Sewa Day on Sunday 25th September 2011

Sewa Day on Sunday 25th September 2011

Sewa Day, a volunteering initiative taking place on Sunday 25th September 2011, is to go global this year with projects in more than 15 countries including Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Australia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Indonesia, UK and the USA. On the day, thousands of volunteers of all ages will be doing Sewa – which means ‘be of service’ – and their combined efforts will improve the lives of thousands of people. Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh is the latest celebrity to pledge his support, urging the public to give a few hours of their time to help build community participation across the globe.

Communities will be donating their time as thousands are expected to take part in local projects being planned that include:

– Removing trash and debris from the Tecolote Canyon ecosystem in San Diego, USA.
– Increasing the numbers donating organs to help save people’s lives by organ transplants.
– Nature conservation, clearing encroaching scrub, preserving and protecting heather and
heathland biodiversity as well as plant seeds and harvesting crops
– Soup kitchens and multi-faith meal preparation for distribution of food to the homeless
– Entertaining elders in hospices, nursing and residential homes

Each project organised is based on at least one of the guiding principles below:

Help relieve hardship / poverty
Bring a little joy
Help the environment

Sewa Day, which last year saw more than 5,000 people from over 50 cultural, community and faith organisations volunteering for 130 projects throughout the UK, including Bradford, Oldham, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, Luton and across London, hopes to attract 15,000 worldwide. Schools, community organisations, companies and individuals have already been contacted to help with or to be allocated to a worthy project in their area. Many local councils, schools, temples, mosques and businesses have enlisted their support for this initiative. These include:

– Croydon Borough Council in London, the first local authority to fully embrace the initiative
– Banking group Lloyds TSB Plc
– Tata Consultancy Services
– Polaris Software
– Vascroft Contractors

Many well-know celebrities and personalities are also backing the campaign, such as actress Meera Syal, actor Kulvinder Ghir, actor Raj Ghatak, TV presenter Arti Halai, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, among others.

Arup Ganguly, Chairman of Sewa Day commented: "Contrary to all the recent negative press in the UK that has focused on those responsible for the civil unrest we saw in August, we believe in the concept of helping others in need and that this should be encouraged whether we are in the midst of a recession or not. Last year, Sewa Day saw volunteers from over 50 organisations undertake over 130 projects and following on from last year’s phenomenal success we want to treble the number of those taking part. We are especially pleased to such positive community support from other countries."

Arup added: "There is no better sense of fulfilment than putting a smile on somebody’s face – especially the vulnerable, the poor, the sick and the needy. This is the real power of sewa. Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity open to all."

"Sewa Day aims to deliberately stay away from fundraising activities with the belief that hands-on volunteering is one of the most important and effective ways for individuals to increase their positive impact in the community and leverage a key resource beyond cash."

Sewa Day is an initiative of Sewa UK, a secular, non-political UK registered charity, (No: 1135425).

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Name: Sanjay Mistry
Phone: 07810 368 772