Another social activity undertaken by all the centres is to empower women with skills to enable them to becoming earring members of society. Beauticians and sewing courses are conducted on a regular basis and graduating batches are gifted with equipment to help them become self-employed. 15 women were given hair cutting equipment, all necessary materials to do facials, waxing, beauty treatments etc., and 13 women were gifted with sewing machines.
Ahmedabad Defenders, Special Olympics Gujarat Charitable Trust and Ashirvad Centre for the Disabled organised a Charity Run for Unity in the presence of senior officials from the social organisations. From the 60 participants (all challenged with mental health problems), winners were given cash prizes.
Assistance to Disabled Persons
On 21st January, 2019, Raj Saubhag Ashram’s Ashirwad Center for the Disabled organized a ceremony to distribute self-employment tools and appliances to people with disabilities. This activity was supported by Wagh Bakri Tea Group as part of their CSR activity. A total of 102 people challenged with various disabilities were provided with self-employment tool-kits like auto parts toolkit, carpentry, cobbler and computer repairing kit, toolkits for women to run beauty parlours and hair saloons; or earn money providing sewing services. Disabled men were provided with cycle repairing kit, masonry kit, hand carts to gain employment as vegetable vendors or start tea stalls. This assistance goes a long way in making them self-sufficient, earn a living and support themselves. Such voluntary contributions enhance social justice and go a long way in restoring self-worth of the unfortunate souls weighed down by twin ordeals – disability and poverty.
Pujya Bhaishree gave away the self-employment tools, while kindly and graciously encouraging every soul, warming their hearts with his empathy. Present at the occasion were executive director Shri Paragbhai Desai, CEO Shri Saurabhbhai Solanki, company secretary Shri Dineshbhai Patel, chief secretary of Blind people’s association Dr. Punani, executive director Smt. Nandiniben Rawal, Vimalben, director of Sense International-India Shri Akhil Paul and mumukshus of Raj Saubhag Ashram.
On a beautiful morning of 23rd December, thanks to the support from Pallaviben and Parushbhai Shah (UK-based mumukshus), an aids and appliances support camp was organized by Raj Saubhag Ashram in Botad. On the grounds of Mansi Farm House, 511 people were gifted wheel chairs, artificial limbs, crutches, C.P chair, tricycles, hearing aids etc according to their disability and requirements.
Pujya Bhaishree, Shri Atmanandji Swami (Bhajanand Ashram, Botad), donors Parushbhai and Pallaviben, Sarojben, Prafulbhai, Sheyera, Lara and mumukshus of Raj Saubhag Ashram graced the occasion.
Prior to the support camp, a tremendous amount of work has already been carried out in the form of identifying the target areas (which is often close to 100 villages) where the underprivileged are in need of support equipment, organizing diagnostic camps with in-house doctors to identify the disability and requirements, meticulously documenting the medical conditions and then finally distributing the equipment and training the recipients about how to use these support aids. The mumukshus applaud and are indebted to the selfless service provided by the healthcare workers.
Support Camp 1
On 23rd of December 2017, Mumbai-based donors Varjivandas Shah family and Raj Saubhag Ashram organized an aid and equipment support camp for the disabled in Verawal.
A total of 405, disabled people were provided wheelchairs, tricycles, artificial limbs, hearing aids, calipers and educational kit for the mentally challenged pupils, and other equipment to help them cope with on-going or recurring physical disabilities. All equipment was given free of cost.
In the first week of November 2017, 9 volunteers from Ashirwad Trust for the Disabled, Sayla surveyed 40 villages, distributed pamphlets, encouraged people to have their disabilities assessed during two diagnostic camp held in Shri Shantinath Jain Derasar on the 16th-17th of November and Navdurga Mataji Mandir in the last week of November. The volunteers required 9 days to reach most of the families in these 40 villages.
Doctors then arrived a fortnight after the survey team finished the initial task. During the diagnostic camp, the patients were assessed and their requirements noted.
On the 23rd of December, the entire support staff, doctors, volunteers and donors arrived to ensure that the equipment was handed over to the patient and he/she was advised about usage of the equipment. Among the equipment distributed were tricycles, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, crutches, C P walkers, hearing aids, surgical shoes and educational kits.
Support camps for the disabled have been known to provide immense relief to patients twice-cursed – by disease and by poverty.
Support Camp 2
A total of 127 villages like Kankarej, Radhanpur, Harij, and Disa from Patan Zilla were surveyed and 400 people were shortlisted at the diagnostic camp and 322 disabled poor people were given aids and appliances according to their needs.
Support Camp 3
Location – Dhanera, Banakantha, Palanpur
Several Indian families living in the UK chose to sponsor a support camp for the disabled in Banakantha. Heavy floods, where 10-feet deep water collected in residential areas, causing heavy monetary loss and damage to property and equipment, had struck this region earlier.
Volunteers from Ashirwad Trust for the Disabled, Sayla surveyed Disa, Dantiwada, Lakhani and Tharad talukas. Diagnostic camps were held in Shri Ramchandra Savrajbhai Shah Hospital
Over 404 disabled people were provided wheelchairs, tricycles, artificial limbs, hearing aids among others. A month before the actual camp was to be held; about 55-60 villages were surveyed by 7 volunteers, who camped in the region for a week. Following a standard operating procedure, the diagnostic camp was held about a fortnight after the survey team completed their assignment. The doctors shortlisted the patients and their requirements, and the final support camp is organized in the presence of donors.
Raj Saubhag Ashram thanks donors – Dr. Bhupenbhai and Neetaben Mehta, Nanalal Katariya, Kantaben Katariya, Bhanumati Kataria, Satishbhai Katariya, and Laxmiben and Manjuben Popat family for supporting such a noble cause.
Distribution of Mobility Appliances to Flood Victims in Banaskantha & Patan Districts
29th August 2017
The late monsoon rainfalls in India have been very heavy and have taken their toll in several states of India. North Gujarat and particularly, Banas Kantha has suffered from severe flooding.
Blind People’s Association along with with Shree Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal and support from the social workers from Palanpur had surveyed 127 villages from the Patan and Banaskantha districts’ (talukas of Kankrej, Radhanpur, Haarij and Disa). They examined the appliances distributed previously by Raj Saubhag to about 400 disabled persons, 315 of them were deemed to require replacement appliances which included tricycles, wheel chairs, crutches callipers, mobility sticks etc.
The mobility appliance distribution took place at Thara, in Kankrej Taluka of Banaskantha District on Tuesday 29th August. Param Pujya Bhaishree and Pujya Vikrambhai had graced the occasion. Smt Nandiniben Raval, Executive Director BPA, had hosted the distribution program.
The total cost of the 315 appliances and 7 education kits was almost Rs 14 lacs. Raj Saubhag India had contributed Rs 5 lacs and Raj Saubhag UK Rs 2 lacs towards the total cost.
Shree Raj Saubhag is planning another mobility appliance distribution camp in Banakantha district in January 2018.
Viklang Sadhan Vitran Camp
23rd Dec 2016
An aids and appliances support camp was sponsored by Dubai based mumukshus - Vipulbhai and Deepaliben Kothari on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. They dedicated the handicapped support camp to their parents - (Late) Ramnikbhai and Taruben Kothari. Taruben was present at the event. Here below they share their experience:
We ended a divine tirth yatra day with great memories of Param Pujya Bhaishree’s sanidhya and vibrations. By evening I was feeling little sad that dharma yatra had come to an end but little did I realize that the next day at Viklang Sadhan Sahay Camp (support camp for the handicapped) would be the biggest of dharma-yatra of my life.
The morning began with blessings from Pujya Bhaishree and privilege of chaitya vandan and puja at great Jhagadia Jain Tirth with Pujya Gurudev. After a satvik breakfast, the entire Sayla parivar left for village Asa, a small village of probably less than few thousand population, approximately an hour’s drive from Jhagadia. Due to bad road condition, we got little delayed but could feel samtabhav (equanimity) of Pujya Bhaishree, who is usually very particular about punctuality.
On reaching the campsite at Nirlobhi Ashram site, we were overwhelmed by the cordial welcome given to us by the entire community including the volunteers. The event opened with a beautiful recitation of a stuti (prayer).
The entire team of volunteers of Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled, Sayla, under the leadership of Rambhai Jadav had worked tirelessly for over 2 months, coordinating and facilitating this mammoth event.
Warmly welcoming Pujya Bhaishree and mumukshus of Raj Saubhag Ashram, Sayla, Jadavbhai applauded the role of Late Shri Arunbhai in initiating such support camps for the disabled and ensuring its continued success.
Pujya Bhaishree blessed all the souls present, especially the “divyang’s” (differently-abled divine souls) who would be beneficiaries of the sadhan vitran camp and wished them improvement in their and their families’ lives and urged them to use the equipment for upliftment of their physical, emotional and social well-being.
Pujya Vikrambhai very aptly said that “divyang’s” should not worry or be withdrawn about their physical limitations since it is not physical challenges that hold back a person from reaching his potential but the mental blocks which is the real cause of concern.
The efforts of the Ashram’s team of volunteers over a 2-month period involved the survey of almost 150 villages around Bharuch, and identifying 700 potential needy persons from which final 475 were shortlisted to be the beneficiaries of the handicapped aid camp. The poor people would receive equipment like wheel chairs, hand cycle, crutches, hearing aid, prosthetic limb etc depending on their specific need.
So elaborate and meticulous were the efforts and planning that every part of the camp and distribution was very precisely executed. The beneficiaries and their families were also so disciplined that despite large number of beneficiaries and their accompanying family members, the distribution of aid and equipment in respective tents went off in perfectly planned manner. All the visitors, beneficiaries with their accompanying family members were then treated with a delicious lunch organized at the camp venue.
We were so overcome with joy due to the love and affection of all and of-course a very well planned / executed and disciplined approach of everyone including volunteers and beneficiaries, that words fail me. It wasextreme satisfaction and gratitude that me and my family experienced when we saw a sparkle in eyes of the beneficiaries a they received the equipment and their happiness that now their lives would now be much better.
We truly were fortunate to have been able to witness and participate in this noble activity that the Ashram carries on without discrimination of any caste / creed / religion / beliefs of the beneficiaries, with one simple motto of helping someone in need. I am sure “prabhu krupa” and “sadguru krupa” was bestowed on us to enable us to be a part, albeit a very small, of this vitran camp. This camp opened our eyes to the hardships and difficulties that many have to go through and sometimes for very small matters or lack of support; and how fortunate we have been probably due to our past karmas.
Our hearts go out to all those who suffer due to their physical or mental shortcomings or lack of resources and deeply feel that we should continue on this journey further to assist in whatever small way that we can to lend a helping hand to others to overcome their sufferings.
We bow down to Pujya Bhaishree, Pujya Vikrambhai and also entire team of Sayla ashram to make us realize that “manav seva” is the best form of “Prabhu seva” and in that sense this was probably the biggest of “dharma yatra” that we have ever been to.
Vipul Kothari, Chartered Accountant, Dubai
A team of seven staff members from the National Association for the Blind (NAB) – Kashmir visited Ashirvad Trust for the Disabled (ATD), Sayla on 21st March, 2016 to learn from the extensive experience of ATD team in working with rural and backward regions of the country.
Warmly welcoming the team from Kashmir, staff of Ashirvad trust offered comprehensive training for various activities like:
· Community -based rehabilitation
· Role of the field worker, especially in rural and backward areas
· Role and functioning of CBR workers, supervisors and recourse persons
· How to survey and compile relevant information regarding types of disabilities, rehabilitation, personal visits from village to village; how to counsel and convince the villagers to send their wards for education and training.
The team was also taken to 5 villages including – Dhandalpur, Boondiya wada, Dhajad, Titoda and Avangadh, for a first hand experience of dealing with the rural poor. They were trained to meet and coordinate with the village Sarpanch (head), organize Self- Help Group meetings and employment fairs.
The team was also taken to Dhajala village’s Usha Silai School for the Disabled and taught to interact with the disabled women in the school.
NAB Kashmir staff members were then taken to Gundiyawada Disabled Persons Home and trained to compile information about various (State) Government Schemes and National Trust Schemes offered to the disabled.
NAB Kashmir members were extremely grateful for the generous and whole-hearted support and training offered to them by the staff at Ashirvad Trust, Sayla.