On 3rd July 2022, Honourable Minister of Tourism & Civil aviation and Commerce & Industries – Sikkim, Mr. Bedu Singh Panth visited Sathya Sai Grama in Muddenahalli.
The event was held at Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Auditorium. The session began with a talk by Sri B.N. Narasimha Murthy. He quoted a famous statement, “Nation is made in kitchens and schools” and mentioned that this statement was made during the second world war, yet relevant in today’s times. He further went on to emphasize that it is the fundamental duty of the government, society and parents to bring up the children of the nation into physically, mentally, intellectually and emotionally strong individuals. He also said every child should have 3 fundamental rights – right to right food and nutrition, right to right kind of education and right to healthcare in times of need. Rather than quoting a country’s GDP, he said, the extent to which the children are taken care of should be the fundamental criteria for judging the progress of a country. Quoting Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s words, “daiva preeti, paapa bheeti, sanga neeti,” he explained right kind of education should be based on faith and devotion to God, fear of sin and then comes morality in society without which no nation can progress. Morality can be imbibed only with children rather than grown-ups and hence the statement, “Nation is made in kitchens and schools” is relevant even today.
Thereafter, the honourable minister, Mr. Bedu Singh Panth spoke about how happy he was to have the fortune of obtaining the darshan and to witness the heritage of spirituality along with service. He went on to request the youth not to go behind modernism, instead march on to uphold our culture and tradition by adhering to Sanatana dharma. He offered immense gratitude to Sri Sathya Sai Annapoorna Trust for helping the poor children of Sikkim and said Sikkim state, despite being far flung from the mainland, is a tourist destination but a backward area with poverty and suffering rampant. He also said understanding such conditions, ceaseless efforts of Annapoorna team and with the grace of Sadguru, the children are happy for having received morning nutrition. He also said the efforts for covering the entire state in the near future with the help of government of Sikkim is under way. Lastly, he expressed his wish that in the remaining years left in his life, he would like to serve humanity and surrender to such noble activities.
Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai addressed the gathering with his divine discourse. Quoting from the scriptures, “annadanam mahadanam,” he said food in charity to the hungry is one of the greatest forms of charities. It is such a simple yet an important seva, a very fundamental and basic seva to provide nutrition to school-going children. He mentioned our country has malnourished, stunted or wasted children even after 75 years of Independence, which is the reason why Annapoorna Morning Nutrition program started ten years ago. What started in a small school serving just 50 school going children has now grown covering 22 states and 3 union territories. With the motto, “Let No Child Go To School Hungry, Ever,” he said every individual child matters and just like how mother Annapoorna does not differentiate, Annapoorna seva is for each and every child. He explained how hunger is understood by everybody and is fundamentally the same in all, it is very important to take care of others’ hunger. He went on to say further that offering food to a child is akin to offering food to God and if a child is fed and made happy, God is happy. He explained breakfast is an important meal which breaks the fast after the night; with lack of right nutrition in the first meal of the day, there would be only weak people. Weak children cannot make a strong country and hence this is a very fundamental seva. He also spoke about the perils of weak children who don’t get good education leading to criminal minds and anti-social elements. Hence, it is very important to share with them today what we have! He said India being a country where Gods have incarnated, sages and rishis have walked, vedas being taught, there cannot be children going hungry to school. Investing in today’s children will be worth because tomorrow there can be a peaceful life for all. With his encouraging words, he said we should leave this earth in a better shape than what we received from our forefathers. Lastly, he advised all to be appreciative, mindful and grateful to God for everything that we have received.