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November 1, 2010

Hindu American Seva Charities


PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                  

November 1st, 2010

Media Contact: Ved Chaudhary:; 732-972-1489
                         Dr. SIva Subramanian


DhanaSeva:  November Illumines Diwali through Service

Hindu tradition and American expression promote innovative resource empowerment -

Washington, D.C., November1, 2010 –Building on the tradition of UtsavSeva (performing service and giving back to community during festivals), Hindu American Seva Charities is leading the national effort to promote DhanSeva (resources empowerment).  DhanSeva is community service during the month of November, while celebrating the festival of Diwali.  It is giving of resources of all kinds – material or spiritual or physical…whatever one can give....

Diwali, a joyous festival of lights, is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists,.  It signifies removal of ignorance with the light of knowledge and it celebrates triumph of good over evil. Based on lunar calendar, Diwali this year will be on November 5.

Diwali traditionally marks the beginning of the New Year.  Many businesses close their books and open new accounts with prayers for success and prosperity.  Symbolically it is a new start –“forget and forgive”– in all aspects of life; including starting/restarting relationships with family and friends.  It is the time for community and family celebration with prayers through puja, of togetherness, of sharing all resources – food, gifts…

Hindu American Seva Charities has developed a presentation detailing the meaning of festival and the “how to” of DhanSeva

“Seva during Diwali means bringing in light, especially in the life of those less fortunate than us. There was many ways in which we can serve our community and the community at large. We can we offer financial help, share knowledge, identify ways to promote economic empowerment, replenish local food banks for Thanksgiving, donate books, or computers or equipment to local school/library” said Anju Bhargava, co-founder of Hindu American Seva Charities.

This year, DhanSeva is being performed around the country. Here are a few examples:

Wichita, Kansas:

  • As part of DhanaSeva, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is organizing a health camp for the Wichita community on November 4th, 2010 from 4-6PM.
  • With Shree Ram Kabir Bhakta Community of Wichita, HASC is organizing a financial education workshop for the residents of Wichita
  • HASC is participating in an ‘Amazing Faiths’ dinner, an interfaith event, with ‘Global Faith Action’ to explain the significance and message of Diwali.

Minneapolis, MN:  To start DhanaSeva even before Diwali, the Hindu Temple of Minnesota served the homeless community in downtown Minnesota at the Mary Copeland Seva House on October 31st, 2010.

Passaic, NJ:  Free yoga classes (YogaSeva) continue to be offered to the residents of City of Passaic.

Chicago, IL: Organizing free Indian cooking classes to teach healthy eating and healthy lifestyle for underprivileged children.

New York City: On November 16th, 2010, explaining the significance of Diwali and service to community at an interfaith dinner for the students at John Jay College of The City University of New York.

National: Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) - The "Salute to Soldiers" program provides troops who have served overseas with free nights of accommodations at participating hotels.

Resources: Many more resources on Diwali are available:  such as Hindu American Foundation’s toolkit, Hinduism Today’s mediakit

Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) is a progressive American organization advancing seva (community service) and promoting interfaith collaboration, pluralism, social justice, and sustainable civic engagement.