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Navaratri is the Dharmic Time of Giving: SewaDiwali Seeks to Address Hunger in America

Navaratri is the Dharmic Time of Giving: SewaDiwali Seeks to Address Hunger in America

  • With the belief, “service to humanity is service to divinity,” the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA is coordinating efforts to fend off hunger during this festive season.

The fall season has just begun. Gradually the days will start getting shorter and the nights longer. The law of nature takes its own turn, seasons come and go, bringing newness every time, performing their duties consistently all the time. Nature never forgets its own principles and nor does karma (action), i.e., to give everything in abundance so that human life can survive and cherish. Will it be possible for humans to be like nature?

Meeting one’s own minimum needs and thriving to put an effort in fulfilling the same for others is only possible if we take less from society and give more back to society. “SewaDiwali” is an attempt to bring that change in society. The great Saint Swami Vivekananda said, “It is a privilege to serve mankind, for this is the worship of God. God is here in all these human souls.”

Diwali is a festival celebrated worldwide, filled with joy, celebrated by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, collectively referred to as Dharmic communities. During this festival, communities worldwide will embrace the festival’s theme of renewal and prosperity. Themes of good vs. evil, appreciation of Dharmic culture, and, most importantly, the experience of giving abundantly to society.

 SewaDiwali is a combined initiative by Dharmic communities, temples, gurudwaras, linguistic, and Indian socio-cultural organizations that celebrate Diwali. Their motto is “Service to Humanity is Service to Divinity.”

SewaDiwali is a combined initiative by Dharmic communities, temples, gurudwaras, linguistic, and Indian socio-cultural organizations that celebrate Diwali.

Data shows that in America six out of seven children don’t get sufficient food per day, 23.8% of children live below the poverty line, 45%of stamp users are children, etc. The most developed county in the world is still struggling with food insecurity and the problem grows every year. While the Indian American community is less than 3% of the American population, it is among the well-established ethnic communities. And SewaDiwali is an attempt to fulfill our responsibility by donating food to those who need it the most.

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Being a part of this effort over the last 4 years, I have seen kids and teenagers standing outside the grocery stores, running door-door campaigns, adults and young running food drives, 13-year-olds running the Facebook campaigns, 5-year-olds standing with banners, etc. This made me realize there is much more that needs to be done.

In 2021, in 32 states, 300+organizations 5,000+ volunteers collected 6,00,000 lbs. of food and donated to 300+ beneficiaries in more than 250+ townships across the region coordinated nationally by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA. As compared to the issue this seems small, but the contribution is incredible. If every family today plans to take care of just one family in America, not a single child will ever go to bed without a proper meal.

SewaDiwali starts every year on the first day of Navaratri (a period of nine days celebrating the Divine Feminine) and ends two weeks after Diwali. Sewa Diwali Team welcomes everyone’s participation in this project and experiencing first-hand joy in sharing. For more information, please visit https://sewadiwali.org, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SewaDiwali and a SewaDiwali Youtube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E-ZsTQBwGGprSCa-3uSkA

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The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
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