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Sewa international encourages social integration, not social division

Sewa international encourages social integration, not social division

Author: Arjanlal Sharma, Vice Chairman, Sewa International UK
Publication: Organiser
Date: December 29, 2002
Q. What is the aim of Sewa International?
A. Sewa International is a non-governmental and nonsectarian voluntary organisation, ever ready in lending a helping hand to the needy, offering all assistance to the unfortunate and underprivileged by helping them reconstruct their life.

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) used to give donations locally. Later it decided to expand its activities internationally. Sewa International was established in the year 1989. It concentrates on providing relief work at the time of natural calamity or disaster. See in UK, we donated money to arthritis and rheumatism associations, schools and hospitals. Locally, we aim at providing charity work in the fields of education and health. But at international level, we provide help to any country, which has been hit by natural disasters like flood, earthquake and cyclone donated funds for the Ethiopian drought, Mozambique flood (Africa), Turkish earthquake and we donated around the world in no uncertain terms without prejudice and without looking at any caste, creed or colour. Sewa International is a humanitarian organisation and its motto is "Service to humanity is the service to God". Sewa International encourages social integration not social division. We issue an appeal if there is any calamity or natural disaster; we collect money and donate it. Recently, we issued an appeal to collect funds for rebuilding of war-ravaged Afghanistan. In the face of the recent floods in Scotland and Wales in England, we collected inure than 1000 pounds and gave it to the local MP for the relief work.

Q. Does Sewa International provide only relief works to the victims of natural disasters or does it also undertake service-based projects across the world?
A. Besides various relief projects in times of natural calamities, Sewa International also hold service based projects in the fields of education and welfare. The organisation also undertakes welfare of tribal people particularly the tribal girls, organises schools for the children of the displaced families in Jammu and Kashmir and blood donation camps and health-care seminars.

Sewa Bharati of India is closely connected with Sewa International. In other countries, we don't have that kind of set-up. In foreign countries, either we issue cheques to the Red Cross or we donate money to the embassies concerned. Whenever we receive requests from any country, we lend a helping hand in our capacity.

Q. Could you please elaborate on your service-based projects with Sewa Bharati, India?
A. See, through Sewa Bharati we donated around 3 crore rupees to earthquake-ravaged people of Latur in Maharashtra. Then we donated around 1.5 crore rupees to the victims of super cyclone in Orissa.

In Gujarat, after the earthquake, we had adopted 10 villages (one village contains houses that range from 60 to 300). Sewa International was also giving help in rebuilding schools, community centres in the severely earthquake-affected areas.

Q. Can you please give your comment on the report in The Times of India, December 14, 2002, titled "RSS-backed charities under UK scanner?
A. The newspaper, which has reported the news item, should understand that Sewa International is not an RSS-backed organisation. The allegation is totally false and misleading, Sewa International is a Sewa Project of HSS. A malicious propaganda is going on against Sewa international by the Left wings of UK.

Those people who put blame on Sewa International should visit those ten villages that are adopted by us and that open their eyes.

A person called Adam Patel who is a member of House of Lord in UK, instigated the Charity Of Commissions to inquire. I think he wrote to Charity Commission that the money collected for Gujarat had not been spent only for the relief work. Charity Commission looks into all the charity works. So, if somebody complaints, then it is the duty of the Charity Commission to investigate and satisfy itself to maintain the charity status of the charity. As far as I know, Charity Commission is fully satisfied on the charity work of Sewa Bharati.

Q. Do you think that there is any conspiracy behind this complaint?
A. It may be a design of anyone. Every good cause has a blot on it. If you arc doing some good work, there bound to be some mischief-makers too. Either they do not like the organisation or there are also some people who are allergic to the Hindu organisations.

Q. Who do you suspect behind this design?
A. You know, Left wing is normally suspected because they have got allergy to those organisations, which are active for the uplift of Hindus or Hindu interests. But we are least bothered about these alien forces. Our book is open as far as Sewa is concerned. It is very difficult for me to comment more on this as the Vice-Chairman of Sewa international. Until and unless the inquiry is completed, it is not advisable to comment on it.

Lot of organisations in UK had donated the money to us. One Shri Kutch Leva Patel Community (UK) has donated one million pounds and is 'working directly with Sewn Bharati in India. Puri Foundation has also collected one million pounds and is working with Sewa international. People ha, got faith in Sewa international (UK), otherwise how can they donate such big donations to us? Sewa International's activities have not only been praised by eminent individuals but also by the MPs, Police in UK, hospitals in UK and local Councillors in UK. And more importantly, Prince Charles himself has also praised the works of Sewa International. Many individuals such as the Lord Mayor of Derby together with several labour MPs and representatives from the media visited the earthquake affected areas of Gujarat and have personally approved, endorsed and commanded the rehabilitation work carried out by Sewa Bharati.

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