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Journey Of A Heart By Sai Prasad Venkatachalam


Journey Of A Heart By Sai Prasad Venkatachalam

Sai Prasad Venkatachalam Venkatachalam, the 29-year-old Founder of Sai Aashraya is a Humanitarian and an International speaker. Sai’s inner calling is to selflessly serve the most underserved amongst us. His objective is to further Sai Aashraya’s mission of Love & Service far and wide to touch many more lives in the times to come. Sai and his Team envision a future where individuals, and communities they work with, attain self-reliance. They view this as a humble contribution toward the broader vision of Global harmony and Universal Peace.

To have been born in a family full of inspiring people whose only happiness lies in carrying out Seva while seeing themselves in everyone around them is the greatest blessing and I was bestowed with the same. Love All Serve All was the only Mantra I was taught and the same was drilled into my heart by my parents and grandparents who ensured that I had the best upbringing one could wish for. Seva has always been an integral part of our life and from the early days my parents ensured that I realized the value of carrying out Seva. My Paati (Grandmother) and Amma would cook food for about 500 people every weekend and take us along to join a few more families in serving some of the most under-served amongst us. Each Seva day taught me to value everything I had been blessed with. This great upbringing was for a purpose, and all I had learnt was going to be put to the test someday.

In the second year of my undergraduate education, I was diagnosed with a cardiac issue and before I knew it, I was getting operated on. I recuperated reasonably well and when I got back to college a series of setbacks to my health left me bedridden with my speech and movement restricted. The only activity I was doing was reading the newspaper every day. I spent a lot of time reading about the Syrian civil war in the newspaper regularly as that was the most common thread back then. One afternoon, an article about these children brought me to tears. My dear friend then walked up to me and said “Hey, I understand that you are deeply impacted by what you just read but there is no point in just lying down and crying. Might as well promise yourself now that when you get well, which you surely will, you will go and meet these children and do something for them.” That one statement got so deeply embedded in my heart and became my motivation.

Long story short, I recovered in 8-9 months and the opportunity to keep the promise finally came. In that first visit to the Syrian border that changed my life, on the last day of Seva, this five-year-old girl child ran up to me and asked me a question in broken Arabic and English. She asked “Are there children like us in India too? Do you also give food to children like us in India?” The intensity with which the question came from the child’s heart made me realize that this is a question that only an angel can ask. This lit the spark of Love again in all our hearts and Sai Aashraya was born.

Our Mission & Vision

Sai Aashraya’s Mission of Love & Service is constituted by the following four pillars:

·        Food & Nutrition

·        Medicare

·        Educare

·        Sociocare

Through our service initiatives under these four pillars, we strive to achieve the core values of Equality, Integrity, Unity, and Fraternity. Our vision is to realize these ideals in every location where we work, as they represent the cornerstones of a self-reliant society and are instrumental in fostering Global Harmony and Universal peace. This guiding philosophy is the driving force behind our dedication to making the world a better place for all.

Sai Aashraya takes immense pride in delivering high-quality service offerings to the doorsteps of people residing in some of the most underserved, diverse, and challenging locations. Our mission is simple: “To Love All – Serve All.” By operating within the framework of these four pillars in every project, we’ve successfully provided holistic care, enabling growth and self-sustainability for families and entire communities.

Love in Action is Service

The first Seva Project that we started was serving breakfast to school children from one low lying area near home in Bengaluru. Beyond nourishing meals, we undertook the task of empowering parents, particularly fathers, by facilitating employment opportunities, thereby infusing a renewed sense of purpose into their lives. The impact was profound as the once-desolate slum gradually emptied, allowing the children to pursue education with a larger purpose in their hearts. What began with a single school has blossomed into a network that now caters to 2,000 children across nine schools daily. To learn more about the genesis of this project please do follow this link: Breakfast Seva.

Recognizing the critical gap in healthcare due to lack of awareness, prohibitive costs, and lack of prioritization in low-lying urban areas surrounding Bengaluru, we expanded our efforts into the field of medical care. Launching Super Speciality Medicare Camps, we delivered Holistic and compassionate healthcare to approximately 700 patients every first weekend of the month. 

To date, we’ve been immensely blessed to serve over 85,000 patients in the farthest corners of our nation, venturing into remote villages and adopting a holistic approach. We began by adopting a village affected by leprosy and societal exclusion. Through replicating our initiatives in Bengaluru, this village has not only become self-reliant but serves as a catalyst for the development of 15-20 neighboring villages. 

Our reach expanded further to the northeastern part of the country, specifically Arunachal Pradesh, where we navigated challenging terrains and altitudes of 14,000 ft. above sea level. Identifying a prevalence of cardiac ailments among both children and the elderly, we conducted Super Specialty Medicare Camps every two months. We reached out to the remote tribal villages, where residents had limited access to quality healthcare, and for some of them, our intervention marked their first encounter with a medical professional.

The need was massive. With the support and guidance of the district administration and the Indian Army, we adopted five remote villages near the Indo-China border. The remarkable progress witnessed in these areas, supported by the local community and administrative collaboration, stands as a testament to the transformative impact of our efforts. More information regarding our work in this region can be found at Arunachal Pradesh Medicare & Gram Seva.

We then expanded our Food & Nutrition projects to provide round-the-clock support to the most under-served amongst us. Beyond addressing the immediate need for nourishment, we aimed to foster self-reliance. The overwhelming support from the communities we serve has enabled us to expand into new areas as they achieve self-sufficiency over a period of time. Over the last seven years, we take pride in having served more than 6.3 million meals, a testament to the enduring impact of collective compassion and dedicated service. For more details, please view this webpage: 24/7 Food Seva.

Sai Aashraya Super Speciality Hospital

Over the years, we worked with many healthcare institutions both charitable and commercial to ensure that the large number of children and elders who needed surgeries got operated. When the effectiveness and the feasibility of these collaborations did not work any longer, we took the plunge to build our own hospital.

Currently, we are over 80% through the construction of our own state-of-the-art, 220-bed Super Specialty Hospital without a billing counter. This state-of-the-art facility specializes in Pediatric and Adult Cardiac Care, as well as Mother & Childcare (OB/GYN) in Vemagal, Kolar District, near Bangalore. This Temple of Healing is set to be commissioned in early 2024.

All this work has been driven by an army of committed volunteers from across Bharat and the world over. The impact that volunteering has had on this special project, one close to all our hearts, reverberates across diverse spheres and will surely be something that inspires us all when we reflect upon this journey years later. Every unit of contribution that comes in, goes into the actual work and there are no overheads thereby creating the highest impact. Sai Aashraya is a place where each one lives for the other and everyone lives for this Mission of Love & Service that we all are on. 

As we enter the final stages of the hospital project, we are looking for support to complete the last part of the project. With all our hearts, we invite everyone to join us in this transformative journey.

As we reflect on our journey of Love and Service, we find our hearts filled with profound gratitude for the incredible souls who have bestowed upon us the precious opportunity to serve and, in doing so, discover the essence of our true selves. Thank you, from the depths of our hearts, for being the driving force behind Sai Aashraya’s mission of Love and Service.

We, at team Sai Aashraya, take this opportunity to convey our heartfelt gratitude to each one of our volunteers for being an integral part of Sai Aashraya’s mission of Love and Service. Visualize this — being there, standing by our side when the first little heart is healed and finds happiness in the sacred halls of our Temple of Healing!

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