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SSM Delhi-NCR and Mathura Serve 3,000 Meals to the Hungry at Brij Bhoomi, Mathura

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W hen the deadly second wave of COVID enforced another lockdown in May 2021, a member of the Satsang Seva Mission at Mathura and his family began preparing simple meals of roti , dal , vegetables, and rice, venturing out at night to serve 20 to 30 homeless people, unemployed daily wagers, some sadhus, and yet others struggling with various forms of addiction near his home.     As the number of people to be served grew, his extended family and friends pitched in to support his work to cater to the ever-increasing need for meals in the vicinity.    Come November 2021 and the Annadanam and Seva week to celebrate Sri M's birthday on the 6th of the month, Team SSM Delhi-NCR decided to pitch in as well to cover the cost of serving 100 meals a day for 10 days every month for a whole year. They felt drawn to the Brij Bhumi that Sri M had traversed during the Walk of Hope in 2015-16 and where he had done a Bhagvat Saptah in November 2019.      Till date Team SSM Delhi-NCR has provided 3,00

SSM Mumbai Offers Langar Seva at Malad Gurudwara, Mumbai

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Langar is a community act of service or seva where vegetarian food is distributed to people in a gurudwara , the Sikh place of worship. Guru Nanak, the revered Sikh guru, believed that food must be provided to people irrespective of their caste, creed,  color, or status.     Team SSM Mumbai initiated the Langar Seva Project to offer langar at the Malad Gurudwara from the 15th of January, 2022 and will continue to do so on every Saturday for the the next three months. Many underprivileged people, laborers, and daily wage workers come here to partake of the meals provided here.  The team members gathered at the gurudwara at 12.30 p.m.  The priest or Bhaiji ,  began the seva by reciting the Ardas to the Guru Granth Sahib seeking the blessings of the Divine. The team members then served a simple yet filling meal of rice, lentils, vegetables, and a sweet to 60 people who had arrived there.  They expressed their gratitude to the management of the gurudwara for giving them this oppor

Distribution of Medicines to Leprosy Patients at Wadala, Mumbai

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The Acworth Municipal Hospital is a 131 year-old hospital that treats leprosy patients. It also houses a leprosy museum that educates people about leprosy, its history, causes, and modern treatment options.  Since the disease is mildly contagious leprosy patients are kept in isolation during their treatment.    Members of Team SSM Mumbai interacted with the management of the hospital and learned that the hospital requires a supply of medicines some of which are common for all leprosy patients and are required on a regular basis. They put together a list of these essential medicines and procured them.    Adhering to the COVID-19 protocol, they visited the hospital and donated the medicines on the 12th of January 2022 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and the anniversary of the commencement of the Walk of Hope, a  padayatra  for peace and harmony, led by Sri M from 2015 to 2016.

Distribution of Milk and Biscuits at Shree Ghadge Maharaj Dharmashala, Mumbai

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Sant Ghadge Maharaj was a mendicant-saint and a social reformer. He promoted social justice and initiated various reforms especially related to hygiene and health of village folk. The Shree Ghadge Maharaj Dharamshala, situated in Dadar East, provides accommodation, food, and basic living amenities to cancer patients and their care-givers apart from other services for the needy.   The Dharmashala has  133 rooms  and houses about 350 to 400 people. Team SSM Mumbai was informed that about 110 litres of milk are required on a daily basis for the inmates. On the 12th of January 2022, the team members decided to celebrate the anniversary of the commencement of the Walk of Hope a padayatra for peace and harmony, led by Sri M from 2015 to 2016 and  the birthday anniversary of Swami Vivekananda by providing the daily quota of milk along with biscuits to the Dharmashala inmates. The team members were grateful for this opportunity to offer their service.

SSM Delhi-NCR Spreads Warmth Amidst Freezing Cold Wave

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As temperatures plummeted in Delhi and Omicron added to denizens' woes, Team SSM Delhi-NCR decided to ring in the new year with warmth and hope. On the first of January, the team distributed 300 blankets to care-takers of low income patients from all over the country seeking treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).     Compelled to stay either on the footpath outside AIIMS or find basic accommodation at the AIIMS Vishram Sadan (Rest House), patients and their caretakers are exposed to the extreme weather conditions in the capital city in addition to dealing with their ailments.  As the team members arrived outside the Vishram Sadan at 12 noon, they found people in wheelchairs; men with flimsy torn jackets; children who had bandages over their eyes; mothers with little ones; and old people stretching their hands out even as they brought out the blankets for distribution.     A hundred of these blankets had been purchased with the collections remaining from t

Distribution of Blankets to Brickmakers on Mumbai Outskirts

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The Karjat-Neral belt, on the outskirts of Mumbai, comprises ten connecting villages where villagers make bricks for half the year and the rest of the year they toil in the farms. Their challenges are manifold: meager earnings, poor living conditions, scarce basic amenities, and inadequate connectivity with the city.   Team SSM Mumbai visited every home in these ten villages on the 27th of December and handed over 125 blankets not only to the brickmakers but to some daily wage workers and old laborers who were carrying heavy loads.    The villagers were overwhelmed that the team members had noticed them and given them these essential items. Their genuine, grateful smiles brought home clearly the pivotal role of seva for Team SSM Mumbai and affirmed their commitment to such endeavors in the days ahead.

Christmas Celebration at Maratha Life Foundation in Palghar, Maharashtra

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Nestled away in a quiet corner of Palghar – a two-hour drive from Mumbai – the Maratha Life Foundation at Jambhulpada renders yeoman service to people who are abandoned by their families. This foundation is the result of the tremendous dedication and motivation of Sri Lokhande and his team who selflessly help the old, infirm, socially outcast, and underprivileged by giving them the respect they deserve. Team SSM Mumbai has been associated with this foundation for the past five years and supports it regularly. With the onset of winter, the team members decided to provide the inmates with essential items to combat the bitter cold: bedsheets, sweaters, and jackets with hoods.  The inmates were delighted to receive these thoughtful gifts on Christmas. The team members also celebrated this joyous occasion with them by distributing freshly prepared chivda , biscuits, and tea.  The team members were filled with immense joy and delight that they were able to offer this seva which was receive

The Blanket Rides: Distribution of Blankets in Andheri and Santa Cruz, Mumbai

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The last nocturnal outing took place in Andheri and Santacruz on Christmas eve, the 24th of December 2021. The SSM team members had distributed 7 blankets earlier in the day to a couple of shivering watchmen, maids, and municipal workers in their own neighborhood given the sheer need for the blankets. Later that night they distributed the remaining 12 blankets. As they approached Santa Cruz, they spotted a mentally-ill man ‘camouflaged’ between two concrete columns of an overhead bridge. They gently woke him up and gave him a blanket. Another man who was sleeping at a bus-stop asked for food as he accepted a blanket. When the team members offered him some chocolate instead he was rather satisfied with it and gladly accepted it.  Others who received the blankets included an old woman and her dog; a woman who immediately covered her sleeping son with the blanket; a banana seller; and a few homeless brethren who were using miserably thin bed sheets as they slept on the bitterly cold pavem

The Blanket Rides: Distribution of Blankets at Andheri and Mira Road, Mumbai

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Team SSM Mumbai undertook the second nocturnal sortie on the 23rd of December, 2021 in Andheri and Mira Road, Thane. The team members distributed 10 blankets well past midnight with the intention of spotting those who really needed a blanket and thereby do justice to the spirit of the Satsang Seva Mission. They spread out a blanket over a homeless man who was struggling to stave off the cold. Having driven through the Mira-Bhayandar highway without finding anyone to offer the blankets to, they arrived at the Mira Road railway station. Several people were sleeping in the entrance hall and the team members managed to spread blankets over 6 of them who were all fast asleep and who snuggled into their new blankets quite instinctively.  Other recipients included a young contractual employee of the railway sanitation personnel; a couple of rag pickers; and a menacing drug addict who demanded that the last blanket be given to him ignoring the pleas of an old, destitute woman who wanted it.

Distribution of Blankets in Borivali West, Mumbai

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Team SSM Mumbai stepped out on Christmas eve, the 24th of December 2021, in the LIC/IC neighborhood in Borivali West, Mumbai with 15 blankets in hand in quest of the needy and less privileged who live there.     There were plenty of pavement dwellers, a small group of gypsies, and young girls selling Christmas wares. The team members identified and picked out the really needy ones and lovingly draped blankets on a couple of the pavement dwellers who were sleeping.      One of them woke up and his eyes welled up with gratitude when he saw the blanket.     They handed out a few blankets to an elderly gypsy woman and a little boy who came forward and insisted on having one for his brother. The look of joy on his face was so endearing!     As they were leaving they gave the last two blankets to two young girls seated on the curb, their hands filled with Christmas wares.      Their hearts were filled with gratitude as they promised to serve the needy in the days ahead.

Distribution of Blankets at Guru Gorakshanath Mandir, Navi Mumbai

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" By serving somebody, you are actually doing nothing. The person whom you serve is giving you an opportunity to evolve. You are not giving anybody anything. If you don't, somebody else will provide. Nature's law is that they will receive it somehow. We should have this in mind when we serve people. " - Sri M As the winter chill turns harsh with each passing day, Team SSM Mumbai decided to  distribute blankets at the Guru Gorakshanath Mandir at Vahal, Navi Mumbai.  The temple trust and other associations offer annadanam to the people of Vahal village every Thursday at this serene, verdant venue. During the annadanam seva on the 23 rd of December 2021, tokens were given to 125 families to receive their blankets. The team members distributed the blankets along with biscuits and chocolates to the children who had accompanied their parents.  The temple trustees appreciated this endeavor and expressed their gratitude to the team members for having supported the local comm

Distribution of Jackets at Sri Krishna Goshala, Hyderabad

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With a severe cold wave sweeping over Telangana, Team SSM Hyderabad received a request from the manager of the Sri Krishna Goshala at Kokapet in West Hyderabad to provide the employees with warm woolens to combat the bitter cold. The need was immediate given that the employees rise at dawn to milk the cows in a lush, open space.  The team members arrived at the goshala at 8 a.m. on the 22nd of December, 2021 and distributed 120 jackets with hoods to these employees and their families. The cheerful faces and excited chatter of the children and ladies filled the hearts of the team members with great joy and gratitude for having shared these incredible moments with them. Watch the video here.

Distribution of Jackets at Mathru Abhaya Foundation, Hyderabad

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Given the severe cold wave in Telangana, the little boys and young men of the Mathru Abhaya Foundation, an orphanage situated in Medipally, Northwestern Hyderabad, required warm woolens urgently since they leave early in the morning for their respective schools and colleges. Members of Team SSM Hyderabad distributed 30 jackets with hoods at 7 a.m. on the 23rd of December so they could step out snuggly ensconced in these jackets immediately. The children posed for a superb group photo while they smilingly expressed their happiness and gratitude. The team members were relieved and joyous that they were able to support these enthusiastic and loving youngsters.

The Blanket Rides: Distribution of Blankets in Andheri and Vile Parle, Mumbai

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With the sudden drop in the minimum temperature in Mumbai, Team SSM Mumbai set off on a series of nocturnal rides on three separate nights through the neighborhoods of Andheri, Vile Parle, Santa Cruz, and Mira Road laden with 60 blankets for the needy. The team members distributed 31 blankets on their first nocturnal ride on the 20th of December 20, 2021 in Andheri and Vile Parle. As the autorickshaw crawled through the dimly-lit bylanes, they came across a motley group of people with whom they had brief yet warm interactions. A couple of little boys pleaded for the blankets while an old woman who slept under a mound of old fabric, accepted the blanket, and asked for shoes too. A mentally-ill, young man first refused the blanket and then permitted the team members to place it next to him.  The team members then spent a few poignant moments with a lonely widow who subsisted on the meager earnings of a salon and was left only with Rs. 200 to manage her expenses after she had handed over

Gifts of Warmth for the Homeless in Kolkata, West Bengal

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The homeless in the Park Circus neighborhood of Kolkata had much to cheer about when they received abundant gifts of warmth from the members of Team SSM Kolkata. The team members stepped out on the streets with mats, bedsheets, blankets, shawls, and jackets at 10 p.m. on the 20th of December 2021. They found several homeless brethren trying to keep themselves warm with meagre clothing and sleeping on the bare cold pavement or on tarpaulin sheets. They laid out the mats, spread the bedsheets, and lovingly wrapped the recipients with blankets and shawls. The sheer joy and gratitude they witnessed was indeed overwhelming. Watch the video here.

Distribution of School Bags and Stationery Kits at Mathru Abhaya Foundation in Hyderabad, Telangana

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The Mathru Abhaya Foundation, situated at Medipally in Northeastern Hyderabad, is an orphanage that provides a safe haven for children who have lost their parents or are less privileged. On receiving a request from the founder to provide school bags for the boys, the team members set out on the 18th of December, 2021  to meet these extraordinary children with goodies: school bags and stationery kits that included drawing books, coloring books, notebooks, pens, crayons, color pencils, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, and rulers.   They were greeted with endearing smiles and sweet words of gratitude from the 18 little boys and the 7 young men as they handed out the school bags and the stationery kits. They then distributed juicy, delicious apples as an evening snack and chatted with them about their daily routine and their aspirations. A couple of the young men proudly shared that they would soon graduate from engineering college and look for jobs. Their confidence and optimism were

The Gift of Warmth - Distribution of Blankets at Hyderabad, Telangana

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With the onset of a bitterly cold winter in Hyderabad, the members of the SSM team decided to distribute 60 warm blankets to the homeless and the needy. On Saturday, the 4th of December 2021, they set out towards three locations: the Clock Tower, Secunderabad; Lower Tank Bund and Indira Park where the homeless and unemployed usually gather in the hope of a meal that is offered at the Goshala or at The Ramakrishna Ashram situated in the vicinity. It was a humbling experience for the team members as they witnessed the dire need of their brethren. Some of the recipients scrambled to receive their cozy blankets and clamored for more. The team members were glad that they were able to provide this much-needed succor at the opportune moment. Yet the pain and suffering of the homeless was so palpable that they felt quite overwhelmed.  The day ended on an introspective note as the team understood that the path to service is laden with innumerable challenges and that the only solution is to conf