Arya Samaj begins 2011 mission in Guyana

By admin / Posted on 27 July 2011




President of the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission, Pandit Suresh Sugrim, has said that the organization has given more than $20M (US$100,000 and more) to the poor and needy in Guyana since the group’s establishment in 2005.
Pandit Sugrim is in Guyana for the 2011 leg of assisting the poor and needy in the society. He said that the monies are received “from the benevolence of our Guyanese brothers and sisters in other communities….it is not the Sugrims money, it is the people’s money,” he said.
Educating and empowering the needy people will be the main focus of the mission this year. Pandit Sugrim stated that no longer will the organization be giving hand-outs to the poor, only to have them “come and join the line again”.
Rather, he will try to assist those who can show the willingness to help themselves in their poverty-stricken situation.
“Handouts are something temporary and we have no intentions of (giving) handouts. The only way that we will be handing out is to individuals who are bed- ridden and cannot help themselves”, he revealed. He wants to empower single mothers and those facing crises, abuse, rape and suicide victims, in ways that will empower and educate them.
The U.S.-based group is a tax-exempt organization in New Jersey. It is registered in Guyana under the Friendly Act Societies.
Pandit Sugrim said that even though the organization is a Hindu-oriented one, they do not talk about religion and race and that they “serve all of God’s creatures, regarding of religious practices and ethnicities”.
The organization, he said, has revamped its vision on empowerment. “We can only break the chains of poverty through education, and what we are going to do in 2011 is to educate/empower families and children who are willing to have an education.”
The housing project for low-income families has begun, he said. “We would empower that family with help of building a house, and they work and pay back…on an interest- free basis,” he said.
The mission this year, he said, will primarily focus on families and mothers with children who dropped out of school due to “lack of financial status or poverty, we are willing to get those children into school”.
He said parents will need to prove the children are in school but will not be able to help everyone, since they will tend to persons on a first come, first serve basis. A thorough examination into individual cases will be done, too, to assess the needs of poor and needy people.
They will be going through the rural and remote areas of Guyana and “try to find families and see how we can empower them”. He met with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Charge d’ Affairs of the U.S. Embassy and other diplomats earlier this week.
Pandit Sugrim admitted that one of the severe social problems in Guyana is “rum- drinking where our fathers have consumed alcohol to the max and…create the deterioration of family foundations” and that fathers need to take care of their responsibilities.
“God and man help those who help themselves. We have no zeal in working with people who have no vision of helping themselves. A father who takes his paycheck to the rum- shop, I have no zeal in helping that family,” the President said.
He said that the organization is operating more strictly in lending assistance to people because “there is tremendous laziness in this country. I have traveled across this country…and see people are very happy with the way they are living and the cycle is very difficult to break,” he noted.
“You have a piece of land and there is grass and no tree, no tomatoes, no pepper…it tells me that is laziness; that you have a piece of land but not willing to plant but you want NGOs to help you. It is impossible,” he noted.
“[ But] if I come and see you are striving, you do a little cattle, cows and ducks and you have some ochroes and tomatoes and bora plants, it tells me that you are trying; you need that push,” he said.
He said that in the past, there were families “who tried to beat the system” and “who have businesses but were joining the line; people who were ‘well off’ but joining the line” and “thus depriving a child who doesn’t have anybody.”
He revealed that they are hoping to turn the sod for the massive project later this year, whereby a Senior Citizens Home will be built in Port Mourant.
“In Georgetown, there are tremendous facilities, but if you look in Region Six, there are not too many organizations willing to help these families.





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