Annapoorna Seva Services
From its humble beginning in 2012 where breakfast was served for only 80 students in the small village of Doddabele on the outskirts of Bangalore, today the Annapoorna Breakfast Programme is serving wholesome and delicious breakfast to over 40,000 children in more than 600 schools and breakfast centres across ten states in India.
Though breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for a growing child, in India most underprivileged children do not have daily breakfast owing to the family circumstances that cannot provide them a square meal a day. Not only does this contribute to malnourishment in these children, but also creates a challenge for them to focus on studies in school. The Annapoorna Breakfast Programme with its vision of ensuring that no child ever goes to school hungry, is not only unique, but also addresses the prevailing nutrition gap of children in villages.
Today, Annapoorna has transformed from a simple breakfast programme to a platform that allows the ushering in of a number of initiatives for the underprivileged while facilitating the involvement of different sections of society. This month’s updates provide a brief summary on these activities.
Annapoorna Medical Service
A mammoth dental camp was held on September 6 and 7, 2017 for the students from the schools that are a part of the Annapoorna Breakfast Programme, Over 2400 children were brought to the Muddenhalli campus, and examined and treated over the course of two days at Seva Kshetra inside the campus. Doctors from Krishna Devaraya and R.V Dental Colleges offered their selfless services at this camp.
A free weekly Medical Clinic has been started in Dodabelle village near Kengeri , South Bangalore. The doctors work out of the Sai Temple, which is also the location of daily breakfast Seva activities. The start of the clinic every Sunday is heralded by an announcement by the children (who are recipients of Breakfast Seva) throughout the village via a portable audio system. As patients start lining up, each patient’s vital signs are checked and then a detailed clinical examination is done. In alignment with Swami’s teachings that empathy towards patients is the “care” factor in healthcare, Doctor lovingly talks to all the patients at length to understand their ailments and problems before prescribing the requisite medication.
September 9, 2017 saw eighteen volunteers from Oracle visiting five villages of Chickballapur (Kalavara, Agalgurkhi, Jadalathimananahalli, Kandavara, and Bachahalli) wherein they provided hygiene awareness and tree planting sessions for the school children.
During these sessions, the Oracle volunteers gave a demonstration to the children of how they should properly brush their teeth and wash their hands, and also highlighted the importance of maintaining hygiene.
Patanjali toothpaste, brushes and juice packets were then distributed to over 200 students and staff members. This was followed by planting of trees in the respective schools.
Oracle CSR team of sixteen employees visited the Marathalli Breakfast Seva Centre, on the September 16, 2017. The CSR teammates were greeted by school authorities and Annapoorna volunteers with juice packs and cookies. The Oracle CSR team conducted a detailed hygiene awareness session for the 110 kids of the school wherein they provided insights related to oral and general hygiene followed by a demonstration of the proper way to wash hands. Finally, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and juice tetra packs were distributed to the children.
Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology
Integrated Rural Development Programme
September 16, 2017 saw students of the Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology (NCET) have their first practical lesson in the villages, as part of the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), a joint collaboration between the college students and the volunteers from Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust, Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur District. The college students reported an amazing and enriching experience while interacting with the school children, who are recipients of the Annapoorna Breakfast Seva.
Some of the college students were visibly in tears as they felt extraordinary emotions while interacting with the children. Many college students wanted to spend more time listening to the school children, understanding their issues, playing with them, and watching them sing and dance. Some students asked if they can come back more often. A few members of the faculty inquired of the devotees and the Principal on how they can help and engage more frequently with the schools in an effective manner. The students took many notes, with the plan to follow up and make concerted efforts towards alleviating the myriad of issues faced by the villagers and children.
Upon returning to the college campus, the Annapoorna volunteers had a detailed debriefing session with the Principal at his office, along with Vice Principal, where the volunteers placed their observations and the next steps.
For the Annapoorna volunteers as well, it was one of the best days of Seva, a day that gave a lot of satisfaction in being part of a landmark day, which saw the beginning of - what should be - a dramatic and sustained increase in the young volunteer base who will be plunging into village service with great vigour.