Prasanna Trust: Serving the Community With a 360° Degree Approach
Indian Economy faces many problems at the time but there are only a few that actually affects as many people as hunger. India stands amongst the Top 15 countries with the worst possible situation in regards to hunger according to the latest World Hunger Index even. A step in the direction to deal with this problem is Prasanna Trust’s initiatives. It has taken up a wholistic approach including Anna Daan, Aarogya Daan and Gyaana Daan. They are also running an initiative for homeless girl children by the name Prasanna Jyoti.
Prasanna Trust is a non-religious NGO serving people since the year of 1982. It was founded by Swami Sukhabodhananda. He has written 118 Life transformation books guiding people towards knowledge and light. He is one of the very influential speakers of the world and has been invited multiple times to address the PMO, various summits, and more. He was invited twice to the prestigious World Economic Forum in Switzerland and was a special invitee to the United Nations World Millennium Summit of Spiritual Leaders.
While during COVID-19, the world was trying to manage and maintain the health and well-being of their own families, and failing yet, Prasanna Trust’s Anna Daan initiative was successfully serving meals to approximately 5000-6000 people per day to the caretakers of poor patients in the Government hospitals. These people usually tend to skip meals on account of the poverty and the stress they go through. Having identified the need, the trust tied up with NIMHANS, Jeyadava, Jayanagar, Sir C V Raman, ESI - Government Hospitals & Nirguna Mandir to help get the meals to the people inside the hospital. Since the beginning of the initiative, they have served almost 4.2 million meals amounting to more than 10 lakh kilograms of food.
Over the period of COVID-19 lockdowns, the trust has delivered over 2 million meals with the distribution help from Bengaluru Police, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Young Indians & Volunteers from the trust itself. The distribution was mostly targeted towards the section of society that was suffering the most from the lockdown effects. Daily wage workers, homeless people, and slums as well as families of people who have lost their livelihoods in lockdowns. During the times of global pandemic, Anna Daan's initiative has been distributing food and smiles every day, to millions of people.
In line with this initiative, they have been undertaking morning breakfast service in government schools to the children in need, by the name of Vidhyarthi Seva. As a result of research undertaken by the trust, in government schools, the primary motive of the students to attend is generally mid-day meals, and then comes the education part. These students are generally hunger-driven and are noted amidst the incidents of fainting before mid-day meals. Even when they cope with hunger until mid-day meals, they are still focused on the time when they’ll be receiving their meals. Education, here, takes the back seat. As a counter to this issue, Prasanna trust has initiated morning meals for these students in rural government/society schools, Panchayat and Taluka schools, and needy students in urban government schools.
Since the inception of this initiative, they have been growing the numbers gradually. They have served in almost 15 schools to almost 2000-3000 students every day. This initiative aims to provide meals to the hungry and needy children right at the start and make their day at school more productive as well as focused on education and learning. The major focus of the initiative is hunger eradication and enabling the child for productive learning.
Furthermore, focusing on the need for education and making that available to the masses, the Gyaana Daan initiative by the trust offers scholarships to deserving students. More often than not, amongst the families living below the poverty line, parents don’t earn enough to make resources available for the child’s education or they have more children than resources available for each one of them. In such cases, the trust identifies meritorious children and offers a scholarship of a maximum of 30,000 yearly to support their education.
Helping people through the various atrocities of life, the trust has taken up the initiative of Aarogya Daan. It is focused on helping people in need with surgery and procedures that might cost them way more than they could afford. These surgeries are provided free of cost to the patients in need such as Free Cardiac care and heart procedures, eye screening and cataract surgery as well as provision of artificial limbs.
Over and above this, there is a special project undertaken targeted towards homeless girl children. This specific project was launched in the year 1988 towards the upliftment and empowerment of women all over. This initiative focuses on creating a home for destitute girls between the ages of 5-20 years providing them with modern facilities to support their education and vocational studies to make them life-ready. Since the day it was incorporated, this initiative has benefitted and improved the lives of 120+ girls and many more still living and studying with the trusted home. The education provided to these girls is focused on their overall growth including extra-curricular like dance, music, sports, and arts. These girls have responded by showing their talents in various fields and winning several awards. Some of them are studying in reputed universities, settling abroad, or building their careers in respectable positions. Further, they are planning assistance and a home for girls more than 20 years of age even, providing a roof over their heads and guidance and assistance to make them ready to face the world outside.