Annadanam – The best form of Charity

Annadanam Samam Danam Trilokeshu Na Vidhathe
Annadanam is supreme and incomparable to any charity

“So this is our life, let’s find ourselves. Let’s be kind to others, be good to people, do as much seva as possible to all living beings because there’s nothing better than seva. And, unless you do seva, your mind cannot be purified and unless your mind is purified, the Song of the Lord cannot be heard inside, which is the real meaning of Shabad, the Song of the Lord. And, it is ‘anahat’, it is heard from inside.” – Sri. M. 

Tomorrow being Shivratri its a good time to reflect on this. As the devout stand in long Q’s to propitiate Lord Shiva the Milk they pour with affection on the Shiv Lingam may be put to better use. In ways that the Ascetic Lord Shiva may better approve. Indians lead the world in making charitable donations to temples and hosting ostentatious weddings / birthdays and other celebrations but when it comes to charity we have a long way to go.

I want to share my last 1 years experience as a volunteer of The Satsang Foundation interacting with the kids at Vallabh Niketan. This is one of the 6 Ashrams that was set up by Achary Vinobha Bhave in 1965 and named after his Disciple Vallabh Swami.The Home has transformed over the years from a Library, research & training centre, a Social help stop and a base for social transformation.

A green oasis located in the heart of Bangalore city next to Chitrakala Parishad and Gandhi Bhawan this is home to 35 Orphans  and 15 Old destititutes. The first time we visited the place they shared their meal with us – and I struggled to eat the bland bowl of sambar & curd rice with no vegetables. We realised that’s the meal the kids eat almost every day. Thats when we started sponsoring breakfast after our Sunday Yoga sessions once in 2 weeks and Lunch / Dinner on special occasions. A small act – but it is something that the kids and Sr citizens look forward to eagerly.

A lot of people are keen to contribute to Charity but are not sure if it will reach the end recipient in totality. Notwithstanding the good work done by few organisations there are many charitable organisations where the overheads are steep and people collecting money receive commissions. This was my perception for many years as I was hunting to be associated with an organisation where I could contribute. And thats when the association with The Satsang Foundation and Vallabh Niketan happened.

At Vallabh Niketan neither is federal aid solicited, nor foreign or Corporate aid accepted. Only individual and institutional helps alongwith participation as per Vinobaji’s wish of ‘Kanchan Mukti’ & ‘Shaasan Mukti’.

You can contribute directly. There are 3 ways of doing it.

#1 You sponsor a meal and pay the restaurant directly. Keep the Volunteers of The Satsang Foundation informed. Breakfast for all inmates (35 kids, 15 Sr. Citizens and 5 Staff) can be sponsored for Rs 1600/- and Lunch or Dinner for a slightly higher rate . You are welcome to talk to the restaurant and customise your food offerings.  Normal breakfast offerings include Set Dosa with Chutney & Sagu Rs 30/Plate, Thatte Idli with Chutney & Sagu Rs 30/Plate, Small Idli Bowl dipped in Sambar with Chutney Rs 35/Plate.

  • Nandishwar Tiffany Centre, Between Vinayaka Circle & Vyalikaval police Station.
  • Owner : Ravi Pojjary, +91 9591528945
  • A/C No : 0417101049326, Canara Bank, Vyalikaval, IFSC – CNRB0000417

It is not mandatory that you have to use the above vendor, if you know other caterers / restaurants who can supply clean hygienic food in a timely manner at the venue that is also an option. Vallabh Niketan is located at 19, Kumara Park East, Sheshadripuram, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001 (After Chitra Kala Parishad take a right turn and 100 m down the road you will find Vallabh Niketan on your right)

Coordination Contacts : (Please text or WhatsApp)

  • Satsang Foundation Volunteers : Sumati Mohan  +91 9844307580, Nirmala Jayram +91 99010 58868, Manjunath  +91 97416 22766
  • Vallabh Niketan : Hasan : +91 9945566331

#2 You contribute directly to the Trust that manages Vallabh Niketan. The Vishwaneedham Trust was set up in 1963. Contributions will go towards Electricity, Water, Building Upkeep, Medicines, Day to day requirements at the Home. (Please note that currently monthly provisions for food and milk for children is sponsored by the Volunteers of The Satsang Foundation Bangalore). Purely voluntary donations are accepted in the name of Vishwaneedam Trust and a receipt issued.

The Vishwaneedham trust banks with Canara Bank, KP West Branch Bangalore 560020, India: SB a/c #0422101003660, IFSC Code #cnrb0000422
Ashram is also certified under sec 12A of the Income Tax Department, Government of India, vide No.ACCTS/718/10A/Vol/B II/V-195: & Our PAN No is Vishwaneedam Trust AABTV5514H

#3 You contribute with your services. Come and Teach Yoga, English, Arts & crafts, take the Kids out for a movie or a picnic. Conduct a Sports day, spend Diwali or any other festival with them. Help in gardening and growing fruits and vegetables. Help them with Clothes, Bedsheets, Shoes, Medicines… For all this coordinate directly with Hasan the Home In- Charge at : +91 99455 66331 or Sumati Mohan  +91 98443 07580

Make an effort and experience joy. Here is an opportunity to bring a smile to a Childs life in your own small way. Helps you get your children grounded as they see the advantages they have in life. It’s a great opportunity to be thankful for all that you have.

Just think – If you celebrate at home a birthday party with 15 friends and relatives you will spend 15 – 20 K on the function. That money can provide breakfast to this Home for 15 days. Thats feeding 900 Mouths. Thats 900 deprived people being satisfied with a tasty meal. And thats earning you a lot of positive Karma.

So make a start this Shivratri – and help a few needy soul’s.


A few more glimpses of the activities at Vallabh Niketan



Spread A Few Good Things
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