The first weekend of May was a very busy time for the members of Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), Milton Chapter. On the 5th of May, about 50 members of the HSS –young and old alike participated in the Milton Good Neighbours Community Day clean up. This was HSS’s 4th year of participation. The principal of HSS is to work selflessly to better one’s community and with their yearlong events they seem to have set their goals into action
Co-ordinator for the HSS, Milton – Kitchener Zone, Mr. Darpan. Patel has spent most of his life associated with the HSS. Darpan says, “Its written in the Upanishads (ancient Hindu scripture) that true happiness is received only by Giving.” He further explains that, “we do 2 services or ‘Sewa’ activities per year – in the Spring we participate in the Good Neighbours Community Street Cleaning event & in the Fall we do a Diwali Food Drive. Since 2012, a total of 4,000 lbs across Ontario by all HSS Chapters has been donated, the Milton Chapter specifically has donated about 700 lbs to the Salvation Army & Amma’s Ashram Food banks. We hope to keep increasing this number.”
Since 2010 in the month of August HSS Milton Chapter also celebrates ‘Rakshabandhan’ with Milton Police 12th Division symbolizing concept of Universal Brotherhood & Fraternity, while appreciating the men in uniform for their service and sewa to the community.
The HSS Milton Chapter assembles every Sunday at 10 am for a one and a half hour session, where all participating perform yoga, play games, have healthy discussions on Hindu scriptures and children learn about moral stories from the Hindu scriptures. During the winters the Chapter conducts it sessions in the Milton Seniors Activity Centre and with warmer weather they enjoy their sessions at the Tiger Jeet Singh School playground.
HSS Milton Chapter also does special workshops for the community, in the month of February we saw a Special Toy work shop held by its member, Sumitabh Kansal, while on the 6th of May they had a Homeopathic doctor and Holistic Nutritionist, Sunita Mohan come over to talk to us about a healthy diet. Sunita is the co-author of family cookbook, “Feed Me…I’m Hungry”. She has made several Radio and TV appearances and hosted her own show on Rogers TV. She was the first Homeopathic doctor to be featured in the Dr. Oz’s show. Accompanied by Dietician Ms. Anjali Dua who also participated in our special series. Both Sunita and Anjali spoke about good eating practices, healthy meals and Type 2 Diabetes commonly found in South Asians.
Mr. Vipin Ramawat an Insurance Underwriter by profession has been associated with the organization since childhood. “HSS Shakha (Chapter) is a perfect place to get connected with people from varied backgrounds and develop organizational and operational skills, while being respectful, disciplined and punctual. As an HSS Swayamsevak (volunteer), I learned how selfless contributions with collective efforts can help the community and make our country better. Volunteering at HSS gives me a satisfaction of knowing what I am doing is for a good cause.”
Devanshi Barot, an 11th Grade student residing in Milton was recently awarded the 2018 Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Halton’s Volunteer of the year award. She has been coming to the Milton chapter for the past 4 years and is also the Milton Chapter Khel Pramukh or Phycisal activities Head.
Anuj Patel, the Milton-Kitchener Zone, Sharerrik Pramukh (Phycisal activities Head) emphasizes the fact that ‘Khel’ or physical activities are one of the most important aspect of Shakha/chapter as it’s very engaging and it creates a very friendly bond between each other creating a feeling of being together!”
The HSS has roots in 39 countries and boasts 570 branches, there is no membership fee, everyone who wants to learn about Hindu Heritage or find a good activity to do as a family are invited to join.