Sewa Recognizes Its Volunteers
An overview of Sewa International’s Central Jersey Chapter growth from 2018 to 2022 (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
EDISON, NJ – Central New Jersey high school students participating in Sewa International’s Leadership, Education, And Development (LEAD) internship program collectively logged over 32,000 hours of community service in 2021. Organized from Nov.2020 to Oct.2021, the program attracted 146 students and over 35-40 adults who helped conduct the program.
Central New Jersey Sewa chapter’s coordinator Rajesh Sharma shared this information at an event held on Jan.23. The two-hour virtual event attended by over 240 people recognized the year-long efforts of chapter volunteers from the LEAD program, Family Services, COVID-19 Helpline, and Disaster Relief Teams and honored the students who received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 2021.
Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., (D-NJ) was the chief guest. Arthur Kapoor, Founder and CEO of HealthEC, and Dr. Suresh K. Jain, Sewa’s board member, participated as the guests of honor. Sewa International’s president Arun Kankani, national director of projects and programs Prem Pusuloori and senior volunteers Vijay Mallampati, Anita Kant, and partner organizations from various NJ townships attended the program.
Rep. Pallone recalled his interaction with the Sewa team in Gujarat 15 years ago where he said he had witnessed how rural women were helped in earning their living through a micro-loan program. He praised volunteers for their service during the pandemic through projects like the drive-thru PPE distribution to first responders, hot meals to support the homeless, and others. He congratulated student volunteers who received presidential awards and thanked their parents for raising civic-minded children.
“The job LEAD volunteers have done is phenomenal. I am really impressed by their interest in serving the needy, that too at a young age,” said Arthur Kapoor. He stressed the importance of giving back to society.
Dr. Suresh K. Jai; Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Trenton, NJ and Pastor Cyndi Stouffer of United Methodist Church, all lauded the work of Sewa volunteers. Other Sewa officials provided information about the chapter’s services.
AttachAvi Autism Foundation’s youth performed dances to appreciate Sewa’s volunteer work. Folk dances and a piano recital gave a cultural flavor to the program, and the quiz kept everyone engaged throughout the event. The program concluded with a “Shanti Mantra.”