The second wave of COVID-19 has devastated India. Ever since the second wave of the pandemic started, the healthcare system in India has been teetering on the brink, with many hospitals unable to handle the relentless inflow of patients whilst also running short of beds, oxygen cylinders and other essentials. In these trying times, many brands and organisations have stepped forward to help India.
One such NGO which has been at the forefront in extending crucial help at the time of this crisis is RSS affiliate Sewa Bharti. As the first wave of the pandemic, this time too, the RSS offshoot has been working relentlessly, extending its helping hand to the needy at the time of this crisis.
While the NGO has been working tirelessly, Neha Dixit, a journalist working for leftist media outlets like ‘The Wire’ and ‘Caravan’ has taken to Twitter to cast aspersions on the RSS offshoot. Dixit, in her Tweet, claims that Sewa International “traffics children from tribal areas to indoctrinate them”, besides “supporting the BJP govt’s massive crimes”.
For the uninitiated, Rashtriya Sewa Bharti and Sewa International both are part of the same non-profit organisation affiliated to RSS. While Rashtriya Sewa Bharti operates nationally, Sewa International has volunteers working both in the US and India, coordinating the work of raising funds, procuring medical equipment supplies, and getting these to hospitals and institutions.
We at OpIndia got in touch with Sewa Bharti’s Delhi chapter head Ramesh Agarwal, who opined that Sewa Bharti remains unfettered by such frivolous claims. “Such propaganda and lies do not affect us”, said Agarwal furthering: “we are not mulling any action against the journalist, in fact, Sewa Bharti takes no notice of such flippant remarks”.
Sewa Bharti is a philanthropic organisation that beliefs in “Sewa/serving people”. “We believe our work speaks for us”. Agarwal said that Sewa Bharti volunteers’ have been taught to ignore and move on. “Woh kya kehte hain hume koi farak nahi padta. Hum choti line ke sammne badi line khichne mein viswaas rakhte hain”. (we are not affected by what such people say. We believe in karma. Our work automatically puts them in place), said Agarwal.
It becomes imperative to note here that ‘The Wire’ journalist had in 2016 also written an article for The Outlook where she had accused the two Sangh outfits, namely Rashtra Sevika Samiti and Sewa Bharati of tricking and trafficking 31 young tribal girls from Assam to Punjab and Gujarat to ‘Hinduise’ them.
Though Sewa Bharti chose not to respond riled social media users were in no mood to spare the leftist writer. They schooled Dixit for spreading blatent lies about an organisation which has been genuinely working endlessly in Delhi and across the country helping people in distress amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shame on you. SEWA Intl USA is a bonafide organization with highly committed people. In the past, I’ve seen their work with Bhutanese refugees & during Hurricane Harvey when they rebuilt houses. They’ve been recognized for their awesome work. People have complete faith in them!— Sahana Singh (@singhsahana) May 5, 2021
Like RSS, SEWA is one of the most trustworthy organizations.— Hemant Patel (@hpatel1225) May 4, 2021
Meanwhile, speaking about the relief work Sewa Bharti has been carrying out during the second wave of the pandemic, Ramesh Agarwal informed that the NGO has started “Pranavayu Sewa” facilities outside many Delhi hospitals for patients critically in need of oxygen.
Under this initiative, the NGO has converted hundreds of APML’s Household Trucks as Portable Medical Vans to provide oxygen to the people under the supervision of experienced medical staff.
The oxygen van facility provided by Sewa Bharti has four beds installed in the cargo container, along with the arrangement of oxygen cylinders, masks and other essentials. This entire campaign has been named “Oxygen Service, Pranavayu Aapke Dwar”.
Outside the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, on the very first day of this service, within a few hours, corona patients who were in need of immediate oxygen supply started benefitting from it.
This initiative aims to provide the necessary oxygen supply to COVID patients from the time they reach the hospital premises till the time they get a bed in the ward.
Sewa Bharti is soon preparing to take this arrangement to many other hospitals in Delhi.
Besides, the organisation is also providing home delivery of oxygen cylinders at the doorstep of the Covid-19 patients who are under home isolation. Though this service is absolutely free, the organisation is collecting a nominal amount as a refundable deposit for the safety of the cylinders.
While the outfit is truely doing a comendable job by providing oxygen to needy patients as Delhi is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen due to which many patients lost their lives, this is not the only relief work undertaken by the NGO.
We reported how Sewa Bharti cadres stood resolute with the refugee families at the Majnu Ka Tila camp at the time of the crisis. During the conversation with OpIndia, the refugee families discussed their problems, struggles, challenges and how they have been facing them. However, they also said that they have not received any help from the AAP government. They confirmed that the people from RSS and Seva Bharti helped them from the beginning and continued to provide support even during the pandemic.
Sewa Bharati, the social service wing of RSS
The organisation Sewa Bharati is headquartered in Delhi, from where the relief work is being carried out across the country. From distributing food packets to manufacturing masks at war footing and reaching out and distributing at places facing a scarcity to distributing bed sheets and blankets to providing basic medicines, Sewa Bharati cadres have been in the forefront in extending crucial help to the needy at the time of this pandemic. Moreover, almost 2.10 lakh cadres have been reaching out to the remotest corners of the country in order to extend their assistance.
Sewa Bharati running 45 kitchens in Delhi alone
Almost 5,000 cadres have been feeding 75,000 Delhiites on a daily basis. So far the food they are providing is made out of 45 kitchens spread across Delhi. Once the food packets are ready, their zonal teams distribute them among the needy in their area.
Sewa Bharati has also been distributing milk and beverages to patients and hospital staff at Coimbatore Medical College Hospital in the morning, according to Mr Ramanathan.
45 kitchens of Sewa Bharati are functioning in Delhi alone. The advice of doctors and government is also being taken care of while rendering these services. Social distancing is being followed. All the volunteers have been instructed to wear masks and gloves along with frequent usage of hand sanitizer while distributing as well as preparing the food at the kitchen.
Their cadres are also collaborating with temple trusts like the Jhandewalan Temple in the national capital where hundreds and thousands of meals are served each day.