“The best way to find you is to lose yourself in the service of others.”– Mahatma Gandhi
“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.”– Buddha
We at AFS India do series of activities and events on different occasions throughout the year and the most special day is of course 8th Nov i.e. AFS India Day. We celebrate AFS India day at twofold level i.e. by marking the week through doing community service followed by get together & reconnecting of the volunteers for joyous moments. Every year we choose a theme for the community service which can be followed by our entire chapters pan-India. This helps us to have uniformity all over AFS family in India.
Sometimes we think that the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. But each act of goodness can be bigger than we imagine! This year we had theme of our community service during AFS India Day as “Feed the Hungry”. Chapters had a choice to organise event on one day or spread it over two to three days as per their convenience.
Chapters had gone it in different ways i.e. going to people who live on the breadline, Leprosy patients, an orphanage, distribution to the slum kids, construction workers and the kids, open community, the deprived children in encompassing village, poor people & attendants of the patients at AIIMS in Delhi or inviting the tribal children to their own school canteen for food and other places.
Few chapters collaborated with some organisations like Robinhood Army in Jodhpur who is a volunteer based organization that works also works on the concept of Feed the Hungry; school of disabled children; NGOs like Janseva Pratishthan, Igatpuri near Nashik; Manav Smruti Trust for mentally challenged people in Gandhi Nagar; AASMAAN is working for poor children in Ahmedabad; Yogashram, Uttarsanda-hostel for tribal girls in Anand; Shree Jalaram Satsang Mandal in Jamshedpur; Dnyanadeep Balkashram for children in Pune.
It didn’t matter whether it was a formal and organised way of distribution or open community or slums our volunteers had put in all their efforts with joy and enthusiasm. Everyone shared in their feedback that the atmosphere was at once participative and filled with joy. Laughter and cheer was in the air, as the food-fest got underway.
The involvement, eagerness and passion that our volunteers, host families and the hosted students have shown is phenomenal and worth appreciating.
The Feed-the-Hungry program certainly seems like an activity that the AFS India should mark as an important annual event. It’s our pleasure indeed to share few glimpses from each chapter.