Nawan Nagar, March 2023
Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra (VMRK) celebrated the 2023 spring Navratri festival (Chaitra Navratri) from March 22 to 30 at its center in Nawan Nagar, Haryana, India. This sacred devotional festival is dedicated to Maa, the Divine Cosmic Mother and her nine forms.
VMRK transformed its Nawan Nagar center into a celebratory atmosphere decorated with lights, flowers, rangoli, and balloons. Participants came from near and far to celebrate Navratri with devotion, enthusiasm, and positivity during the nine day program. Many came from different parts of India and stayed at the center for the whole festival. VMRK provided free accommodation and food for all participants and arranged transportation from the train and bus stations for those coming from afar. Each evening, large numbers of people from the surrounding areas came to enjoy the festivities.
Three big tents, approximately spanning 80,000 sq. ft., hosted the evening festivities. Each night, professional singers performed bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of the Divine Mother and the audience clapped and sang as they enjoyed the devotional songs. All three tents overflowed with participants, and many sat on the mats that were laid in the open, outside of the tent areas.
On Navami, the ninth day of the festival, all VMRK centers celebrated kanya puja to worship the Divine Cosmic Mother whose forms are represented in little girls. There is a brief description of kanya puja in our blog post 2022 Autumn (Ashvin) Navratri Festival.
On the last day of the festival, Sant Baljit Singh Ji gave a short talk in which he explained the importance of putting in more time to one’s meditation and devotional practices.
Chaitra Navratri charitable services
During the festival, VMRK organized multiple programmes of charitable services inspired by the teachings of Sant Baljit Singh Ji. From March 22–30, 2023, VMRK undertook charitable services that extended beyond its center in Nawan Nagar to the remote hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. Overall these charitable activities made a meaningful positive impact in the lives of thousands of underprivileged people.
A summary of these charitable services is presented in this blog post. For detailed descriptions of how these programmes are usually run, please read the following blog posts:
- Charitable services at VMRK Pimpalner, February 2023
- Serving communities around Pimpalner in February 2023
- Charitable services at Ashvin Navratri 2022
- Serving villages and slums during Ashvin Navratri 2022.
Medical and hygiene camps
VMRK organized a medical camp at the Navratri event grounds to serve the attendees and general public. A team of 70 well-qualified medical professionals provided 24-hour medical service to thousands of patients. The doctors, paramedical and nursing staff provided free medical consultation, medicines, and patient care. At the 12-bed Clinical Treatment Center, more than 900 patients received in-house medical attention. Three fully-equipped ambulances catered for medical emergencies and volunteers used wheel chairs to bring patients to the medical camp.
Throughout the festival, VMRK organized medical camps in surrounding areas in the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab. Each day, a team of 2 doctors, 2 pharmacists and 5–8 volunteers visited the slum areas and poor neighborhoods within 52 kilometers of the VMRK center in Nawan Nagar. These camps provided free medical consultation and free medicines that benefited more than 900 patients.
These teams also distributed hygiene material kits consisting of a toothbrush, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 4 bathing soaps, 4 washing soaps, and 1 nail cutter. More than 4,400 kits were distributed during the 9-day festival.
Blood donation camp
Every day during the festival, VMRK held a blood donation camp on the Navratri event grounds. 425 people came forward to donate their blood and were first assessed by doctors. After screening, 341 people donated a total of 341 units i.e. 136.4 liters of blood. The blood bank teams came from Red Cross, Panchkula, Haryana; Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector-32, Chandigarh; Civil Hospital, Sector-6, Panchkula, Haryana; Civil Hospital, Ambala Cantonment, Haryana; Command Hospital, Chandimandir, Haryana; and Civil Hospital, Ropar, Punjab.
Donating educational materials to students
VMRK distributed school supplies to more than 3,360 students in 54 schools situated in the remote hilly areas within 52 kilometers of the Nawan Nagar center. Unpaved roads are the only access to these schools. Each student received the donated educational materials with joy and excitement.
Today on March 24, 2023, volunteers of Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra distributed educational material and water bottles to students-in-need. The charitable activities undertaken by Vishav Manav Ruhani Kendra help these students excel in their education. These noble deeds are highly appreciated. Society is developing owing to the support extended and welfare activities undertaken by the organizations like yours, and prosperity of humanity is also growing in the society. We are thankful and hope that your organization will continue to assist students-in-need to improve their future and the welfare of humanity in the whole world.
Head Teacher, Government Primary School Tipra, Himachal Pradesh