THE NEW JERSEY ARYA SAMAJ MANDIR, INC., HUMANITARIAN MISSION 2008
Reflections and Accomplishment of the
New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc. Humanitarian Mission 2008
By: Sabrina D. Misir Hiralall
The New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission is compelled to serve mankind. Throughout 2008, copious efforts have been made to assist the less fortunate. Who is the less fortunate? What makes a person less fortunate? How do you know people are in need? The less fortunate people are individuals who do not meet the basic every day survival needs. Everyone may define the term less fortunate in a different manner. However, the NJASM, Inc., Humanitarian Mission defines the less fortunate as those individuals who live in dire poverty. The Atharva Veda proclaims, “Life without goodness, good thoughts, good actions, and good words is like the sky in the night without the moon or stars. It is like a wheel without a hub or spokes! No one can push a boulder away while standing on it; you cannot be free from anxiety while all the entrances through which it sneaks in are open.” The New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission has proven that they do not only believe in the values of the Vedas but more so to serve humanity in its glory in this present time through its supporters, donors, contributors, as well as caregivers, without whom it would have not been possible.
In February 2008, many innocent individuals which included law enforcement as well as civilians from Guyana were killed in two separate incidents. On February 17th, the venue of Bartica in Guyana was attacked by ferocious pitiless inhabitants. Pt. Suresh Sugrim on behalf of the Humanitarian Mission joined collectively with Christian, Muslim, in addition to Hindu leaders to partake in an Interfaith Service held at the Calvary Roseville United Methodist Church located in East Orange, New Jersey. A further service was also held in New York. Pt. Sugrim organized the affair with the objective of praying for the victims as well as their families by uniting with those of all faiths. The leaders prayed for souls of the fatalities of crime. One may speculate about the attackers. Individuals should pray for the attackers to discover truth within themselves to triumph over merciless acts of crime. If simply the attackers could gain knowledge of the righteous ways of faith, then maybe crime will have a chance to diminish. Pandit Sugrim states, “There is very little we can do at this distance, except to pray and hope for the best in addition to contributing charitably to those who are in need.”
Soon the season of Holi arrived during the month of March as all Hindus across the globe engaged in the merriment of the Festival of Spring. Pt. Suresh Sugrim declared in several leading newspapers such as Guyana Chronicle Online plus Kaieteur News “Phagwah in Guyana and around the world brings every human heart together in a very colorful and festive celebration. It is another occasion for the sharing of joy, love, and renewed friendship. The celebrations do accentuate oneness. Therefore as leaders of various organizations let us all be reminded of the story of Bhakta Prahalad and his father Hiranyakashyapu. Let us be reminded of the virtue of being steadfast to one’s belief and courage to pursue duty. It encourages us not to use our energies and resources to project or encourage evil.” Pt. Suresh Sugrim is not only a humanitarian worker, a preacher, but he is a man who pursues achievement. The Humanitarian Mission believes their responsibility is to bestow assistance to those who beyond doubt require support. Therefore, during the season of Holi, leaders of the Humanitarian Mission capture the opportunity to remind their members as well as the public of their underlying principles in serving humanity. The Yajur Veda states, “Good work done with bad intentions inevitably leads to failure. That is why one should refrain from evil tendencies.” The Humanitarian Mission promotes first-class work with excellent intentions. Evil is not to be taken nonchalantly or condoned.
Almost immediately after March, the New Jersey Humanitarian Mission in alliance with the Guyana Central Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission helped seven year old Farziena Ali who suffered from a heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot. The youthful child considered it necessary to voyage to India for a surgical procedure. A monetary donation was given to Nirmala Rajbali, who is the grandmother of Farziena, to help with airfare costs. In addition, the New Jersey Arya Samaj provides monthly food vouchers to the underprivileged as well as disabled families. The month of March was unquestionably a time to remind the members of the congregation about their duty towards those in need as well as a time to take action in performing dutiful actions.
In April, the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission in union once again with the Guyana Central Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission was determined to build a house for Iris Latchman, age sixty from Rose Hall Town of Corentyne in Guyana. Iris’s residence crumbled to the ground during the gusty time of year. This elderly woman’s children were not in sound psychological state to be of assistance to their mother. Thus, the Humanitarian Mission saved this woman from becoming homeless. One may question if they could ever be in someone else’s dreadful predicament. Research says a large amount of the general public is merely two paychecks away from living on the streets. Do you think you could ever wind up poor and living on the street?Thankfully, Iris Latchman will certainly remain in her residence as oppose to living on the streets.
On Sunday, May 4th the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc. Humanitarian Mission presented a grand fund-raising event called the “Arya Swaranjali” which was a Pre-Mother’s Day Family Entertainment Concert at Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey. A wide array of entertainment was provided to please the spectators of the classical arts as well as the audience of the Caribbean chutney arts. Artistes included Caribbean performers of New York and New Jersey. The funds raised were used to present shelter, provisions, garments, school supplies, as well as other necessities to the disadvantaged families plus seniors of Guyana. Dr. Tara Singh wrote about the accomplishments of the New Jersey Arya Samaj in The West Indian Weekly Newspaper. One of the most noted achievements was the Give your Hands to Serve and Your Hearts to Love Program. For only $120.00 a year, the public is given the opportunity to sponsor a child to receive the essential supplies needed to sustain life.
Every summer, the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission ventures to Guyana for hands on activities. Throughout the summer of 2008, a housing mission was established to provide homes for the disadvantaged people of Guyana. The New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission in alliance with the Food for the Poor Guyana, Inc. and other organizations joined forces to bestow several items such as bicycles, sewing machines, baby supplies for young mothers, and etc. A septic tank in addition to other equipment was donated to the individuals living at the Camel International Home for the Homeless amongst other orphanages as well as senior citizen homes located in Guyana. A large scale blood drive was also conducted to aid those in need of blood transfusions. There were many Cuban doctors as well as people of different religions who were in the midst of the many who donated blood during the blood drive held at Williamsburg, Corentyne, as well as Berbice in Guyana. In collaboration with the Nirvana Humanitarian Foundation, Laff Til Yuh Belly Bust was hosted at the Albion Sports Complex in Berbice during July. All of the funds were donated to the Humanitarian Mission. Rose Hall Fire Station sited in Corentyne, Guyana also acknowledged a munificent donation from the Humanitarian Mission. A Skills Center was established at Canje to offer classes of fundamental vocational skills. Youth empowerment services were also provided. An appreciation ceremony was held in mark of respect for the New Jersey contingent of the Humanitarian Mission before they left the country of Guyana.
On September 28th, the Humanitarian Mission collaborated with the Natraj Center for the Performing Arts to present “Arya Swaranjali An Evening of Hope” at James J. Ferris High School located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Several distinguished artistes from New York and New Jersey performed. The star of the evening was the Honorable Shri Prakash Gossai and Devendra Pooran. All funds raised were used to help children overseas in Guyana. In December, the New Jersey Humanitarian Mission answered the cries of disabled seniors from Guyana who desperately needed wheelchairs. In addition, funds that were raised from the Arya Swaranjali An Evening of Hope were used to donate finances to the Mora Point Health Center in Maichony river of Guyana.
The New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission has provided confirmation of the accomplishments of their powerful mission to serve the disadvantaged. All the way through 2008, inexhaustible efforts have been fulfilled to assist the less fortunate. Every single one of the members of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission deserves to be celebrated for their efforts. However, praise is not the goal of the workers of the Humanitarian Mission. They are on a mission to help the less fortunate without desire for recognition. All individuals of all religious communities are invited to come aboard to help those in need. The goal is to help those in need and not dispute spiritual beliefs. The Humanitarian Mission does share the belief of helping all of those in need physically, mentally, as well as psychologically.
Most importantly, the members of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission are guided by the charitable vision of the members of all religious societies. Individuals around the globe have helped to steer the organization towards achieving their selfless goals to help their peers. The project has been funded by the people for the people. Therefore, without the people this organization would seize to exist. The term humanitarian may be defined as a concern to assist as well as improve the lives of people by alleviating the anguish of the people. Thus, without the support of individuals, the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission would not succeed. The people of the global society have helped to fund the project of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission. Finances are not the only element of assistance given through the global society. It takes the human heart filled with love in addition to benevolent action to make this project successful. There are hundreds of hands that provide evidence of care which is at the heart of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Mandir, Inc., Humanitarian Mission.
Pt. Sugrim always states, “Every drop of water makes a difference.” This is obviously evident since he is like a drop of water in a river of hundreds of people. Pt. Sugrim strongly believes the Humanitarian Mission is guided by the people because the mission is for the people. Without the charitable love as well as contributions from the people, the river of love that flows as a result of the Humanitarian Mission would become as barren as the bare desert. One may wonder about the future of the Humanitarian Mission. Pt. Sugrim is the most well known leader to the people of the Tri-state area but is only one of the leaders behind the project. The efforts of Pt. Sugrim are highly praised by all of those who share the charitable vision of the Humanitarian Mission. Pt. Sugrim has worked with numerous dignitaries as well as been featured in more than a few newspapers.
The Rig Veda discusses leadership by stating, “People accept only that person as their leader who is radiant with good knowledge and karma.” Let us all pray for all members of the Humanitarian Mission to be given the vigor to continue to assist the organization in the direction to help those in need. In addition, let us all give a standing ovation for all of our efforts as we remind ourselves that every diminutive contribution makes a difference in the life of one another. Let us all take a moment to help someone in need starting at this very instant. We all have the power to make a difference in the life of someone else. May the guidance of Almighty God be with our donors, supporters, contributors, in addition to caregivers. Also, may the direction of the Almighty God be with you as you embark on your journey to bring many smiles to many lonely faces as we collaborate to be of assistance to those in need.
–Sabrina D. Misir Hiralall, Teacher of SwarLeena School of Dance, LLC
|The New Jersey Arya Samaj has had the privilege of working with:
Prime Minister of Guyana, Samuel Hinds
Minister of Human Services
Member of Congress
Jersey City Council
Mayor of Jersey City
Mayor of Irvington
Mayor of the City of Bayonne
Hudson County Executive
Essex County Executive
Mayor of Bloomfield
|The New Jersey Arya Samaj has been featured in:
The West Indian
Caribbean New Yorker