Let’s Ennoble Each Other – Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Peoria, IL Sewa Projects
Mugdha Pattekar, General Secretary – Peoria HSS Shakha
Many inner-city students have a paucity of support system for studying at home due to busy/absent parents, poverty, lack of role models, absence of reinforcement of positive behavior, and under-resourced teachers in schools. In contrast, the Hindu community, with its knowledge, success-oriented discipline, and tradition of sewa, is geographically and socially separated from this important segment of the society.
Over the last 7 years, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Peoria has gradually built its relationship with Trewyn School and a nearby community learning center; based on their needs, regular programs are being implemented like Saturday tutoring and reading with kindergarteners/first graders, Suryanamaskar Yagna, progress report reviews, international fairs, positive behavior incentives, and Diwali food drives, presentations, and celebrations.
Our samskar based approach is one-on-one uninterrupted mentoring by Hindu volunteers through education, experience sharing, and providence of individual, family, and community role models, with each student getting their mentor’s full attention.
It has been observed that students are learning the discipline of studying regularly, respecting others, improving grades, developing sewa bhav, and aspiring to emulate their mentors’ professions. The volunteers profess a new purpose to life, leave their comfort zone, rid themselves of preconceived notions, and experience the joy of giving back. The local community experiences decrease in xenophobia, acceptance of Hindus as part of the community, and respect of Hindu culture and Dharmic principles.
About the presenter…
Mugdha Pattekar is General Secretary of Peoria HSS Shakha, Regional Director of sevika activities in Midwest, and recipient of the 25 Women in Leadership Award for 2018.