Sevalaya runs the Swami Vivekananda Boys’ Home and Mother Teresa Girls Home for orphans, poor and destitute children. At present these homes shelter about 200 children. These homes provide food, shelter, education, opportunities for skill development and talent promotion in an atmosphere of love and care.
The children are provided support and are taken care of until the y become independent and can be self-reliant. Many of the children from the Children’s Home are now well settled in life, pursuing careers in diverse fields such as qualified mechanics, artisans, bank officers, nurses, software professionals, etc. In fact, none of the alumnus of Sevalaya is unemployed!
Sevalaya is doing work in ensuring the good health of the Children’s Home residents. In addition, there are comprehensive playing facilities for the children. This again abides by Swami Vivekananda’s dictum that a good game of football can do as much to the awakening of the spirit as reading of the Gita.
The residents of the Children’s Home are instilled with a sense of social responsibility by interacting with the residents of the Old Age Home. They also get to understand their responsibility towards sustainable environment by learning organic farming and other eco-friendly initiatives. All these together make them confident, well- rounded citizens of the future.
Our aim is to make the children self-reliant, and we support them till they are on their own. We support their higher studies in ITI / Jr. College and beyond, till they find suitable employment. We constantly identify special talents (e.g., music, arts) in our children and encourage them in developing their talents. 198 of them are working in Private concerns (including MNC’s in various capacities). 1 is working as Police and 32 are employed as teachers.
Inter Religious Harmony
With Gandhiji, Bharathiyar and Swami Vivekananda as our inspiration, respect for all religions is our creed. Our objective is that while all the children should follow the faith in which they are born, they should learn the essence of all religions. They are regularly taken to places of worship of different religions and they also celebrate festivals of all religions. Their daily prayer includes hymns and recitations from different religions. Our aim is to foster faith in God and not propagate religions.
Sevalaya invites experts from various professions and walks of life to enlighten our students, particularly those in higher classes , about the various opportunities available and the courses they need to pursue. This serves as a great learning opportunity for them and leads them to recognize what they are really passionate about and what they should pursue as their careers.
Before the advent of Sevalaya the only employment known to people in the villages nearby was labour in farm and Brick-kilns. With the services available at Sevalaya, hundreds of village youth have been decently employed by Sevalaya in its various activities, and we have managed to provide 160 jobs so far.
OLD AGE HOME
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Old Age Home was inaugurated on 2nd Feb 2002. It is a home for the destitute and poor senior citizens with a difference. They participate, in whatever little way they can, in the activities of this self reliant community. We have a home that is designed to accommodate 80 senior citizens.
We have an open house programe called Nila Mutram every Saturday when the staff and hostel children spend the evening at the open grounds. The children sing , dance and enact skits and the staff tell the children interesting stories and anecdotes from the lives of Bharathi, Gandhiji and Swamy Vivekananda.
A new concept of an integrated campus has been implemented in Kasuva under which 25 destitute children and 25 destitute senior citizens are housed in the same campus. This provides an opportunity of bonding among them and spreads smiles in the Campus.
Mahatma Gandhi Free Medical Center provides health-care for the children and staff at the Children’s and Old Age Home. A full-time Nurse and doctor manage the center which is also open for all the people from neighboring villages and provides medical facilities free-of-cost.
Periodic health camps are conducted by this center with a team of specialists visiting and conducting check-ups. Follow-up action is taken by the nurse .We have an average of 150 patients visiting the center each week. The center also administers/distributes medicines. During the current year, we plan to introduce the system of Indigenous Medicines in accordance with Gandhian Ideals and grow medicinal plants on our Farm.
SOLAR POWER HARVESTING :
Solar light/heat is undependable massive energy source. Technological efforts are still on to convert this abundant energy to meet our total needs. When the power situation in Tamilnadu was grim and erratic through the conventional sources and when the need for energy surpassed the increased efforts of the Government, Sevalaya turned to Natural Non-conventional Energy source to meet its entire needs.
Our dream to electrify the entire Sevalaya campus with solar power is now a reality. Now all the residents in Children’s Homes, Old Age Homes, staff residences, floating guest facilities can have fans running on hot nights, and have supply of ‘Solar heated Hot water’. Most importantly, students can study without the worry of power cuts.
KITCHEN FUEL SAVING
Perennial dependence on petroleum products to meet the rapidly growing demand of the large community kitchen at Sevalaya is a large concern. Sevalaya’s initiative to find long-term energy alternates resulted in the introduction of ‘Biomass stove’, ‘Bio-gas plant’ and activation of ‘steam boiler with preheated water supply through solar water heater. By introducing the ‘bio mass stove with ‘wood waste compressed cakes – Brickquettes’, we are now able to shrink the kitchen fuel expenses.