White House recognition – We began 2010 on an up-note. On January 14, 2010 HASC organized an interactive conversation between Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and key Hindu American leaders. Dubois said, "This was just tremendous work done by over 118 Seva centers and temples and ashrams and other organizations all across the country, completing over 1,300 Seva projects. We took note of that and want to make sure that we are working to engage your community to do that even more.”
Call to Serve Report: On March 9th, HASC presented our report, “Hindu Americans Building Communities through Seva” to President Obama, and subsequently to Secretary Hillary Clinton, Vice President Bidden, and other senior administration officials like USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, Erin Soto, Sonal Shah, Kiran Ahuja and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Subsequently, the report was presented to Dharmic spiritual leaders like Dalai Lama, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Dada Vaswani, Swami Adveshanand Giri, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Baba Ramdev, Morari Bapu. Swami Chidananda Saraswati, Rameshbhai Ojha and others.
Inaugural Summit – HASC held an inaugural summit on March 27, 2010 at the Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, MD. The Summit generated spirited dialogue about the Hindu American identity, faith and how the Hindu community’s civic engagement strengthens America. The Summit yielded an “umbrella of common principles” to collectively build and sustain healthy American communities.
USAID-Indian Diaspora Engagement: On June 3, 2010, recognizing the need to include America’s religious and cultural diversity, concurrently with the US-India Strategic dialogue, USAID, partnered with HASC to host the first workshop to begin a dialogue to engage and include the Indian American secular and faith based communities to address Global Poverty and Development
In November, 2010 HASC furthered the US-India strategic dialogues with (1) Inaugural Lecture at BAPS Swaminarayan Research Institute, Swaminarayan Akshardham, New Delhi “Social Services in Dharmic Dimension” and (2) Interfaith Foundation, Gurdwara Rakabganj, New Delhi, -
Ø Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing the many lines of religions and cultures. Through a national Yogathon on August 29, 2010, HASC assisted more than 150 temples and sites and community members opened their doors to people of all faiths. Many teachers including Patanjali Yoga Peeth and Art of Living Foundation actively participated and supported the President’s active lifestyle initiative. Yogathon further transformed into YogaSeva.
UtsavSeva: HASC launched a unique signature program “UtsavSeva” (FestivalSeva) to mobilize the Indian American community to perform Seva (selfless service) while invoking the essence of popular Indian festivals, It is a strategic initiative to bring Seva to prominence and encourage all Dharmic institutions and people of all Hindu sampradayas (congregations) to perform “UtsavSeva” throughout the year, as appropriate. This program augments the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative.
Ø YogaSeva:: : In September, we celebrated Janmashtami with “YogaSeva” to honor Krishna, the great Yogi, with a Yogathon all across USA. On Remembrance Day, many temples invoked peace principle with prayers and also remembered the other 9/11: Gandhi’s nonviolence movement launch (1906), Swami Vivekananda's 1893, Chicago welcome address.
Ø ShaktiSeva – In October we celebrated Navratri with “ShaktiSeva”, a focus on women’s empowerment, honoring many aspects of Devi, symbolizing feminine strength. We held a Conference call with White House Council on Women & Girls and served the homeless.
Ø DhanaSeva: In November we celebrated Diwali with “DhanSeva” when our theme was resource sharing: We honored Veterans, served the homeless, replenished food banks at Thanksgiving and shared the meaning of Diwali in an interfaith environment .
Seva Centers: HASC is working to augment Community Building in a Dharmic Environment through Seva (service) centers to assist the New Americans (Hindu Americans) integrate within their local, regional, national communities and address their own needs while serving the community at large. Seva centers and HASC’s signature program UtsavSeva (FestivalSeva) will expand civic engagement and address issues as Economic Recovery and Poverty, .Fatherhood and Healthy Families, food security, health, education, environment, etal.
Refugee Re-Settlement Program (SharnagatiSeva): HASC is developing a partnerships with national organizations (International Institute of New Jersey, Catholic Charities, Sewa International, Department of Human Services, etal) to provide services to refugee youth, students and seniors starting with Minneapolis and North Dakota As a partner of HHS (Health and Human Service), HASC promoted awareness of National Influenza Vaccine with Dr. Anand Parekh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, at SSV Temple.
Environment: HASC is partnering with the Bhumi Project at Oxford Center for Hindu Studies to advance the Green Temple initiative at temples and places of worship to implement the Council recommendations on energy.
Advancing interfaith in college campus Hindu American Seva Charities is assisting the White House in expanding its outreach to the diverse Dharmic community to implement the recommendation of the Council. HASC is collaborating with Hindu student organizations across America to advance interfaith cooperation and support Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC)’s Leadership Training initiative. HASC is developing Interfaith Roundtables and Service projects as part of HASC Young Scholars Program:
Ø APARRI conference: Asian Pacific American Religious Researchers Initiative: “Faith Matters: Religious Practitioners and/in Asian American Studies: A Roundtable”
Ø In partnership with the Desi Club, a student organization at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, organized an interfaith dialogue with HASC engaged to highlight the importance of Diwali from a Dharmic point-of-view—and a presentation by the Imam on the significance of Eid .
Ø Religion, Peace and Development: Afghanistan and Pakistan: HASC, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the World Faiths Development Dialogue hosted a student-led roundtable to explore ways to actively bring peace in the region. .
Ø Pakistan Flood Relief Efforts: HASC joined in and supported the broader efforts to raise funds for the flood relief efforts in Pakistan on September 28th, 2010 in New York City.
Ø Interfaith Dialogue Series: The Interfaith Dialogue Series at Rutgers University (Newark) seeks to examine the role of religion and interfaith communities in advancing world peace, security, stability and prosperity. The outcomes of the project include: (1) engaging in service projects in Newark, Passaic and Jersey City area, specifically within the refugee communities (2) developing policy papers through regional working groups and (3) developing a web presence to communicate the project to the broader community.
Ø Global Interfaith: Roundtable discussion at Management Development Institute, Gudgaon, IndiaWashington Post and Huffington Post Blogs, Media Coverage. Press Releases: We shared our stories widely round the globe to bring awareness of the collective Hindu American Seva in many arenas. We urge the community to come together to help create Seva Centers; a social innovation and document participation