Recently, Mathrubhumi TV journalist Smruthy Paruthikad had to cut a sorry figure while anchoring a phone-in programme — with Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan answering the callers’ questions – when one of the callers complained that the anchor had disconnected his call after he mentioned Seva Bharati’s name. The caller said he had several health complications and due to lockdown he couldn’t get medicines. The Seva Bharati workers delivered them home. The caller also said he had to hide his identity to get the call through.
The hostile media of Kerala had tried every trick in the trade to demean and demonise Seva Bharati, the RSS inspired service organisation, which is undertaking a massive social service initiative of providing food and medicines to people reeling under lockdown.
Seva Bharati has opened 2300 centres to distribute food and other essential items to deserving people across the state. It has lined up 33072 activists to undertake the distribution, making it the largest social service organisation in the state. While carrying out this mammoth service activity, they never discriminate anyone on caste, creed or religious basis. A few photographs shared widely on social media testify this: When anti-CAA protests were raging some Muslim families in Northern Kerala had pasted notices at their gates, saying ‘no entry for those who support CAA’. In many such houses, Seva Bharati volunteers supplied drinking water and other essential items.
On what drives Seva Bharati volunteers to undertake such massive service activities, senior RSS leader J Nandakumar said, “The Sangh believes in the Sanatana Dharma ideal – Maanav Seva Madhav Seva (serving humanity is serving god) and our second sarsanghchalak Guruji had always stressed upon this point.” For instance, in his Bunch of Thoughts, Guruji writes: “In service no distinction should be made between man and man. We have to serve all, be he a Christian, or a Muslim or a human being of any persuasion; for, calamities, distress and misfortunes make no distinction but affect all alike. And in serving to relieve the sufferings of man let it not be in a spirit of condescension or mere compassion but as devoted worship of the Lord abiding in the heart of all beings, in true spirit of our dharma of surrendering our all in the humble service of Him who is Father, Mother, Brother, Friend and Everything to us all.”
About nine Seva Bharati activists lost their lives while trying to rescue people affected by the 2018 floods in Kerala. About a thousand modern houses were constructed for victims of the floods, whereas the state government is yet to keep its promise of giving houses to flood-hit poor.
Amazed by the silent social service rendered by Seva Bharati workers, Ali Akbar, noted film director, writes: “The Sangh builds houses for poor but no one will come to know about it — because they don’t publicise it. Once I asked them: ‘Why don’t you publicise such activities. They said: What we do is Manava Seva: This is our duty and dharma. That is not something to be publicized. Yes, that is their karma (duty)’…. A hundred documentaries can be made on them but they won’t give a chance….Despite insults (rivals call them cowdung Sanghis), they continue their work, silently.”
Many eminent personalities have come forward to support the Seva Bharati. Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s wife Sudha Murthy, actors Suresh Gopi and Mohanlal are some of them.