One Hundred Hostels – up and running taking care of 3,500 children
Within barely 13 years establishing 100 hostels (called Free Students Home – FSH), where 3,500 children – either orphans or coming of families with very limited means – getting food, lodging and model education is no mean achievement of AIM for SEVA.
It will be all pomp and show when the hundredth hostel, donated by a philanthropist from Toronto, is formally inaugurated sometime this year in Lucknow. But it has already been completed, it’s up and running taking care of 50 kids who resides in this hostel, says Dr. Terry Papneja, chair of the Toronto Chapter of AIM for SEVA.
He’s optimistic that aspirations of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of the AIM for SEVA, to have at least one hostel in each of 640 districts of India that will house 320,000 young boys and girls, all of them would be studying in schools, would ultimately be realized. Of course, it won’t happen tomorrow.
Hundredth hostel is a significant number for volunteers like Dr. Papneja, as it is their first milestone: “We want to brag about it,” he says.
That was widely indicative when the organization, at their recent meeting in Chennai, released stone plaque as a token of inauguration.
It was inaugurated by M.M. Murugappan, Chairman of Carborundum Universal and Tube Investments of India Ltd.
“What is impressive about the organization is the impact that it has made in some of the most remote regions of India – it has impacted nearly 20 million lives,” he said.
“I visualize the All India Movement for Seva as a huge tree, whose branches, like our banyan (tree) is spread all through the country. A hundred chatralayas covering so many states can be a proud achievement of any Indian,” Swami Dayanand Saraswati said in his message when the announcement for the hundredth hostel was made.
Interestingly, hundredth FSH also marked by the release of a special postal cover by Chief Postmaster General (Tamil Nadu Circle), Indu Gupta.
“Our students receive value based education and it is this value that helps our students to become responsible citizens,” said Sheela Balaji, Managing Trustee and Secretary of AIM for SEVA.