Who says “charity” and “service” stem from Judeo-Christian roots? Hindu American Seva (service) Charities (HASC), a non-profit organization based on the Dharmic philosophy of “service” to mankind, is sponsoring a two-day event focused enhancing seva through sustainable community-based seva centers to address domestic concerns and encouraging interfaith partnerships. The White House is hosting this organization’s press-briefing.
The theme of the event is “Energizing Dharmic Seva: Impacting Change in America and Abroad,” and the conference is designed to inspire all towards community service. The event opens with a briefing at the White House on July 29, 2011 and the conference continues at Georgetown University on July 30th and 31st as Festivals of Service.
In addition, HASC is partnering with the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, to launch a National Yoga Challenge to motivate individuals across the country to participate in yoga and promote a healthy lifestyle. Starting August 1st, 2011, the program will encourage participants to record the number of hours they devote to the practice of yoga for a six-week period. This initiative will be launched during the conference.
To impact change and encourage new service ideas, HASC sponsored a civic and service participation essay contest, aimed primarily at the youth. Winners will be felicitated at the conference.
“With your Seva Plan you can become change makers,” says Anju Bhargava, Founder of Hindu American Seva Charities. “You can be part of the ongoing seva movement. You can play a role in America valuing the talents of its diverse faiths, its pluralistic multicultural communities, the New Americans. Interfaith cooperation and community service is an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good.”
To support the organization and the cause, my new friend celebrity chef and fellow philanthropist Vikas Khanna – Executive Chef at Junoon Restaurant – is hosting a lunch fundraiser on Monday, June 20 from noon to 2 p.m. at Junoon Restaurant (27 W. 24th St.). Tickets are $25 for a three-course meal prepared by Chef Khanna himself, and they can be purchased at the event itself.
“It’s so important for all of us to do our part to make this world a better place,” says Vikas. “My documentary series, Holy Kitchens, thoroughly explores this concept of ‘seva’ and how it manifests itself through the service of food in various religions.”
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