CHARITY SEES THE NEED, NOT THE CAUSE
A report on VT SEVA – a non-profit organization helping the Blind.
Give your hands to SERVE and your hearts to LOVE reads the organization website (www.vtsworld.org
). How true it turns out to be in the case of VT Seva – a volunteer driven non-profit organization founded by Sri. Chinna Jeeyar Swami.
VT Seva stands for Volunteering Together for Service (Seva). The primary focus is three-fold:
» Serve the underprivileged children from remote tribal areas by providing quality education for free. The organization has stretched itself into Naxalite and Extremist infested areas by building schools and providing free education, boarding, food, clothes and primary medical care
» Serve the low socio-economic blind children by providing high quality education, thus making them empowered and self-reliant.
» Promote cancer awareness and conduct FREE cancer pre-screening for women.
Though several agencies offer free surgeries and camps, VT seva is the only organization that empowers the blind children. According to Sudheer Koppu, Detroit Brand Director, “although there are many organizations which are serving the blind people by performing free cataract surgeries etc., empowering and making blind children self-reliant is something the organization strives for in the long run. VT Seva established blind schools and colleges and for the first time in the world, the students have appeared for the 10+2 examinations on laptops (powered by an application called Jaws) without any help of the scribes, stated Sudheer. This makes the blind more independent and confident in handling communications.
A short visit to a Naxalite driven forest area became the seed for this huge organization that boasts of 500 active volunteers across several states in the US. With no proper communication facilities and sanitation being in its barest minimum or none, it takes courage and commitment to set up school and reform kids. With political interruptions and challenges, Sri. Chinna Jeeyar Swami battled all odds to make this school and program a reality. At a recent event, listening to the stories and looking at the work the organization does, a young kid went on a donation collection spree and collected total funds of $20,000. Since then, many young volunteers have participated in volunteering efforts for VT Seva. The organization has also helped raise awareness through health screenings for 630,000 women in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Chennai, Delhi. VT Seva also offers the Presidential Voluntary Service award for children who serve countless hours in a calendar year towards helping and enriching communities and the disabled. The current recipient in Detroit is Shreya Srivathsan who completed 100 hours of volunteer service in less than 6 months.
In 2003, the school for blind kids started to function with 20 children. Currently, the school offers classes from 1st – 10th grade in Vizag and High school with College degree courses in Hyderabad. Currently there are 2300 blind children studying in these VT Seva sponsored schools exclusively for the blind. One other success story is about Prem Swaroop who procured 82.27% in his CAT exam and is all set to join IIM Shillong. Other success stories involve 2 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronze at the district, State and National level for the Paralympic competitions, according to Sudheer.
VT Seva- Detroit chapter was able to sponsor 70 blind children last year. 2017 goal is 100 children. With the generous community, the organization hopes more people would participate and celebrate the spirit of service at their 2nd annual event.
Michigan residents, please join the event RAAS 2017
at Divine Providence Lithuanian Church, 25335 W Nine Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48033. Event details here»