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|Motto||Love all, serve all|
|Type||Not for profit|
Sevalaya is a registered charitable organization in India. Sevalaya means Temple of Service.  It runs an orphanage in the village of Kasuva near Thiruninravur about 40 km west of Chennai, a coastal metropolis in South India. It is also engaged in activities for the welfare of the poor and the deprived.
Sevalaya runs a free school (recognized by the State Government of Tamil Nadu) for the children at the orphanage and the surrounding village; a free medical center; a free library; a goshala to protect & raise cows; and, an old age home for destitute senior men and women.
- 1 History and organization
- 2 Activities
- 3 References
- 4 External links
History and organization
Inspired by the ideals and life of Mahatma Gandhi, Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Swami Vivekananda, three great sons of India, Mr. V.Muralidharan, along with his friends formed the Charitable Trust Sevalaya and started the institution. Initially a children’s home for poor, orphan and destitute children started functioning on May 29, 1988. The aim of the institution is to provide better opportunities to the poor, orphan and destitute children by fulfilling their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter and also providing value based education and medical care. This would enable them to develop their potentials to the fullest extent possible and blossom, thus contribute towards a better society. Otherwise such children may become victims of anti social elements and they may themselves become one such element and disrupt peace in the society. From a humble beginning, with 5 children, in a rented house in Sivanvoil village in the year 1988, Sevalaya service center now functions from its own campus in nearly 14 acres (57,000 m2) of land at Kasuva Village near Thiruninravur (40 km west of Chennai), sheltering 130 destitute boys and girls, also running a free higher secondary school which provides quality education for 1650 destitute, poor and rural children.
The activities of Sevalaya include Swami Vivekananda Boys Home and Mother Teresa Girls Home providing shelter to 130 orphan and destitute boys and girls from broken homes and shattered families, Mahakavi Bharathiyar Higher Secondary School (recognized by Government of Tamil Nadu but unaided) providing free quality education through the medium of mother tongue to 1650 poor rural children including the residents of the Home, Mahatma Gandhiji Medical Centre, Swami Vivekananda Free Library, Kasthurba Craft Centre providing free training in tailoring to rural women, Vinobhaji Goshala sheltering both milk yielding and dry cows and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Old Age Home sheltering 60 destitute senior citizens. All these are ongoing projects. These projects have brought about a transformation in the area where Sevalaya is located.
Swami Vivekananda Boys Home and Mother Teresa Girls Home
The Home provides the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter to the orphan, destitute and poor children. The children are also provided with quality, value based, man making education and medical facilities. There can be no substitute for parents for any child. But for these unfortunate children who have either lost their parents or are victims of broken homes and shattered families, Sevalaya attempts to provide the next best alternative- a Home where they are brought up in a loving and caring atmosphere: where best opportunities are provided to them to develop their skills and blossom into a fine human being, thus creating a better society. At present there are 130 children in this home. The Home has made a difference to their lives. But for this, they would have been left uncared for, vulnerable to the influence of anti – social elements and the potential danger of themselves turning into one when they grow up.
Mahakavi Bharathiyar Higher Secondary School
Kasuva Village where Sevalaya service center functions is a small village In this village and in the surrounding villages the people of nearly 3000 families are either landless agricultural labourers or brick kiln workers. Their average income is Rs 600 per month. The children were being sent for daily wages. Sevalaya entered the picture at this juncture. When the villagers were persuaded to send their children to school, their retort was that with their meagre income they cannot afford to spend even a rupee on educating the child and that sending the children to school also means a loss of source of income for them. With a lot of persuasion and assurance that Sevalaya is providing their children absolutely free education – no fees, free text books and free notebooks and 2 sets of free uniforms the admissions to school started trickling in. Now the entire scenario has changed. Impressed by the quality education provided to the children free of cost, and the facilities provided in the school which are at par with any city school there is demand for admission into the school run by Sevalaya. Most of the children are first generation school goers. Thus Sevalaya has been able to bring into the school net around 1,450 children who would not have had access to education or would have been school dropouts.
Mahatma Gandhiji Medical Centre
Kasuva is a remote village. The nearest medical facility is about 1 ½ kilometers away. Proper hospital is 6 km away in Thiruninravur. For any medical emergency, the villagers have to be at the mercy of private vehicle owners or foot the distance of initial 1 ½ km. The situation has changed now. Mahatma Gandhiji Medical Centre run by Sevalaya provides free medical care not only to the residents but also to the villagers. Minor ailments are treated by the nurse at the centre. Medical camps are arranged almost once a month when teams of specialists from the city visit the institution and conduct check ups for the residents as well as the villagers. With a view to create an awareness about the alternative medical system and nature cure methods, siddha medical camps and nature cure camps are also held.
Swami Vivekananda Library & Reading Room
The library has a collection of over 10,000 books which includes the complete works of Mahatma Gandhi, Mahakavi Bharathi and Swami Vivekananda. Many newspapers and magazines are subscribed for. The library is open to the villagers also. The services are free. A mobile library is also sent to the villages nearby every Saturday to make the books available for reading to all the villagers. The library has contributed towards developing reading habit among the village youth.
Kasthurba Craft Centre
Craft education is a part of the school curriculum and the students are trained in various crafts like wire bag making, book binding, etc., The centre also conducts a free six months certificate course in tailoring for the rural women. The women who have completed the course have increased their employment opportunities in the garment industry. Thus the centre plays its part in rural women empowerment.
The goshala (cow protection centre) shelters around 25 cows (both milk yielding and dry cows). The milk is consumed by the residents of the Home and the Old Age Home and excess is sold in nearby villages and the marginal income generated is utilized for meeting the expenses of the institution. A Gobar gas Plant has been constructed which meets 90% of the fuel needs of the Old Age Home. Orhanic manure is produced by vermin compost method. The manure is used in the kitchen garden maintained at Sevalaya and also marketed. Sevalaya thus has created awareness about tapping alternate sources of energy and organic farming among the villagers.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Old Age Home
The Old Age Home provides shelter to poor and destitute old men and women, who have nobody to care for them and who cannot afford to go to institutions where they have to pay for their maintenance to spend their final years in peace and with dignity. The residents are encouraged to involve themselves in simple activities like helping in the kitchen by cutting vegetables, watering the garden, and helping in cover making by pasting the covers etc. so that they develop their self esteem.
All the services are rendered with the help of philanthropic public/associations/ clubs/corporates. Many friends and well wishers from overseas lend Sevalaya a helping hand by their contributions. The services are rendered to the needy and the down trodden section without any discrimination on the basis of caste/colour/creed/religion/language/gender etc. They do not receive any grants from the government.
- "About us: Philosophy". Sevalaya.