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Hindu Americans Respond to President Obama's Call to Service

by Siva S.

Hindu Americans are responding to President Obama’s call to the United We Serve initiative through various seva (service) projects. The Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) has been established as a community space to bring together seva projects across the country and showcase them accordingly. The ultimate goal is to reach 1,001 seva projects by September 11. Numerous temples and individuals have joined forces in the name of seva.

On Sunday, July 26, the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Maryland held a Health Fair to provide medical assistance to more than 120 people from both the Hindu and non-Hindu communities in Lanham, MD.

Over 15 doctors and nurses volunteered their services to care for community members. The medical staff included the following specialists: internists, family practitioners, pediatricians, pulmonologists, allergists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, cancer specialists, surgeons, bone specialists, ophthalmologists, gynecologists, podiatrists, etc. Many patients were either screened or treated for medical problems or referred to clinics and other doctors in their particular community.

Through the Health Fair, volunteer doctors were also able to provide necessary health screenings and health care to Bhutanese refugees that have recently relocated to the Maryland and Virginia vicinity.  Additionally, a Health Fair camp was organized to benefit attendees.

Temple volunteers joined forces with another non-profit organization to provide bus transportation to the Health Fair for the many residents from Baltimore, Hyattesville, Silver Spring and Virginia, who were unable to secure transportation.

The Health Fair has been a collaborative effort that involved support from various medical associations including the National Association of Indian Nurses of America; Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and the South Asian Total Health Initiative.

Serving humanity is a core belief of the Hindu religion. I feel by caring for others and feeding others, love and compassion shine brightly. There is nothing more important in life than compassion for others.

The ultimate goal is to conduct a bi-annual Health Fair in Lanham.  On August 1, the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple has organized a Health Awareness and Education program. Also, on the same day, the Hindu American Community Services will be conducting a DC Kitchen Homeless Feeding program to serve food to 4,500 people.  Both the temple and the community service organization have joined forces to carry out seva projects.

For more information about this event or how to get involved with the Hindu American Seva Charities, please visit: www.hinduamericanseva.org or email SivaSubK@georgetown.edu

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