Grama Seva
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The Sri Sathya Sai Education system lays ample stress on social service, especially in the rural areas. As early as 1968-69, the first year of the college at Bangalore, students would go to the neighbouring villages to undertake service activities. Additionally, for the past three decades, the 18th of November every year would mark an important occasion in the academic calendar of the students. Thousands of rural folk from the surrounding villages would gather at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium at Puttaparthi. Faculty and students under the guidance of the Revered Founder Chancellor, would distribute food and clothes as gifts to all those gathered on the occasion.
However, from the year 2000 onwards, this service took a new turn in a different format better suiting the requirements of the beneficiaries. The project christened as ‘Grama Seva’ (village service) is undertaken during the Dasara Celebrations (September / October) in the Summer semester, when faculty and students of the university visit the nearby villages and lovingly deliver food and clothes at the doorstep of every village member.
As a result, for over 1300 young university students (and their teachers), nine days of their academic year is spent in the service of almost 300,000 village folk in over 150 villages. This includes distribution of food, clothes and other items, along with bhajans, thus converting the food into prasadam.
The university students, research scholars and teachers largely managed the entire project—the planning, resourcing, organizing and implementation—from start to finish. This includes:
  • Planning
  • Food Preparation
  • Packing
  • Logistics
  • Serving
IMPACT OF GRAMA SEVA
The Revered Founder Chancellor, when initiating this project in the year 2000, stressed that the greatest beneficiaries are not the villagers, but the students. What impact does Grama Seva have on students and villagers?
On Students
  • It inspires students to live their lives along a higher ideal
  • It sensitizes them to the problems of our society, to rural life and the needs of lesser privileged sections of the community
  • It trains students to work in teams and groups under constraints of time and resources
  • It enables them to appreciate the joy associated with service
On Village Folk
  • It kindles hope in their hearts, reinforcing their faith in the truth that God will take care of them
  • It inspires them. The prasadam distributed after nagarsankirtan and bhajans is symbolic of Bhagawan Baba’s Divine love, compassion and grace, and of His assurance of protection
  • It provides them with food and clothes at the physical level, hope and faith at the mental level and bliss at the spiritual level
GRAMA SEVA 2016
Grama Seva took place from 3 to 11 October 2016. Students and teachers of the University served a population of almost 3,00,000 people in 153 villages over the nine day period. This included the distribution of 46,260 sarees, 42,305 dhotis and almost 3 Lakh food packets and ladoos.

Parameter

Total Numbers

No. of People Served 2,91,470
Villages Covered 153
Students 1321
Teachers 155
Manava Seva is Madhava Seva (Service to man is service to God)
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
© Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Vidyagiri, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134, India.