Serving at Parmarth Cow Shelter and Planting Trees
Inspired by the various service initiatives undertaken by Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), which are flourishing and thriving under Pujya Swamiji’s divine leadership and vision, twenty students from America were eager and enthusiastic to spend part of their summer in Rishikesh. The young students, coordinated by IBEX expeditions and Adventures Cross Country, came from all across America, from the states of New York, Texas, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts and many others.
During the first of four days of their stay, the students visited the Parmarth Gaushala in Kunao and fed the cows fresh green grass and organic jaggery. Many of them were surprised to learn that they could also consume the jaggery and that this traditional form of sugar had immense health benefits. They were glad to learn about Pujya Swamiji’s inspired initiative to take stray cows off the street. They were informed by volunteers that Divine Shakti Foundation (DSF) is providing vital animal care services for cows and dogs in the area, as well as holding regular educational, ecological and healthcare programmes for needy populations.
Shortly after their visit to the Parmarth Cow Shelter, they took part in tree plantation. They were told that the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and Ganga Action Parivar (GAP) organize every monsoon. They learned about Pujya Swamiji’s inspired ‘Mid-Day Fruit Programme,’ in which fruit trees are planted in hundreds of schools to ensure students get fresh fruit all year round, providing a natural source of nutrients and minerals to prevent malnutrition. They themselves planted nearly fifty trees in Kunao, including guava, jamun, lemon, pear and many other fruits.
They felt deeply inspired by the great work that is thriving under Pujya Swamiji’s leadership and were eager to return again, as well as continue to contribute to Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) and Ganga Action Parivar’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes.