Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President at the Silver Jubilee of Sri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust, in Kerala on 30 December, 2019.

Kerala | December 30, 2019

I am very happy to be amidst all of you on this auspicious occasion of Silver Jubilee celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust –Kerala.

Sri Satya Sai Babawas one of India’s most revered spiritual gurus. His life’s mission wasto bring about spiritual regeneration of humanity and spread the message of truth, love and peace to unite all mankind.

“Service to mankind is service to God” was at the core of his teachings.

I am happy that inspired by his message,many organizations have been rendering yeoman service. Among these institutions, Sri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust has been tirelessly working during the last twenty four years for the social, economic, cultural, moral and spiritual development of the society through various projects.It is praiseworthy that all services provided by the Trust are free of costand have impacted the lives of millions.

I am pleased to note that this Trust, started as a home for nine destitute boys in 1996, has grown to become one of the largest NGOs in the country. Lakhs of people have benefited from more than 140 projects across the State.

It is heartening that the Trust has been working very closely with the people belonging to different communities providing them support and focusing on their holistic development.

Home for the mentally challenged, School for autistic children, AYUSH wellness centre providing free medicines to everyone are some of the important projects of the Trust.

The Trust also runs several educational institutions and it is a message to the world that there is no cash counter in any of these institutions- all education is free.

My dear friends,

Share and care has been the core of Indian philosophy. Ours is a civilization that believes in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – the whole world is one family.

Since time immemorial, we have seen numerous examples of great men and women who sacrificed their lives for the welfare of others.

The Puranic sage Dadhichi donated his body, Shibi saved a pigeon’s life by offering his own, and the great king of this land Mahabali donated his whole kingdom ….

Welfare of all is ingrained in the Indian valuesystem.

Shastras say – ‘Sarve Janah Sukhino Bhavantu’- May all be happy.

This Saigramam, the central project of the Sri Satya SaiTrust has been guided by the Gandhian vision of Grama Swaraj or a self –governed and self-reliant village.

Development of our villages was a subject very dear to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi who used to say that – “India's soul lives in villages.”

He wanted our villages to develop as self sufficient units fulfilling all their basicneeds. He believed that Gram Rajya was necessary for Ram Rajya.

I appreciate that Saigramam has achieved self sufficiency in different areas like Rain Water harvesting, Biogas plant, Solar Street Light, Solar Water Heater, Gokulam Dairy Farm, Vegetable Garden, Paddy fields etc. Besides, during the last 14 years, Saigramam has provided free dialysis to about 4 lakh needy patients from 14 districts of Kerala.

I am sure that Saigramam can be a role model for village development in India.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Kerala is known as ‘God’s own country’ because of its splendid natural beauty. It isIt is the land where nature gives us glimpses of divinity. It is also a land of great visionaries like the poet Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri who wrote ‘Narayaneeyam’ and of spiritual leaders and social reformers like Narayan Guru and of enlightened rulers like Chitra Tirunal.

Keralahas huge potential for tourism, especially domestic tourism, and through tourism give boost to local economy

This may also give a fillip to the conservation ofnature andpreservation of our rich cultural heritage and traditions. It also opens opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges and integration.

It is a matter of concern that many of our traditional art forms are degenerating because of a variety of reasons. We need to seriously think of ways to revitalise these rich cultural treasures.

I am glad to note that Sri SatyaSai Orphanage Trust is planning to revive and rejuvenate some of these art forms and traditional crafts through promotion of social tourism.

It is good that Sri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust plans to bring artists and artisans practicing rare art forms, adopt them, provide them space to practice their art, impart training to youngsters in their art form and create a performing stage where performances can be held periodically.

I understand that this project is being taken up not with any profit motive. Yet, the invisible benefit of the project will extend to the local community, the struggling artists, the tourism sector and society as a whole.

We all can see that Saigramam itself has become a tourist attractionfor any person coming to Thiruvananthapuram by virtue of its geographical location, scenic beauty and legacy of selfless service.

Dear sisters and brothers,

Sri Satya Sai Trust has also done appreciable work in disaster management. Be it natural disasters such ascyclone Ockhi andKerala floods or the man-made ones like the Endosulphan tragedy in Kasaragod. The Trust has been actively engaged in relief and rehabilitation process by providing food, medicines,building repairs etc. It was truly a remarkable work.

Sri Satya Sai Baba had said,

“Love is God; God is Love …. Love more and more people;transform the love into service;transform the service into worship…. that is the highest sadhana.”

I am happy to see that many citizens who have been inspired by this message have been contributing and supporting the programmes of Sri Satya Sai Trust in whatever capacity they can.

Satya Sai had emphasized the unity of all religions and the universal values inherent in the Indian ethos: Satya, Dharma, Prema and Shanti. Similar emphasis is seen in Narayana guru’s teachings in which he propagated the motto of Oru Jathi, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam Manushyanu (One Caste, One Religion, One God for All).

India is bound by a common cultural bond. Let us strive to understand and strengthen these bonds which unite all of us.

We must tap into and continuously discover our common spiritual strength. That spiritual strength is selfless service, lessening the egos and minimizing the differences. As Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th Birth anniversary is being celebrated, had said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

This is the path your organization has been following for nearly two and a half decades.

Dear sisters and brothers,

In the end, let me share with you how touched I was by the story of rag picker boy from Salem, Tamilnadu. Shri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust adopted the child and today he is a well known singer. You transformed his life from ‘rags’ to ‘ragas’.

This boy’s name was Amavasi- Tamil word for dark moon. Later his name was changed to Poornachandran meaning full moon.

It was not simple change of name. It was the transformation of an individual.This is just one of the individual lives you have made a positive impact on.

I hope Shri Satya Sai Orphanage Trust will continue to change hundreds and thousands of such lives in the true spirit of ‘Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya’ – From Darkness to Light. I am hopeful that the silver jubilee year will inspire you to persist in your endeavours in future.

Once again my heartiest congratulations to Saigramam on completing 25 meaningful years in the service of humanity.

Jai Hind!