Saturday May 8, 2020: 1,000 plus needy individuals served with groceries for two weeks – this is a moment of happiness for our volunteers with tears of accomplishment in their eyes. When we closed the first request from a family on 13th April from Rabale in Navi Mumbai, we all were happy to serve 3 family members in this hour of crisis. Thereafter there was no looking back. All VSM volunteers, be it of any age group just joined hands in this noble cause without any expectations of getting personal recognition at any moment. Drop by drop the pond got filled in the same manner, even the smallest work done by any of us was beneficial in achieving the larger goal of serving the humanity.To know more about our journey so far, Click here.
A team took shape in no time to solve the cases of requests coming in to provide groceries, medicines or other necessities like milk for toddlers or pregnant ladies. There rose a couple of coordinators to galvanize these efforts. A platoon of volunteers was assigned cases for verification and serving them groceries. Several SoPs (Standard operating procedures), google forms were developed to give it a shape of standard operating practices. Then there came in eager and proactive calls from donors to support this activity through their own contributions. A few like-minded organisations also came forward to help us in this endeavour. Many of our friends and colleagues from workplaces joined us in this noble task either by way of contributions or time for voluntary activities. A support group comprising of our volunteers who are Chartered accounts, accountants, fund-raisers, writers and social media experts have rendered their services in keeping this work in proper shape. Together, all of us could serve our Bharatiya brothers and sisters in need in the hour of crisis and the work will continue till the normalcy prevails.
On this day, we were reminded of a letter given to us all volunteers by one of the founding organisers of VSM Prof. Suresh Nakhare, more than 15 years ago. Wherein he had mentioned that this is a bunch of swayamsevaks (volunteers) who want to give the credit to others of their work in an age when people want to take credit of other’s efforts. From allocating a case, to funding it and confirming that needy receives what their requirement is totally done by volunteers sitting in different corners the state and at times different cities across the globe. Here, we again would like to mention what Nakahre sir had said there are no inquiries on why only one should do this work or what is the need of this, once a volunteer is allocated one particular work he/she is seen doing it with full dedication without any doubts in his/her mind.
Volunteers are learning a thing or a two from each other and preserving their individuality by adding their positive inputs wherever needed. As Swami Vivekananda had said- “Learn everything that is good for others, but bring it in, and in your own way absorb it; do not become others. ” We are not merely learning from each other but we are growing as individuals with the experience we are gaining by talking with these needy people. In the world, which is full of greed, we find these needy individuals who are in turn ready to help others by sharing whatever little they have with them. We are glad to have served people from all corners of Maharashtra and some parts of Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.
We fondly get inspiration from Ramayana, wherein the Vanar Sena built this huge bridge across the ocean with the help of small contributions from each one with the chant of Prabhu Shri Ram. Likewise, we believe Bharat will come out of this COVID-19 crisis with gigantic efforts of us all dedicated to the almighty. Ours is a small contribution in this gigantic task to build the bridges to the broken lives of some of the disadvantaged brothers and sisters. As rightly pointed by legendary businessman Ratan Tata – “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together.” Thus, we are walking together to serve more people with a positivity in our hearts during this crisis.