Grama Sevaye Sai Seva
G - SING THE GLORY OF THE LORD
R - ENCOURAGE RURAL LEADERSHIP
A - AGRICULTURAL ADVICE
M - MEDICAL ACTIVITIES
A - ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
S - SOCIAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES
E - EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES
V - VALUE BASED EDUCATION
A - ANANDA (BLISS)
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in his infinite compassion, grace and unfathomable love has bestowed upon the youth of this country a wonderful opportunity in the form of GRAMA SEVA, to serve their mother land so as to realise the presence of the Divine in every being.
As 80% of our population is in villages, where basic amenities are scarce and awareness about many life issues is poor, it is all the more necessary to take up Grama Seva on an active and continual basis. The ever-increasing size of Sevadal and Devotees enables to achieve the end result with ease.
Selfless Service is synonymous with Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. The Sevadal members take up Grama Seva activities in far-flung villages of this country spreading the message of brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God.
Concept & Theme
Grama Seva is one service that is ideally suited for youth. The village service that is recommended by Swami now, is different from the concept of Village adoption, which was in vogue in the past. The directive given now, is to visit and serve intensely a village only once or twice and move to the next village. Follow-up visits may be planned after a gap of 3-4 months.
This exemplary service must be done in association with the villagers. Every attempt should be made, at every stage to motivate the villagers by explaining that our coming is not going to be a regular feature and it's the village elders and youth who should join hands and make efforts to improve not only the sanitary and living conditions, but promote human values of Love, Non-violence and Peace in the village.
Service, Spiritual & Educational Wings are three components of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. All these three wings or units should find expression and hence there should be a harmonious integration of the three in any village activity. The motto is Serve the body, Educate the mind and Awaken the spirit - all by self example.
The activities thus selected are, for example:
- Service activities include Free Medical &Veterinary Camps, Physical Work- Sanitation, road leveling, tree planting, Renovation of places of worship, Borewell repairs etc.
- Spiritual Wing - Bhajan/Grama Sankeertan, Palanquin Processions, Pictorial Exhibition on Bhagawan's Life & Teachings.
- Educational Wing - Bal Vikas, Door-to Door interaction, Exhibition on Health & Hygiene, Street plays on eradication of social evils like Smoking & Alcohol.
To list the items again:
- BHAJAN / GRAMA SANKEERTAN
- MEDICAL CAMP
- VETERINARY CAMP
- EXHIBITION- 1) ON HEALTH & HYGIENE 2) BHAGAWAN'S LIFE & TEACHINGS
- PHYSICAL WORK - TREE PLANTING, SANITATION, ROAD LEVELLING ETC.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR INTERACTION
- SPORTS FOR YOUTH
- PALANQUIN PROCESSION (PALLAKI SEVA)
- EVENING PROGRAMME
The evening programmes include:
- Educative Programmes (a) Playlets on harmful effects of Smoking/ Alcoholism with suggestive solutions (b) Doctor's advice on Health problems in the village - Suggested preventive measures.
- Entertainment programmes like Mimicry, Mono acting, Ventriloquism, Miming, Magic shows etc., imparting human values and also to cheer up the villagers who have very little scope to witness such programmes.
- Devotional Programmes: (a) Slokas recitation by village children (b) Playlets on themes like Prema, Bhakthi and Seva (c) Slide shows and video shows on Life & Teachings of Bhagawan.
Grama Seva Types
The service activities listed under Grama Seva can be done in an intense one day or two days programme. District / Mandal based Samithis may do Grama Seva in a phased manner i.e. 1 or 2 activities every week over a period of 3 to 4 weeks since distance is not a constraint for these Samithis.
Half-day programme - Small Samithis with limited resources may plan in this way. The village selected is generally small (less than 1000 population) within a distance of 20-30 Km. A formal survey and interaction is required and the campaign about the Medical camp may be limited to only the village in which the activity is being taken up.
- Bal-vikas: Gather 40-50 children , and then conduct the Bal vikas in a slightly different way i.e. more of moral stories and games, less of Slokas, noting down addresses of a few children of 8th or 9th class and subsequently communicating with them through post, identifying the school teacher and explain to him/her our ideas i.e. sole emphasis of moral values, presenting the teachers with Chinna Katha ( Short Stories) and other books of Bhagawan, and follow-up by postal communication. All these can make Bal-vikas, though done even at short notice, a satisfactory exercise.
- Medical camp: General or only Eye or Eye + General + Gynaec + Dental + Homeo wing also may be kept and it would be immensely useful.
- Veterinary camp: Preventive vaccination and treatment of livestock.
- Door to door interaction: On Health & Hygiene, Nutrition.
- Physical Activities: Temple cleaning, white washing, Sanitation etc.
The half day programme can end with a small Bhajan, a short talk on Bhagawan/ Video cassette (1/2 an hour) followed by Harathi to Bhagawan.
Bigger Samithis or two small Samithis may join together and conduct these activities. The village selected can be of a slightly larger size, 1500 - 2000 population, more remote within a distance of 50-70 Kms.
- Medical camp being more extensive in terms of Doctors, specialties, medicines available, things like Dental fillings, Extractions, Supply of Spectacles, referral cases follow-up etc., can be done.
- One doctor may be earmarked to talk to patients /children in Bal-vikas on Health & Hygiene, Nutrition, bad effects of Smoking, and Alcoholism.
- Veterinary camp - FMD vaccination is done in September to March.
- Physical work- In addition to temple, Church, Mosque cleaning and white washing, other activities like tree planting as advised by Swami (Curry leaves, Drumstick, Neem, Papaya, Guava, Lemon etc) can be taken-up, keeping in mind the utility-angle.
- The programme may end with Pallaki Seva
- Greater interaction and involvement of Local samithi is essential.
2 or 3 Samithis may combine and select a backward, interior village with good interaction and involvement of local samithi. An in depth survey is required. Setting up Bhajana Mandali, subsequent follow-up of such villages where intensive service is done, is desirable.
Flow-chart of steps followed in "Grama Seva"
- Liaison & Survey.
- Manpower - Arrangement.
- Materials - Arrangement.
- Previous Day Visit.
- Grama Seva Day.
- Follow- up Visit.
Details of each of these steps are as follows:
- Identification of village: The village that is chosen should preferably be...
Every Samithi should have a detailed map of the surrounding Districts. Information regarding population size, available Medical facilities, Veterinary services etc. may be obtained from the concerned Mandal Revenue office. City based Samithis may seek the guidance of the concerned District/Mandal Samithis in selecting a village. City based Samithis should request the Samithis near to the village, to get involved in the programme from the survey stage itself.
- Medium sized (Population between 1500-3000).
- Should be relatively away from the main road.
- Absence of Medical/Veterinary service, so that our services are channelised to the most needy.
- It is good to have, a couple of acquaintances in the village.
- Liaison & Survey: The identified village is surveyed. The team leaves early in the morning informing the acquaintances in the village, before-hand. The aim of the survey is to introduce ourselves to the villagers, explain to them why we have come and tell them what we intend to do. The cross section of the villagers to be consulted are: (a) Sarpanch and other elders (b) School teachers (c) Youth (d) Spiritually inclined individuals (e) Temple, Mosque, Church heads - explain to them clearly our respect for all Faiths. During the course of the survey ,the places where the activities are to be conducted, need to be identified.
- School for Medical camp.
- Suitable place for Veterinary camp.
- Suitable place for Balavikas.
- Temple/Mosques/Church-plan for cleaning, white washing etc.
- Tree Planting plan.
- Place for conducting Sports for the Youth.
- Route for Pallaki Seva.
- Centre place for erecting stage for evening cultural programme.
- Finalisation: The date is finalised and arrangements for transport and food are done. (As per Swami's directives we have to make our own arrangements for food and not give, even the least trouble to the villagers). A detailed planning (followed by execution of the plan) is then done of the activities which are contemplated.
- Manpower - Arrangement: A totally committed core team, Doctors (Medical & Veterinary), Balvikas teachers, individuals with special talents - like those good in Monoacting, stage drama, Street play, Stage compering, etc. - add up to the success of the programme. The required no. of Doctors are:
And the required number of Sevadal:
- Eye Specialists - 2.
- Dental Doctors - 1 or 2.
- Lady Doctors - 2.
- Pediatrician - 1.
- General - 2 to 3.
- Veterinary Doctors - 2.
- Pharmacists - 4.
- Medical camp - 10.
- Balavikas - 2.
- Bala vikas teachers - 2.
- Door-to-Door interaction - 6.
- Tree Planting - 9.
- White Washing - 3.
- Cleaning, Levelling - 30.
- Veterinary Camp - 4.
- Material - Arrangement:
- Bhagawan's Photo with garland.
- Neat table cloth.
- Lamps with wick and oil.
- Candle, match box for lighting the lamp.
- Camphor, Agarbhathi, Holders, Vibhuuthi cups.
- Swami's chair with foot rest, kerchief , Small table, A glass of water covered with lid.
- Musical instruments - Kanjira, Cymbals, Harmonium, Tabla, Naal etc.
- Bala Vikas:
- General puja items
- Biscuits, sweets etc. for children.
- Chinna Katha books may be given to the school teachers.
- The Bala Vikas teachers may attempt to identify some interested person who will continue the classes periodically and guide them further, later by post.
- Door-to-Door interaction: Three small plastic boxes containing the following material for the three teams (for interaction on Nutrition, Health & Hygiene & Spirituality).
- Small plastic containers having Ragi, Ragi flour, Soyabeans, Chikki (Groundnut with Jaggery).
- Sample Sai Protein packets with explanatory literature.
- Small posters on health and hygiene, immunization, dangers of tobacco, alcohol.
- Small photos of Bhagawan, Vibhuuthi packets, Hanuman chalisa books etc.
- Veterinary Camp:
- Veterinary medicines/vaccines.
- Small separate kit having puja material and Swami's photo may be given to them since they start their work early.
- Tree planting/white washing/other physical chores:
- Implements like crowbars, Spades, Mud carrying baskets.
- 3 big plastic containers having saplings of Curry leaves, Drumstick etc. 2 small packets of Gamaxene.
- White cement for white washing - about 25 kgs.
- Long sticks with jute tops for white washing.
- Black board paint.
- Medical Camp:
- General - Tent of 18/36ft with 4 side walls & 4 carpets (for patients in-waiting).
- Registration box - Small plastic box having register, out-patient slips, referral letters, pens etc.
- Medicines - in attractive small labeled containers carried in trunks. Empty bottles (50-100), Covers (Small & Big) for dispensing loose medicines, Vibhuthi packets for distribution along with medicines, scissors for cutting strips.
- Eye refraction charts, mirrors.
- B.P. apparatus - 4 no's. stethoscopes - 5 and torches - 5.
- Dental suitcase, having required instruments, Micro-motor, filling material, disposable Gloves, Mask, Sterilizer.
- Basins, Dettol,Savlon, liquid soap, towels.
- Gynaec instruments box.
- Dressing box- Sterile Dressing pads and cotton, bandages, elastoplaster, surgical spirit, Tincture Iodine, Hydrogen peroxide, Scissors, Ointment Soframycin, Suturing Set.
- Emergency injection box with disposable syringes.
- Injections - Adrenaline-Avil-Decadron-Deriphyllin-Perinorm-Buscopan-Diazepam-Voveran-Lasix.
- Volleyball, Net.
- Small prizes - Swami's books, pens etc.
- Pallaki Seva:
- Swami Photo - Pallaki- Decoration flowers - Sarva Dharma Placards - Vibhuthi packets.
- Swami's photos for distribution in houses.
- Hurricane lamps/ Torches.
- Stage Programme:
- General - 12ft/24ft tent, 6 big cots - usually available in villages (6ft/4ft each) with carpet for making an improvised stage, Back drop cloth, Table with Swami's chair with foot rest and small table ,water glass with lid, Sarva Dharma Banner pinned on back drop cloth.
- Lighting and audio systems - 3 Nos. mikes with amplifiers, stands, 3 Nos. focussing lights (Halogen lights), wires and other electrical equipment especially, generator.
- For Bala vikas play - small presentation items to children.
- For doctor's talk - Over head projector with transparencies, small screen(4ft/6ft).
- For Drama/Magic Show - Artist's required items, Back ground cloth.
- For Film show - Slide projector with arranged slides/ LCD Projector with Video Cassette/CD.
- Miscellaneous items: Banners, Country twine, Mango leaves, Tool kit having, Nails Cello tapes etc.
- Previous Day Visit: A small team of 10 members may reach the village a day prior to the main programme to create the required atmosphere in the village and to complete works like:
- Transport of articles.
- Tying of banners, erection of tents.
- Cleaning all places of activity.
- Creating a festive look at all places of activity - tying Mango leaves, displaying relevant catch saying of Bhagawan etc.
- Arrangements in Doctor's rooms - neatly arranged tables. Each table should be covered with a clean white cloth and should have all required items like Torch, Stethoscope, B.P apparatus, paper weights, lists of drugs folder. Eye doctor's room should have Refraction charts and mirrors. Dental Doctor's room should have Sterilizer connected to power source or stove with basin to sterilize the instruments.It is ideal if one or two Doctor's can join this team and do Medical check-up and treatment of the school children. Children with special problems may be given referral slips to the main camp on the next day. A small, simple talk on Health and Hygiene may be given to these children in a loving way. The children are also briefed about the next day Bal Vikas programme so that they come enthusiastically and look forward to the programme. This team may do Bhajan along with the villagers in the evening and stay back for the night.
- Grama Seva Day: The main team should ideally leave early in the morning, latest by 6.00 am, since the journey may take 1-3 hours.
- Simple break fast may be served in the bus itself.
- The programme coordinator delegates the work to the volunteers.
- On reaching the village, all the members should quickly assemble in the tent erected near the Medical Camp in the school, for Bhajan.
- Many villagers usually wait here, for Medical consultation and they're encouraged to sit with us for Bhajan. The village head is generally asked to light the lamp.
- The Bhajan is brief, for 10 minutes, after which the members go for their respective activities. The villagers are requested to join the SevaDal in Physical work, like tree planting, white washing, road cleaning etc.
- Devotees in 'Q' regulation in Medical camp should be very courteous and polite and should not lose their temper under any circumstances.
- Health & Hygiene - Simple things like importance of keeping the house and surrounding clean, throwing wastes in a common dug pit, (serves as source of manure in course of time), keeping both cooked and uncooked things always covered to prevent access to houseflies, teaching proper ways of cleaning hands after going to toilet, encouraging them to use Slippers (especially for children), creating awareness about timely immunization of their children, explaining the harmful effects of Tobacco, alcohol etc., all these topics are good. For any detailed clarification, they may be asked to meet our Doctors in Medical camp.
- Nutrition - Demonstration, with practical kits to convince them about, (a) Low cost Nutritious foods, within available resources - especially to be fed to children, pregnant and feeding mothers. (b) Absence of justification to take Non-veg food.
- The Nutritious foods that can be told about are:
- Ragi - Ragi flour gruel with sugar, Ragi roti or a preparation called Ambali, - usually known to villagers. Ragi is rich in protein and very rich in calcium. It's especially useful for growing children.
- Soyabeans - Very rich in proteins. It can be soaked overnight in water, cooked the next day (like rice) and light fried (not compulsory). It is tasty and is especially useful for growing children.
- Soya flour can be mixed with wheat flour (say in ratio of 1:5) for making chapatis.
- Sai Protein - 4 parts of Roasted wheat, 2 parts of Channa dal, 1 part of Ground nut, All mixed and made as flour, mixed in 2 parts of Sugar or Jaggery. Can be stored in bottles and given daily mixed with water and milk. It is very rich especially in protein.
- Spirituality: Informal discussion on importance of individual prayer, family prayer, and community Bhajan. The efficacy of Namasmarana while crop harvesting or during periods of crisis in the village or periods of individual sickness has to be stressed with conviction.
- Swami's photos, Vibhuthi packets, Hanuman Chalisa Books, Likhitha Japa books etc., may be given to those interested.
- All activities are simultaneously stopped for 20-30 minutes at 1.30 p.m. and lunch is served at a common place.
- Medical activities Registration are generally closed at 3 p.m. so that the camp can end by 4 p.m.
- Sports for Youth is generally held between 4-5 p.m.
- Decoration of the Pallaki and other arrangements for Pallaki Seva and Cultural Programmes starts by 4 P.M. Pallaki seva is usually for 1 hour from 5.30 P.M. to 6.30P.M. depending on the season.
- Stage Cultural programme is generally from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
- Grama Seva concludes with Harathi to Bhagawan and vibhuti distribution at 9.00 p.m.
- Follow-up Visit: A follow-up visit may be planned the next week to...
- Get a feedback about our programme - Our short falls, deficiencies and lapses, if any.
- Distribution of spectacles to those prescribed by the Eye Doctors.
- Explore the possibility of opening a Bhajana Mandali.
- Invite the villagers to come to the programmes at our main centres. Guidance should be given for those interested in going to PUTTAPARTHI for Bhagawan's Darshan.
- A few selected individuals, especially youth may be made subscribers to Sanathana Sarathi from our side for one year.
- One or two individuals may be identified who can continue conducting Bal Vikas classes and they may be guided by post by our Bal Vikas Teachers.
- A full-fledged visit may be planned to the same village after a gap of 6 months.
- NOTE - Discussion on politics, different religions, different saints, may please be avoided and no commitments may please be made.