hostel facilities were given to poor children free of cost at Sawan Park. It was further constructed and new rooms were made
8) Then we started with first mobile medical van
9) In 1985 Sewa Dham Vidya Mandir’s construction started. Shri Jaswant Rai Arora donated 5 Acre land in Mandoli and also beared 3 year expenses
10) It is a big school catering to 322 students of 23 states and have made many Doctors, Engineers etc
11) Year 1988 created history in Sewa Bharti with opening of Sewadham as well as orphanage in Mukherji Nagar
12) On 20th May 2002 one more orphanage at Miyanwali Nagar started. Till now 500 kids are being adopted through our two centres
13) In the year 1994 Street Children project started in Kalander Colony in Dilshad Garden
14) In 2001 first computer centre was opened
15) In the year 2005 Gopal Dham was made due to riots in the country. The children who lost their families were kept here. As on today it has 80 kids in which 24 are muslims