Ashadha Shukla12, Vik.Samvat 2073. Yugabda 5118: 16 July 2016

3. Rashtrapatiji inaugurates Swami Vivekanand Sabhagar at Sangeet Natak Akademi 4. Bharatiya Languages Continue To Enrich South African Society: Pradhan Mantri
11. 'Namami Gange' is atonement for sin of sullying the river, says Uma 12. BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE FOR SECOND DAY
13. Capt. Radhika Menon to receive IMO Award 14. EKAL VIDYALAYA TURNS A VILLAGE 100% LITERATE
15. Haryana: In moral education books, wisdom from Gita, Vedas 16. RS 1500 CRORE PROJECTS FOR RELIGIOUS TOURISM OKAYED
17. Modi salutes Banda Bahadur 18. TEACHERS DAY OR GURU VANDANA UTSAV 2016 AT NEWCASTLE UK
19. Indian Navy's Mhadei returns home 20. SURESH RAO KETKAR PASSES AWAY




1.   FESTIVALS: Shravana Maas: The month of Shravana falls at the peak of rainy season. It is a month of fasts and festivals. In Northern Bharat, the month is from July 20th  to August 18 while in Gujarat, Maharshtra and South Bharat the month is from August 3rd  to September 2 this year. Mondays in the month are supposed to be the days of Lord Shiva and people keep fast to please him. On Saturdays, fast is observed to escape from the bad influence of Lord Shani. In Gujarat girls observe Gai vrat on all days of the month to get a good husband. In Maharashtra Mangal Gauri Pooja is performed on Tuesdays. In Northern Bharat, the third day of the Shukla paksha is Hariyali teej. Married women come to their mother's house and swing with their old childhood friends. Naga Panchami falls two days after Hariyali Teej and snakes are worshipped and offered milk on this day. Kalki Jayanti falls on August 5 while Tulsidas Jayanti falls on August 10 this year. Raksha Bandhan, the festival of girls tying sacred rakhi on the hands of their brothers falls on Shravan Purnima August 15. Most of the people observe Shravana as a very pious month and they do not take non-vegetarian food or alcohol during the whole month. -goTop


2. LAKHS CONGREGATE IN PURI TO WITNESS 'RATH YATRA': In Odisha, about 10 lakh devotees thronged Puri on July 6 to catch the glimpse of deities on chariots on the occasion of annual world famous Rath Yatra. Debadalana of Devi Subhadra, Taladhwaja chariot of Lord Balabhadra and Nandighosha of Lord Jagannath were towed from Puri Jagannath temple along the three kilometer stretch of Grand Road on a nine-day sojourn to Gundicha Temple, their aunt's place. Apart from Bharatiyas, this festival attracts a large number of international tourists in Puri who participate in the rathayatra. -goTop


3. Rashtrapatiji inaugurates Swami Vivekanand Sabhagar at Sangeet Natak Akademi: Speaking on the occasion at Kathak Kendra of the Academy on 4th July, Rashtrapati Shri Pranab Mukherji said that Swami Vivekananda embodied the ancient spiritual idea of Bharat-a Bharat that was open, assimilative and ever evolving. Kathak similarly, is a primarily Bharatiya dance form that openly embraced influences, assimilated them and evolved and perpetuated itself since its origin in the 4th Century BC and during the times of the Mahabharat.

Rashtrapatiji said that Swami Vivekananda was not only a good singer but was also an accomplished pakhawaj player. Not only was he a performer himself, the very first book he wrote was on the subject of music. He was trained in Hindustani Classical music, and it is said that towards the latter part of his life, at dawn he would tune his tanpura and sing a dhrupad composition by Tansen in the Raga Ahir Bhairav to awaken the other ashram-dwellers of the Belur Math. -goTop


4. Bharatiya Languages Continue To Enrich South African Society: Pradhan Mantri: Bharatiya languages like Hindi, Tamil and Telugu continue to enrich the fabric of South African society, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi said on July 8."When I see all of you, I am reminded of your ancestors and their struggles and bravery," Pradhan Mantri said at Bharatia diaspora rally at the Ticketpro Dome, the entertainment hub of Johannesburg."Under decades of apartheid isolation, they not only preserved culture, tradition and language, they also gave them new wings to flourish," he said to the cheers of over 11,000 people."The beauty of Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu and Telugu continues to enrich the fabric of South African society. "There are around 1.2 million people of Bharatiya origin in South Africa, most of whose ancestors were brought there as indentured labour. This apart, there are also estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 Bharatiya nationals and professionals who are new immigrants."The colours of Holi, the sparkle of Diwali, tastes of Pongal, and festivities of Eid are not just the rainbow of Bharatiya traditional cultural resources," PM Modi said. PM Modi arrived in South Africa from Mozambique on July 7th  night on the second leg of his four-nation tour of Africa. -goTop


5. PM RETRACES GANDHI'S JOURNEY FROM MOHANDAS TO MAHATMA: Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on July 9 retraced Mahatma Gandhi's historic train journey in South Africa as he travelled from Pentrich, the railway station where the Father of the Nation was thrown out of a train compartment that proved to be a turning point in his life.

The incident on June 7, 1893 had strongly influenced Gandhi's decision to fight racial discrimination in South Africa and later the freedom struggle in Bharat. On the second day of his visit to South Africa, Modi boarded a wood-panelled carriage at Pentrich and travelled to Pietermaritzburg, a distance of around 15 km, paying tribute to Gandhi's fight against racial discrimination. Paying glowing tribute to Gandhi, the Pradhan Mantri said the visit to South Africa was like a pilgrimage as he was visiting places which were linked to Bharat's history and life of the Father of the Nation. Pradhan Mantriji also inaugurated an exhibition at the waiting hall of the railway station where Gandhi had spent the night after being thrown out of the train. -goTop


6. LT GOVERNOR SEEKS FAIR PORTRAYAL OF HINDUISM IN TEXTBOOKS: California Lieutent Governor and a group of 40 top academicians have sought "accurate and fair" representation of Hinduism in school text books in the US state, which is currently in the process of revising.

"I strongly encourage you to consider the perspective of young Indian-American and Hindu-American students and whether the proposed framework accurately and fairly portrays that student's history. If you agree that it does not, I hope you will consider making the appropriate modification," California Lt Gov Gavin Newsom said in a letter to the California State Board of Education.

Newsom's letter is considered to be big boost for the cause of Hindu-American parents who are seeking fair and accurate representation of Hinduism and removal of negative portrayal of the religion.

In another letter, 40 top academicians complained to the California State Board of Education that the balanced, age-appropriate approach for which they advocate has been largely achieved for the other religions, while the treatment of Hinduism is unduly negative and, as a result, presents Hinduism as being especially prone to historical wrongs and social problems compared with other religions - which is wholly inaccurate. -goTop


7. COVENTRY INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY: Shri B.C.Pradhan, of Consulate General of India, Birmingham, Shri Ram Lakhha Councillor,

Brahmakumaris, Patanjali Yog Trust, with HSS Coventry conducted joint International Yoga Day at HSS venue in Coventry. Over 150 persons took part in one of three sessions. The last session was conducted by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (Coventry) with Aastang Yoga and Haath Yoga. Dr Tribhovan Jotangia finished with Ekatmata Mantra & chanting three Omkars. -goTop


8. SARSANGHACHALAK PLANTS SAPLINGS AT SANGH HEADQUARTERS: RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat and RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale planted saplings at the premises of RSS headquarters in Mahal, Nagpur, on July 1. The Maharashtra State Government took the mega plantation drive to plant nearly two crore plants all over the State. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi applauded the initiative through a tweet and termed it as "excellent initiative". He urged everyone in Maharashtra to support and join the initiative.

Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat planted a sapling near the Sangh headquarters at Mahal, while Maharashtra Energy Minister Shri Chandrashekhar Bawankule and many senior officials along with 10,000 children planted saplings in Ambajhari Lake catchment area. -goTop


9. HARVARD MEET ON ROLE OF YOGA AND AYURVEDA IN INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE:  A Symposium on Integrative Medicine and Role of Yoga and Ayurveda was convened June 29 by multiple organizations spearheaded by the Indo-American Health Initiatives at the Harvard School of Medicine. Experts in the fields of research and integrative practice of Yoga and Ayurveda deliberated on the current status, challenges and future growth of Integrative Medicine. Kanchan Banerjee, Vice President of Global Indian Business Council and Co-Convener of the Symposium, provided the initial objective of the effort to serve the society. In his keynote address, Dr. H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor, S-VYASA University in Bangalore, outlined a list of scientific research for the past 30 years, and requested scientists and physicians to join hands with Bharatiya scientists and experts in Ayurveda and Yoga to place these practices on solid foundation. Dr. Greg Fricchione, Director, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine suggested that resilience to stress, as practiced in yoga, has been verified at the systems biology level. The session concluded with a presentation by the state Health Commissioner of Massachusetts Dr. Monica Bharel, who was emphatic in her support to Ayurveda and Yoga for providing holistic healthcare especially to underserved communities. -goTop


10.  Sankat Mochan: The military transport aircraft C-17 carrying Bharatiya citizens from strife torn South Sudan landed at Thiruvananthapuram on July 15th  morning. The evacuation operation named as Sankat Mochan was headed by Minister of State for External Affairs General (Retd.) VK Singh. In a tweet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that both the aircrafts will be reaching Delhi via Thiruvananthapuram. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup in a tweet said, the first aircraft has 143 Indian citizens including 10 women and 3 infants. The Bharatiya Ambassador in South Sudan, Srikumar Menon speaking to Akashvani told that the 2nd aircraft is carrying 9 Bharatiya nationals and 2 Nepalese citizens. -goTop


11. 'Namami Gange' is atonement for sin of sullying the river, says Uma: The Narendra Modi-led government's ambitious `Namami Gange' project was formally launched in Haridwar on July 7 in a mega event at the Rishikul grounds in Haridwar that was attended by Union minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation Uma Bharti, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma and Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat. Foundation stones were laid for 231 National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) projects worth Rs 1500 crore simultaneously at 100 different locations in five states -Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. These included construction of sewage treatment plants, sewage pumping stations, ghats and crematoria, biodiversity centres and knowledge centres as well as projects for creating awareness about NMCG. Speaking on the occasion, Uma Bharti said, "Ganga is perhaps the only subject on which there is complete unanimity in the whole country. This boosts our confidence that the efforts being made for its rejuvenation will be a success."The minister added, "Rs 4000 crore had been spent on the Ganga during the past 29 years. The government proposes to spend another Rs 7000 crore on the unfinished projects to ensure that the money does not go waste." -goTop


12. BHARAT SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRES SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE FOR SECOND DAY: Bharat, on July 1, successfully test fired the new surface-to-air missile, developed jointly with Israel, with a strike range upto 70 km, from a defense base off Odisha coast, a day after two rounds of similar trials were conducted. "The test was successful. With this, DRDO has created history by conducting three consecutive trials of the medium range missile successfully in two days," a DRDO official said. The test was conducted to validate various parameters and it met the mission requirements. The missile was test launched successfully twice on June 1, he said.

A laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), he said. -goTop


13. Capt. Radhika Menon to receive IMO Award: Captain Radhika Menon, Master of the oil products tanker Sampurna Swarajya, is to receive the 2016 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for her role in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous seas in the Bay of Bengal in June last year.

It took three arduous attempts in the lashing wind and rain and heavy swells before all seven weak and starving fishermen, aged from 15 to 50 years old, were brought to safety on board the ship. Their families had already considered them to be lost at sea, but thanks to the rescue, led by Captain Menon, they were reunited with their loved ones a few days later. Captain Menon is the first woman captain in the Indian Merchant Navy and will be the first woman to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. -goTop


14. EKAL VIDYALAYA TURNS A VILLAGE 100% LITERATE:  The 15 years efforts of Ekal Vidyalaya workers turned Aklul Bdupadha village under Malda District of West Bengal 100 per cent literate. The Ekal Vidyalaya was started in this village in 2001 when hardly one or two people in the total village population of around 272 people had received even elementary education. Currently, there is no illiterate child between the age group of 6 to 14 years in the village. The village committee in 2005 built an Ekal school and at present there are 40 students enrolled in the school. -goTop


15. Haryana: In moral education books, wisdom from Gita, Vedas: Teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and the Vedas, apart from importance of yoga, find place in the books on moral education that will be taught in Classes VI-XII in Haryana schools. A committee of experts comprising officials from State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) finalized the books.  -goTop


16. RS 1500 CRORE PROJECTS FOR RELIGIOUS TOURISM OKAYED: The government has cleared projects worth over Rs 1,500 crore under three schemes - Ramayana circuit, Krishna circuit and Buddhist circuit - as part of its focus on religious tourism.

The projects helmed by the tourism ministry are spread primarily over UP, and Bihar and will develop infrastructure including road and rail linkages, signages, tourist facilitation centres, toilets, changing rooms near ghats, CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi facilities besides re-creating the life and times of the era.

Among the first projects to be started will be one on creating an audio visual experience in Ayodhya depicting the life and teachings of Lord Rama. The project also envisages a gallery theme that will have life size sculptures of Valmiki and Tulsidas.

The Buddhist circuit will have a light and sound theme park at Shravasti, UP. Lord Buddha is known to have spent 24 rainy seasons in the city's Jetavan monastery built by his disciple Sudatta Anathapindika. For the Krishna circuit spread over several cities including Mathura and Vrindavan, the ministry plans to create yatri sheds, food kiosks, sound and light show and illumination of the Parikrama path. -goTop


17. Modi salutes Banda Bahadur: Paying tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in New Delhi on June 3 that the first Sikh ruler was not only a warrior but also a selfless administrator who gave rights to the farmers and the poor. Addressing a gathering at Banda Bahadur's 300th Shaheedi Samagam (martyrdom day) at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Modi said Banda Bahadur took along members from all communities to build an army and gave utmost respect to the cultural and social diversity in the country. -goTop


18. TEACHERS DAY OR GURU VANDANA UTSAV 2016 AT NEWCASTLE UK: More than 45 teachers were emotionally touched with the respect and honour they received, from Hindu children and parents of Newcastle, Balagokulam. Many mentioned that they had never experienced such pleasant feeling of being a teacher after the felicitation.

Teachers Day is an idea inspired by HSS Shakha and Balagokulams in the UK, taken from an age old Hindu tradition of veneration of Guru, Teacher or person of great learning. This festival is called Guru Vanadana. -goTop


19. Indian Navy's Mhadei returns home: After successful completion of All Women Expedition, Indian Navy's only ocean going sailboat, Mhadei, returned to her homeport, Goa, on July 14. A team of six young women officers from the Navy registered a thrilling historic first when they returned to Goa successfully after a voyage to Mauritius. The team covered a distance of over five thousand nautical miles through treacherous monsoon seas and heavy winds. -goTop


20. SURESH RAO KETKAR PASSES AWAY: Senior RSS Pracharak and former RSS Sahsarakaryavah Suresh Rao Ketkar passed away at 7.45am on 16th July morning at Latur, Maharashtra. He was suffering from age old illness since last few years and was under treatment at Vivekananda Hospital of Latur.

Born in 1934 at Pune, Sureshrao became pracharak in 1959 after his graduation and held the several responsibilities including All Bharat shareerik pramukh and y of Sahsarakaryavah. RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat and other enior functionaries expressed their deep condolences at the  demise of Suresh Rao ji Ketkar. -goTop


21. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: RSS Sarsanghachalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat and sahsarkaryavaha Dattatreya ji will travel to UK for Sanskriti Mahashibir. Vishwa Vibhag sahsamyojak Saumitra ji Gokhale would also be going to UK. Visitors: Abhishek Upadhyay - Hong Kong, Sanjiv Bhakri - Australia, Anil Nene - UK, Suresh Jain - USA.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  Perseverance in (seeking to gain) the knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, and perception of the gain that comes from knowledge of the truth: This is called knowledge: all that is contrary to this is ignorance. - Bhagavad Gita 13:11 -goTop




Waari is a holy pilgrimage in Maharashtra that consists of lakhs of devotees walking about 250 km over several days. Waari is undertaken in the Hindu month of Aashaadh (around June-July) and devotees walk with Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi (palanquin) from Dehu and Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi from Alandi to Pandharpur, where they offer their respects to Bhagwan Vitthala (also known as Vithoba or Panduranga, an avatar of Bhagwan Vishnu).

The participants in the Waari are called 'Waarakaris'. In over 700 years of waari tradition, no stampede or chaos has ever taken place. Other groups also walk from southern states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh etc. The waarkaris are mainly agriculturists and many of them are poor. A chain of lakhs of men, women and children walking for miles with non-stop chants of Gyaanbaa-Tukaaraam on their lips, is an incredible spectacle.

This year's waari, which concluded today with a MahaPuja at Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Mandir, Pandharpur, was unique because for the first time in its history, efforts of volunteers, social organizations, State Government and local administration ensured a 'Nirmal' (clean) Waari. "The waari consists of two different routes, meeting together at a couple of places, and finally at the destination. The waari schedule is fixed and so are night halts. The locations of night halts vary from big cities like Pune to small villages. While the waari is seen as very holy, the after-effects are not pleasant. Imagine a small village, lots of people turn up for an overnight stay, and leave in the morning. What could happen? The village doesn't have appropriate facilities for waste and sewage disposal. The aftermath is to be borne by the villagers.

But there had to be a solution to this. The waarkari numbers are increasing every year; the scheduled halt places are the same, and sanitation expectations increasing. Last year, sevasahayog did a pilot. They chose two locations and provided 200 portable toilets at each location. It was an awesome success! This year, they've been planning this for about 6 months - all volunteers - spent time meeting govt officials, sponsors etc.

The Govt of Maharashtra agreed to put up toilets at all locations for the entire Waari due to these efforts. 500 Toilets on Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Route, and 300 on Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Route. These toilets are being put up in 2 sets. One in use, and other being dismantled, transported and set up at the final destination.. The destination, Pandharpur, will have 1500+ toilets in total, as both sets reach there.

For the first time in history, portable toilets were provided at all the scheduled halts for the waari

But is putting up toilets sufficient? Just put up toilets and people will go there? The pilot gave sevasahayog different results. People needed to be prodded to go into the toilets. Lights, water, cleanliness needed! The folks planning this out involved the locals, the elected representatives, administrators, social organizations etc. Water arrangements were planned for, and lights were arranged at each location.

The toilet company provided cleaning staff. But the biggest challenge? Volunteers! Thousands of volunteers were needed - to persuade, prod, urge folks to use toilets. Every location needed 250+ per night. Ah yes, the real work would be in the nights. The toilets were used max between 7-10 pm and 1:30-7 AM. While volunteers came in from different organizations, a large chunk came from RSS affliated organizations.

Water, Light etc. is ok, but what do you do of the slurry? The answer was transfer to Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) where available, and where the STP wasn't available, the solution was to dump it into a pit. The challenge - quick decomposition,  without affecting groundwater or surroundings. Shallow pits are being used, with some bio-chemical additives to accelerate decomposition. The pits are away from the village.

A Rangoli group joined in, and decided to make Rangolis all over the route. These asked people for a Nirmal Waari. The result - the grounds which were earlier full of human excreta, now have toilets. Once the toilets have moved out, the ground is clean. Regular reporting and back office support was being provided. Learning from one location were carried over and rectified later.

Another thing - Once the waari and toilets moved out, the village was disinfected. This disinfection drive helped bring things back to normal very quickly. The villagers were very happy!

Now some statistics - total slurry collection from portable toilets, for all locations excluding Pune and Pandharpur, was 42.86 Lakh Litres. The toilets have been used about 25 Lakh times over the last 17-18 days. Just imagine! There was no large scale temporary toilet deployment for Waarkari's last year (except pilot study) and none 2 years ago.

The spirit shown by Seva Sahyog, RSS and other volunteers, backed by a responsive State Government, should act as an inspiration for all Hindus. The challenges we face are not insurmountable, provided we apply our minds, collaborate and persevere.

(With inputs from Hetal Rach @sevasahayog, -goTop



Nilesh Solanki

The year 206 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Hindu Swyamsevak Sangh (HSS) in the UK with the first shakha starting in the Finchley area of North West London 1in 1966. However, the architects of HSS were not swayamsevaks of RSS, but swayamsevaks of Bharatiya Swayamsevak Sangh (BSS) (East Africa). The story of the creation of BSS in itself is a truly inspirational one that occurred by accident.

Today, a swayamsevak truly feel at home when he is with another swayamsevak and his family, regardless of being thousands of miles away and that is the spirit of oneness that allows the organic expansion of Sangh activities completely independent of one another. In 1946, two swayamsevaks were travelling from Bharat to Kenya on a ship. Their names were Manekbhai Rugani and Jagdish Chandra Sharda. During this trip, they incidently met, when one spotted the other performing the function of dhwaj pranaam which led the other introduce himself and the first skakha outside Bharat started immediately in the middle of the Arabian Sea. Obviously they exchanged ideas and kept in touch that allowed the birth of BSS in Kenya on 14th January 1947. With the mass migration of Indians to East Africa during this period, shakhas grew in number and so did numerous Hindu cultural events and activities.


As a result of the 1970's mass expulsion of the Indian community from East Africa by Idi Amin, ethnic Indians including a number of BSS swayamsevaks travelled to the UK. In 1966, the first UK shakha was inaugurated and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS) came into existence. The co-founders decided to register HSS as a UK Charity in 1974 with the following preamble within their constitution - "It is a part of the accepted doctrine of the Hindu religion that its practice develops in its adherents both a Love for Bharat (India) as the Holy Land of the Hindus and the spirit of eternal Hinduism which means love for the whole of Humanity regardless of race, country, nationality, religion, sect, faith, caste or creed and furthermore that this part enables such adherents to become better and more useful".

This preamble  has been the spirit of the HSS since its incorporation allowing it to develop and instill Hindu ideals and Hindu way of life in the British multicultural environment through its common and unique mechanism known as the Shakha. In the same way Bhartiya Swayamsevak Sangh was developed in East Africa instilling the Hindu way of life relevant to East African Hindus, HSS UK was created to perform the same function but now relevant to British Hindus being completely independent to both RSS and BSS. The common activity being the Shakha or commonly known as the Sangh.

Activities of HSS, UK

HSS, however, has over 100 centres in the United Kingdom and are attended by over 2000 people on a weekly basis, conducting activities such as yoga, health & fitness, educational and cultural for all ages. Hindu Sewika Samiti was established in 1976 in the UK. After that, many other Sangh related organisations were such as the National Hindu Students Forum UK, Sewa UK, Sewa Day, Hindu Sahitya Kendra, VHP UK, Hindu Lawyers Association and many others have been inspired. In 1984, HSS held the Hindu Sangam Shibir in Bradford University which was the largest ever gathering of Hindus in the country. At the same time, swayamsevaks organised a running sporting event known as the Hindu Marathon and route marshalled a course around the streets of Bradford along with the local authorities, council and the police.

The Hindu Marathon then became an annual event attracting at one point approximately 10,000 spectators and participants being held at rotating towns and cities. It was known as the third largest running event in the UK after the London Marathon and Great Northern Run. It provided an opportunity for Sangh karyakartas to develop sampark and work alongside community leaders including local Parliamentarians, Councilors and business persons to aid in community cohesion and spirit.

HSS then famously organised the largest gathering of Hindus outside Bharat attracting over 1 lakh British Hindus at Virat Hindu Sammelan in 1989 held in Milton Keynes. This was an inspiring event that attracted global Hindu leaders and personalities. The theme being "Hindu Jage - Vishwa Jage". On January 19, 1990, the then Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher attended Makar Sankranti Utsav held at PratapShakha, Finchley as the Chief Guest.

As second and third generation of continued British Hindu activity, swayamsevaks have tirelessly worked hard in the preservation of Hindu culture on a foreign land through shakha and Sangh related or inspired events. As they have become fearless advocates in the defence of various campaigns against Hindu culture or beliefs, being led by the VHP UK, National Hindu Students Forum or the Hindu Lawyers Association, it is fair to say that Hindu awareness is reaching the ears of the establishment now as young Hindu minded professionals have begun to be a lot more vocal in speaking on Hindu related matters amongst their peers.

The Sanskriti MahaShibir

This year is the Golden Jubilee of the HSS UK and it is all set to commence the yearlong celebrations, the HSS has organised Sanskriti Mahashibir - a residential gathering of over 2,200 people from across the UK and Europe from July 29 to 31 in Hertfordshire.

The 70-acre parkland site will be transformed into a large township, housing 400 tents with all facilities and amenities. The theme of this historic gathering will be Sanskaar (values of life), Sewa (selfless service) and Sangathan (community spirit).

According to Shri Dhiraj Shah, the UK Sanghachalak (President), "the activities at MahaShibir will enable its attendees to explore and understand the values and ethics (sanskars) that have nourished the HSS over the last 50 years and prepared them for building a peaceful, prosperous and progressive society".

A number of prominent persons from the world over have been invited to this historic event. They are Swami Dayatmananda - Head of Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre UK, Shri Mohanrao Bhagwat RSS Sarsaghchalak, Swami Nirlipatananda - Head of London Sewashram Sangh UK, Acharya Vidya Bhaskar - Omkarananda Ashram Switzerland, Devi Bageeshwariji - Radhe Radhe Sampradday, Vrindavan, Bharat, Shri Kreeti Mathur - Art of Living UK, Dr Shankar Tatwawadi - Advisor of VigyanBharati Bharat, Shri Gauridasji - ISKCON UK, Shri Saumitra Gokhale - HSS USA, Mr Philip Carr Gomm - Head of Order of Bards Ovates and Druids UK, Shri Krishnakant Atri - Hindu Chaplain to the Armed Forces UK and many more.

This now fully subscribed event will be thoroughly enjoyed by all who are involved in and have worked with HSS UK and look forward to another 50 years of contribution to society. (The writer is Sampark Pramukh, HSS UK), --Organiser, July 24, 2016 -goTop

Shri Vishwa Niketan