A unique form of charitable activity was undertaken by the Ahmedabad Kendra wherein about 50 underprivileged families were identified by volunteers and their needs were assessed, and these were then provided for.
An initial survey was performed by having volunteers visit the homes of many families in economically backward areas. A proforma was prepared in which all details were captured -- number of members in the family, their ages, occupations, disabilities, their income, their life style, availability of refrigerator, cooking gas, TV etc., their source of drinking water, their toilet facilities, medical problems in the family, their type of apparel etc.
Based on the data obtained, about 50 families were identified for help. gain, based on the recommendations of the volunteers who had visited the home of the family, the managing committee approved of the nature of help required by the individual family and the necessary funds were sanctioned after approval by YSS. The work continued for the entire year and the following different forms of aid were provided based on individual needs.
1.) 26 families were initially provided with provisions kits containing rice, toor dal, wheat, sugar, oil, channa, tea, etc. This was to take care of the immediate needs of some very poor families.
2.) Used and any other clothing was collected at the kendra and based on the type of members in each family, individual kits were prepared containing required clothing for each member after all the collected material had been carefully sorted out. Families were then invited to the Dhyana Mandir where they were handed over these kits in front of the altar.
3.) School fees amounting to about Rs 75,000 were paid on behalf of many children directly to the schools and volunteers were assigned to monitor the progress of the children at school.
4.) School bags, note books, text books, pencils, erasers etc. were given to many children.
5.) Certain women who knew how to sew were gifted with sewing machines so that they could use them for an additional source of income.
6.) Certain young girls were encouraged to join vocational training classes or computer classes and their fees were paid by us to encourage them to earn on their own.
7.) Several physically disabled members were taken to the Blind People's association where they were given vocational training and even provided employment based on their skills.
8.) Several families who were in need of medicines were provided the same.
9.) About 25 families who were using firewood for cooking were provided with LPG cylinders after negotiating with a local gas supply agency and collecting all necessary verification documents.
10.) Some unemployed family members were even offered jobs by one of our devotees who owns a factory.
11.) A child who was wasting a lot of time walking to school was provided with a bicycle.
12.) A Tricycle was also provided to a handicapped person to improve his mobility.
In this way, many families were helped according to their needs and at the same time, the 40-50 volunteers involved in the work had a unique opportunity to see such families at close quarters and feel for them helping to expand their own consciousness.