This is the first Seva Project launched by Sai Aashraya and the closest to all our hearts. We are currently serving a healthy and yummy breakfast to over 2,000+ school going children from 9 Schools. Here is the story of how this Seva Project came about.
The genesis of this Seva Project unfolds in the heart of a low-lying slum in Bengaluru. One afternoon, our volunteers stood witness to the harsh realities of life that unfolded before them. The living conditions were stark, and the children, despite their dreams of becoming doctors, engineers, pilots, or serving in the armed forces, went to school hungry and unwell. Their sole motivation to enroll in school was the mid-day meal provided by the government. However, our interactions with these beautiful and resilient souls revealed a deeper issue — the relentless hunger that persisted throughout the day, hindering their ability to focus on their studies. They would eventually get disenchanted and drop out of school in the first quarter of the academic year itself.
Motivated by the higher purpose, we started off by serving breakfast to 50 school-going children from a single slum every morning. The meals, lovingly prepared by our volunteers, at their homes were not just sustenance; What began as a heartfelt mission to address immediate hunger evolved into a beacon of hope- a promise of Fresh and Healthy meals cooked with Love every morning in Sai Aashraya's central kitchen. Today, this nourishing sustenance is transported to schools via the Sai Aashraya Food Truck, where dedicated volunteers take charge.
As the initiative flourished, so did the involvement of the community. Senior students, well-trained by our volunteers in the art of carrying out Seva, now efficiently manage the serving counters. A powerful symbol of devotion, they choose to partake in their meals only when every child is served. Witnessing elder students nurturing the younger ones, feeding them by hand, and inspiring them to stay in school is a heart-warming testament to the family like spirit woven into Breakfast Seva.
Recognizing the systemic nature of the issue, we broadened our scope. Beyond serving meals, we took on the challenge of empowering parents, particularly fathers, by facilitating employment opportunities.
Our dedicated volunteers are on a daily mission to mentor these children with a singular goal—building character. Through consistent tutoring and counseling for both students and parents, a holistic transformation unfolds. The overall well-being of both children and parents takes center stage with our Super Speciality Medicare Camps. Continuous screening for congenital heart diseases is a regular feature not only within our school premises but also in the broader community wherever we work.
Sai Aashraya goes beyond the classroom to ensure that students continue their journey into higher education. We shoulder the requisite fees and provide comprehensive support. This extends beyond our schools; children from other Seva venues are now pursuing education with renewed vigor.
What we do
The impact was profound as the once-desolate slum gradually emptied, allowing the children to pursue education with a larger purpose in their hearts. What began with a single school has blossomed into a network that now caters to 2,000 children across nine schools daily.
While breakfast was the starting point, the true essence was always about imparting true education—Educare - blending education with human values. The journey took time, but today, these children radiate self-confidence and are taking small but significant strides towards becoming role models. Empathy is instilled in them, and they aspire to care for others like them in the future. Supported consistently by our experienced mentors, these children are evolving into well-rounded personalities. Remarkably, there have been no dropouts in the schools we serve. The students not only excel academically but also shine in extracurricular activities with a newfound sense of purpose—inspired not just to pursue education but also to serve their communities with determination.
A powerful testament comes from a simple yet profound experience. One morning, a young boy was asked about his aspirations. With a twinkle in his eyes, he replied, "I want to grow up and serve food to all children who don't have anything to eat, and I will do so by becoming a doctor." His goal was clear, echoing the spirit of Seva.
We are feel very privileged and Blessed to have nurtured batches of students who embody the power of the three Ps - Purity, Patience, and Perseverance, along with the 3 Ds - Duty, Devotion, and Discipline. Even in their toughest times, they stand resilient, and we feel blessed to be part of their journey. Our volunteers express that they don't just have two children in their homes; they have 2,000 little souls awaiting their arrival each morning.