25th November 2020, Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday, observed as Sadhu T.L. Vaswani; received resounding global support despite pandemic times
The Sadhu Vaswani Mission ushered in 25th November, the 141st birthday, of Sadhu T.L. Vaswani amidst virtual satsangs, kirtans and bhajans, sevas, and telecasts of recorded talks by the Great Masters — Sadhu Vaswani and Dada J.P. Vaswani. The headquarters at Pune and its centres worldwide organized week-long web telecasts taking the celebrations to a global platform. This year, Didi Krishna Kumari delivered talks and shared insights from the life and teachings of Sadhu Vaswani.
25th November, which is also observed as an International Meatless Day and Animals Rights Day in homage to Sadhu Vaswani received an enthusiastic global response despite the pandemic times. Awareness activities and virtual Satsang programmes marked the initiative.
Sadhu Vaswani Mission schools organised activities, competitions, solicited pledges from institutions and companies and pledged to go vegetarian on 25th November. The Hyderabad centre held virtual telecasts with stand-up comedian, Atul Khatri and celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani. The Adipur centre with Bridge Builders, Youth Wing of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Gandhidham put up hoardings in the town and on highways while personally approaching slaughterhouses to close for a day. The Bangalore centre organised a ‘Global Talent Hunt’ on the theme — ‘Live and Let Live — An Eco-Friendly Choice’ that received a resounding response.
The Casablanca centre continued its support to the cause by collecting pledges from the local Moroccan Community and institutions that included schools, orphanages, and specially-abled centres. Several restaurants also pledged to offer only vegetarian food while creating ‘Meatless Menu’. The Penang State Minister for Welfare & Environment signed the pledge for International Meatless Day. A photo competition was also organized by Berjaya Youths and special meal discounts offered by Berjaya Café, Berjaya Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Governor Albert Bryan, Virgin Islands issued a proclamation declaring 25th November as Meatless Day. H.E. Sugandh Rajaram, High Commissioner of India to Ghana supported and praised the efforts. The ‘Meatless Day’ message spread in Sindh, Pakistan secured great support and appeal from Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, MNA & Patron-in-Chief, Pakistan Young Hindu Forum.
Animal sevas were carried out by the Pune Headquarters and other centres on this day. The Pune headquarters carried out the distribution of rice Kani (700 kgs) and Marie biscuit large (25 cartons) to 1700 animals sheltered at Mission Possible in Shankarshet Road and Saswad; rice Kani (100 kgs) and Marie biscuit large (15 cartons) to animals at Prani Seva Kendra, MG Road. Rice Kani (200 kgs), poha (800 kgs) and Marie biscuit large (5 cartons) were donated to Vaishali, an independent stray-feeder at Charoli. Poha (200 kgs) and Marie biscuit large (5 cartons) donated to a stray feeder at VishrantWadi. The Bangalore centre organised animal seva at Akhila Prani Daya Sangha, a gaushala and shelter for rescued animals; cows, goats and pigeons were fed and one volunteer adopted a cow for the whole year. The Kolkata centre donated phenyl, disinfectant, mops, dusting pan, floor cleaner, dusting cloth, long-handled sponge-mops, colin spray, brooms, buckets, dustbin and long-handled floor cleaning scrubber to Ashari — Kolkata Chapter of People For Animals located at Mukundapur; a hospital for street animals mostly dogs and cats and providing shelter to animals that cannot be released back to the streets post-treatment; in the shelter, as on date, are 400 dogs, 50 cats and 105 cows. The Chennai centre carried out a series of animal sevas which included the feeding of 1000’s of cows and pigeons at Gandhi beach; feeding 500 stray dogs at Corporation Dog Pound Thattankulam; feeding 2000 parrots at Triplicane.
Each year, several local authorities order the closure of slaughterhouses in their towns, cities and states. This year Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Ulhasnagar, Bhopal, Rajkot, and Gandhidham saw a complete shutdown of slaughterhouses. NH37 Dhaba in Pune put up a signboard for its visitors and served vegetarian food only. The ‘Meatless Day’ message also garnered wide press coverage thus reaching out to countless households.
On this day, 417 (four hundred and seventeen) people pledged to turn vegetarian for life. Individual pledges received from India and abroad stand at 4,956,464 (Forty-nine lakhs, fifty-six thousand, four hundred and sixty-four) and supporters from India and abroad at 81,299,958 (Eight crores, twelve lakhs, ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and fifty-eight).
‘Daridra Narayan Seva’— service to the poor and needy was also carried out throughout the day. The Pune headquarters began the day by serving the poor and needy and distributed pulao, samosa, pav, banana and boondi ladoo to 150 people at Laxmi Road, to 90 people around the Hollywood Gurudwara Road, East Street, and MG Road, to 150 at Sai Chowk, Pimpri and 100 to the adopted and additional families at Pimpri. The Mission also distributed ration kits to 100 needy adopted and other families at Pimpri and also to 115 other needy workers. The day was also made special for 100 children of the National Federation of Blind, Swargate who were given samosa, pav, banana and joy packet that included Marie biscuit, cream biscuit, assorted chocolates, and cake. At midnight, the Mission distributed 36 blankets around the area of Somwar Peth, Rasta Peth and Zilla Parishad chowk.
The Baroda Center volunteers at ‘Fakir Ki Jhopdi’ distributed pulao packets and apple-banana cake to 500 people at the break of dawn and distributed 400 packets of moong for patients at a government hospital. The Hyderabad Center served breakfast to 500 poor and needy. Delhi Center took to the roads with freshly-cooked, hot breakfast of bread pakora and chai; an evening seva by the centre included serving of kulcha, chole and halwa to 1000 needy people. The Bangalore centre, in a 3-day seva, distributed 750 sets of blankets with sweets/biscuits to labourers and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) workers around the city. Bridge Builders Chennai distributed 100 kgs of rice to Dhanirasa Foundation as an urgent aid that would feed over 500 people. The Ahmedabad centre distributed cash, ration kits, hygiene kits, and utensils kit to 50 widowed families.
The Sadhu Vaswani Mission Pune headquarters organised a live broadcast of the noon satsang with bhajans and kirtans and the evening session with talks by Sadhu Vaswani and Dada J. P. Vaswani. The day ended with the rendering of devotional bhajans and observance of the vigil from 10:30 pm to midnight.
Sadhu Vaswani Centers, national and international organised virtual satsangs including London, Taipei, St Maarten, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dubai New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Pimpri.