"Service to man is service to God", the essence of Swami Vivekanenda's teaching of practical Vedanta for the common man, is the source of inspiration. Our religion is to serve humanity.
We are a distant rural charitable organisation. With limited means and few backers, but owing to the grace of Sri Ramakrishana, blessings from Maa Sarada and principles laid by Swami Vivekanenda since 1973 we have lived up to the values and have served the needy to the maximum we can. We are happy doing our part at the grass root level.
The temple is newly created in 2017 and offers peace and a place to meditate for the local villagers. As wished by our founder and due to the help by his family members along with the local community the 'nitya puja' (daily worship) of Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Maa Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda is going well in the Ashram. All our service activities are with the philosophy of "To serve man is to serve God." The birthdays' of the Holy Trio was celebrated with special puja, visits of rural devotees, readings from the holy scriptures and bhajans being sung in the evening. The kids and Ashram inmates takes care of the Ashram.
Annual celebration is held in the 2nd or 3rd week of March attended by hundreds of devotees. Eminent monks graces the event. The Temple does an yeomen service on spreading Vedanta philosophy among the rural masses. Spirituality and higher philosophies do not touch the Indian villages much, that is where the temple plays a big role.
For the last four decades, Sri Ramakrishna Sevashram had the opportunity of taking care of hundreds of poor kids. Mostly destitute, some orphan. Some came from the State Government, some from the police station and few brought to SRKS by relatives. Starting from 6 kids in 1972 by Sri Sudhansu Biswas, we have now more than on an average 35 to 40 kids here in the Ashram.
Admission is strictly on the basis of the recommendation of Directorate of Social Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal. Every month inspection by the local Government officials.
We impart man-making education. Students are given lodging and food. They have space to play and exercise to keep the body fit. Also, we teach them religious scriptures, chant Gita and try to show the right path of life. We do not target to make them a doctor, engineer or a successful business man. It is up to the boy's skill, capabilities and to an extent the fate on what they aspire to become. What we try to make them is a HUMAN BEING. We strive to teach them the right values so that later on they turn to be the best of the men in the society.
Many, being grown up, devoted their lives for social cause. Some of the boys achieved academic success. Some have become teachers. After all, we restrict any lofty claims in this regard as the Ashram does not believe success with material achievements; it believes something more.
Regular festivals such as Durga Puja, Ratha Yatra, Saraswati Puja, Diwali & Holi were celebrated. Special days like the Independence Day, Republic day, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose birthday and Gandhi Jayanti were held with patriotic spirits in the Ashram premises.
Games are a special focus area in SRKS. We are delighted to see a couple of kids from the Ashram excelling academically in their class. The Ashram kids were runners up in the football tournament held by Rescue & Relief Foundation in the Presidency college in Kolkata. The kids also attained to painting classes.
We are grateful to Rescue & Relief Foundation, Kolkata for their monthly contribution providing continued financial support.
Chandan, an Ashram student speaks on of the Ashram life
The Ashram runs one Old Age Home at a very reasonable rate so that poor aged people can take shelter with security, proper fooding, medical care and with peace of mind.
At present 14 rooms are there in two buildings. Many resident stay for free as they are abandoned and are from very humble background.
Regular medical check-up of the kids and senior citizens were conducted. Senior citizen spends their time in peace and tranquility.
Since inception of the Ashram we wanted to serve the needy family not only with free value-based education but to help them stand in their own feet. So, by the grace of Sri Ramakrishna we started our Vocational training program in 2015. It has been running successfully since then. We are providing training courses in four areas i.e. Para-Medical or Health Assistant workers, Electrical wiring, Mobile repairing and Sewing.
We charge a minimal Rs. 500 annually (less than USD 8 per year) to the students. After 10 months of training the students appear for an exam and given certificate on successfully passing it. More than 1/3rd of the students are girls or young women.
Overall all the students have greatly benefited from the learnings of the Ashram. They are either employed or small entrepreneurs now. The other are joining some established business and remaining are setting up their own shops.
We conduct annually a free health camp in association with leading hospitals of Kolkata. The camps provide blood test reports, cancer screening and a check-up by a doctor. Last year it benefitted 118 needy people. We feel satisfied to see the majority of them being women.
Ambulance Service: For last 10 years we are serving the local people with our Ashram ambulance. Be it the dire need to save a patient from snake bite or taking a pregnant mother to the hospital, the ambulance is a life saver. Till date more than hundreds of rural people and Ashram inmates have benefitted from this service.
Health check up of Ashram inmates are taken seriously and done periodically along with the Ashram workers. Next they are given free Allopathy and Homeopathy medicines time to time.
To utilize the vast area of the Ashram, generate some income and cater to the vegetable needs of the Ashram we scaled up our agricultural initiatives.
We grew plenty of spinach, two varieties of radish (white & pink), cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot, beans, onion, gourd, banana and brinjal. The kitchen bought very few vegetables from outside, resulting in cost saving. Some varieties of the vegetables were in excess and sold to make farming a sustainable activity
From the local MP & MLA, the Ashram received an 800 feet deep submersible pump. Two taps have been constructed on the boundary wall facing the village road. Almost two hundred villagers are getting clean drinking and cooking water daily. A big boon to the beneficiaries, especially in the summer months.