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Student-led roundtables and interfaith dialogues on college and university campuses are demonstrating that SarvaDharmaSeva is not only a conceptual phrase, but it is a principle that can be implemented through service and increased understanding. At Georgetown University and at Rutgers University working groups are being formed to study how religion and faith based communities can affect peace and development, from both a theoretical standpoint as well as through experiential learning. “Based on the Vedic principle of Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah, HASC Young Scholars Program is undertaking efforts to deepen understanding of society and world affairs, for effective governance, delivery of and access to services, while serving local communities,” said Anju Bhargava, Founder of Hindu American Seva Charities.
On a national level HASC with its partners recently organized the following activities to address food security, health, education, environment and other programs:
Ø Homeless Outreach: HASC is expanding the Yogathon campaign and as part of YogaSeva for Health and Education, is organizing yoga and nutrition workshops to promote healthy lifestyle. HASC is working to develop programs to feed the homeless on a regular schedule. Saumya Arya Haas, HASC social media adviser explains, "Holiday Giving: It’s not just for Christians anymore".
Expanding the interfaith Service in Minneapolis, HASC is collaborating with the Salvation Army and “The Lord’s Diner.” to adopt a family for the holidays. Additional efforts are underway to provide warm clothes and shoes for a homeless shelter in Minnesota.
In Wichita, Kansas, during the month of December, every Sunday, HASC will cook and provide meals to the homeless at the Interfaith Inn. Next year, HASC will partner with the Overflow Shelter to provide regularly scheduled meals every month.
Ø Refugee and immigrant support: HASC is developing a partnership with International Institute of New Jersey. HASC organized a workshop providing yoga and meditation, healthy eating emphasizing vegetarian diet, more fruits and vegetables and practicing a healthy lifestyle through exercise, which include: running, swimming, yoga and Pilates and biking. HASC is working to provide additional yoga workshops at the Hanuman Temple in Jersey City, NJ.
As a partner of HHS (Health and Human Service), HASC is promoting awareness of National Influenza Vaccine. Dr. Anand Parekh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Science & Medicine) will give a talk to the Bhutanese refugees and other temple attendees on December 18th, at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland. All are invited.
Ø Youth Development:
YOGA - HASC is partnering with Newark Yoga Movement (near the Rutgers-Newark campus) to engage Rutgers college students to teach yoga to children in Newark Public Schools. Nine yoga sessions, from December 9th-December 22nd, 2010, are being offered to Rutgers-Newark students and staff through Newark Yoga Movement as part of relaxation and stress reduction during the final examination period.
ENVIRONMENT - Many members of Arya Samaj Youth Group, Ridgewood, NJ participated with the Jewish Temple and Bergen County Interfaith Association effort to clean up Gypsi Pond Creek, home to a great variety of birds and mammals as well as wild flowers and plants.
Ø Interfaith Dialogue: In partnership with the Desi Club, a student organization at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, HASC engaged to highlight the importance of Diwali from a Dharmic point-of-view—to include—different reasons for which Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists celebrate Diwali. The second component of the interfaith dinner-dialogue included a presentation by the Imam on the significance of Eid .
In Kansas, HASC participated in the Amazing Faiths Dinner with Global Faith Action to explain the significance and message of Diwali.
.....These are only a few stories.....
Many Hindu American communities are serving during this time of need.....
We request you to share your SarvaDharmaSeva (Interfaith Service) stories so that HASC can compile a comprehensive report!
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