A funny title you may think? The last two weeks of my YfS programme have been inspiring to say the least. Inspiring because I have realised that it is the not the end, rather the beginning of my journey ahead to be a Sevak for my society.
In the two weeks before, I was involved in the paperwork and training for one of my projects under Spread Some Joy: to be a Wellbeing friend.
As part of the services offered by the Slough Council Volunteering Scheme, this role involves having weekly conversations with individuals who are self-isolating over the
phone in their preferred language and spending time listening and talking them to ease the impact of the pandemic. Through this role I can help to identify any problems that individuals might be experiencing, notify the wellbeing team and council of these issues, and ensure clients understand the latest government advice.
This is a project I will certainly be continuing over the lockdown period, as it truly has helped to spread joy to those who need it more than ever now. I managed to have my first calls this week and can’t wait to carry on!
05/08 was truly an amazing day and I had been working on organising this event the weeks before. We went to deliver an appreciation parcel at the Applegarth Care Home and had invited the High Sheriff of Berkshire, Mary Riall, to attend as well.
It was a privilege to discuss with her all the fabulous work the local Sewa Day team had gotten up to over the COVID19 pandemic and for her to see us in action as we gave the appreciation parcels to the care workers.
I had even contacted the local newspaper to arrive so that there is further outreach for our work; and the family who had made the parcel so the children could also see how their work is spreading joy.
It was all worth it for the care workers to then say: “thank you for thinking of us.”
The Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the duty of care, the obligation to serve those in need, and celebrates the relationships we hold dear to one another. During these unprecedented times, the value of community spirit has proved to be necessary more than ever. We have seen the spirit of humanity come together with selfless service, breaking down barriers, and embodying in full the essence of the Hindu value of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum, “the whole world is one family.” This is a central pillar of our work at Sewa Day and to express our gratitude for the tremendous support and care that our key workers have provided to keep us and our communities safe, we have extended the ethos of our festival and even tied Rakhis on our care workers!
At this visit, I tied the Rakhi (sacred thread of protection) on the care home manager and the High Sheriff.
The appreciation parcel drive continued and so did our Raksha Bandhan campaign, with a total of twelve care homes having received parcels and booklets over the six weeks.
As the end of the programme draws near and I am seeing my efforts falling in place, I can confidently say that I have changed over the past six weeks. This truly is not the end! It is the beginning of a lifetime worth of contributing and serving the society.
My whole motivation for doing the six-week internship was to learn what it means to be a Karma Yogi.
One who recognises the Oneness in all of us and serves it. One who works, as his work is his devotion.
I have realised that Sewa is not some concept that is out-there and it definitely is not mere charity. It is to serve the wholeness in others and it is to develop yourself.
To remove your individuality and to realise that the one who you are serving is also serving you too. And that you two are on the journey together to break the barrier of ego between.
I am grateful to the mentors and the leaders of this scheme, who have shown me how to lead a lifetime of Sewa. Who have taught me how to change my mindset and for teaching me more about myself than I had ever thought.