“Service to mankind is service to God” means that selfless service for the cause of humanity is as important as worshiping God.
When we serve the people, our fellow human beings, it is also a way of serving God. Therefore, service to humanity is service to God. There is no greater service than service to humanity or to your own fellow human beings. Service to others: a person, a group, a community, for a noble cause or for a strong belief — means that you have chosen to engage yourself in service to the society without expecting anything in return.
To serve God is to serve human being created by Him and this is the greatest form of charity work: the pure love of Christ. Jesus Christ said: “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciple” ( John 13:34).
When we think of Service to mankind, we immediately recall all the saints and Mother Teresa who served others. “I see God in every human being. A life not lived for others is not a life.” — Mother Teresa
Service to the Community by Social Service Society
I started my career in a Charitable Trust : St. Xavier’s Social Service Society, Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India and had been working for 8 years. This service gave me a lot of Insight, Dedication, a sense of Responsibility, Satisfaction and Fulfilment. The Director & Founder of this Society, Rev. Fr. Ramiro Erviti S.J. (a Catholic Priest from Spain) was actively involved in various developmental activities with many Social Workers and passed-out students of St. Xavier’s High School. He used to take the youngsters from the slums and also from St. Xavier’s High School for a Summer Camp at Mount Abu. Before leaving for Mount Abu, he used to sign at least 3 Blank Cheques and give me to preserve them and use them for any emergency in the Society. I stopped him signing the Blank Cheques. He used to tell me, “let my hands wither away if I don’t trust you“. This action and these words inculcated more Trust and Responsibility in me in disbursing my duties.
There were many projects, programs, service to humanity with meaningful activities for:
a) Slum Dwellers of Ahmedabad City, Gujarat State, India
St. Xavier’s Social Service Society worked in 2 major slums of Ahmedabad, namely, Shahpur & Mahajan-no-Vando. They used to have programs for Children, Youths and Ladies with the help of Social Workers. There were programs like Non-formal Education Program, Various Camps for the Youths, Community Health Program, Income Generation Program & General Awareness Programs.
b) People who were affected by Morbi Flood who were resettled in Sankalitnagar, Juhapura Area, Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India with many programs like Community Development, Health Care and Income Generation Activities.
c) Adivasi Cooperative Society covering Unskilled Labourers migrated with their families from Panchmahal & Dahod Districts, Gujarat who come in search of work on daily wage basis. These labourers do not get their 100% wages because of involvement of middlemen or contractors. Also, these labourers remain Unskilled Labourers and get paid less. They don’t have any opportunity to learn anything more and earn more. They go for construction work, road-laying, road repairs, etc. A Society named “Adivasi Cooperative Society” was formed by St. Xavier’s Social Service Society. All the Adivasi members of this society were trained on various skills of construction work. This cooperative society worked in close association with a Housing Development Authority, a subsidiary of ASAG (Ahmedabad Study Action Group) which executed many construction projects in Gujarat.
d) They also executed many projects in association with Blind Men’s Association, Ahmedabad, Gujarat State, India. A strong belief of Service to the Community is Service to the Nation, is felt and applied here practically.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by well established Organisations
Every well established Corporate has very meaningful Social Initiative or Social Responsibility through which they reach out to the needy.
I was working in an organisation, CMC Limited, which was formerly A Government of India Enterprise, it became a TATA Enterprise (Subsidiary to TCS) later. Now it is merged with TATA Consultancy Services (TCS).
CMC Limited had Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. The company gives back to the community as Service to the Citizen through volunteering, sponsorship programs, etc in the fields of
- Education and Skill Building.
- Health and Wellness.
- Environmental Sustainability.
- Direct Service to the Well Deserving and the Needy Community by using their specialised professionals and experts.
The Company used to give us some budget & funds every year with some basic guidelines to arrange and organise activities beneficial to the people who are from economically backward society. The staff members also used to contribute funds and materials to help the suffering community. In 2001, heavy rain and floods washed away the houses of the neighbouring villagers. We, through CMC Limited, distributed tent materials with carpets along with food grains were distributed to more than 70 families in the villages.
Also, we used to have Education and Training Programs for the passed-out Engineering Graduates with a Job Guarantee Program in order to train them and arrange for their Job Recruitment. We used to collect Fees from these students. However, the Corporate used to approve “No Fees” for 2 to 3 Graduates who are from economically weak section on the basis of proof of Family Income Documentary evidence, etc.
TCS is very active in doing all these activities under CSR.
Care for the Homeless Children
We visited the Home for the Children who are in Police Custody in Vadodara, Gujarat State.
In most of the cases, the children run away from home when their parents scold them, punish them for various reasons. Some of the children are not being taken care of by their parents. These children suffer a lot for their daily food, regular living style and even schooling, etc. They also fall into the hands of exploiters who mislead them. These children are kept in the police custody. We used to get some budget approved by the Company and all the staff members used to make some contribution. With this fund, we used to visit the Children to celebrate our Festivals of Diwali, Christmas, etc.
We also observed that many families, groups, communities and organizations take appointment and visit this home with some food, eatables, useful gifts for these children and spend some valuable time with them. We gather so much information about these children when we talk to them. They sincerely and frankly express themselves and share a lot about their background, their parents and their siblings.
Homeless Children in Mumbai (Snehsadan).
The first Snehasadan home was set up in Andheri (North of Mumbai) in 1962. Fr. Ricardo Francis a Spanish priest troubled by the large numbers of street children that lived on pavements and stations around that area, began to invite the children into his home in the evenings to take refuge while they slept. The boys he took in belonged to different castes and backgrounds. There was one thing they had in common; they were on their own on the street through choice or circumstance.
Snehasadan is a non-governmental organization that provides a Home and a future for homeless street children in Mumbai, India. Over the past 60 years, Snehasadan has been providing shelter for numerous children.
In 1964, Holy Cross Church at Kurla, offered Snehasadan a third home in its compound which was later on shifted to Mogra village purely because of monsoon water logging difficulties. The carpenter who helped build it stayed on with his wife as house-parents.
Snehasadan has 12 houses in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai city. They also have two contact centres, one at CSTM railway station (AMCHI KHOLI) and one near Borivali railway station (NIVARA). These centres work directly with the vulnerable children dwelling there. The centre staff is also involved in community outreach programs and conduct study classes for the children from the neighbourhood community. They also identify the children in need of care and protection and refer such children to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).
In all these homes, the Carmelite Sisters serve as house-parents and take very good care of these children. The children used to stay in this house and they go to the schools to study. They come back to this house, stay, eat and study. These sisters organize various programs for these children to keep them engaged and remain happy with such personality development programs and activities. The police inspectors regularly visit and inspect these houses to ensure safety and security of these children from their side.
Home for Physically and Mentally Challenged People
There is a Home for Physically and Mentally Challenged Individuals. Sisters of Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa Community), Ahmedabad & Vadodara, Gujarat State, India is managing this home.
- Plot No. 455, Shanti Nilaya Opp. Gokuldham Appt. No. 132, Ring Road Nova Wodai, Ahmedabad – 380013
2. Opp. Novino Batteries Makarpura Road Vadodara 390010. https://www.helloindia.co/Vadodara/Mother-Teresa-Missionaries-Of-Charity/Makarpura.
They can never be called “Disabled” but they are “Differently Abled”, which means, they are definitely with different abilities. We can understand this fact only when we spend some valuable time with them.
The Legion of Mary (An association of Mother Mary), St Ignatius of Loyola Parish visited this home at least twice. I was the Treasurer of this Legion of Mary. Also, I was working in an IT Company, Gujarat Infotech Limited (GIL), Ahmedabad, Gujarat State. This company has another registered charitable trust called Shree Radhakrishna Sadbhavana Trust. All the staff members and the students who were doing Tally Training contributed some funds, clothes, shoes and other useful gift articles. All the volunteers from this trust visited this home. These gift articles were handed over to these challenged people.
My son’s birthday also was celebrated once in this home. Families, Volunteers & Organisations do visit this home, share food, eatables, and gifts. They also spend some time playing with the people living here. Physiotherapy experts also visit this place regularly and help these individuals to do some physical exercise and activities.
Home and Care for Parentless Children : Orphanage
This Orphanage is established and is being managed by the Sisters of Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s Community), 831/1, Bhimjipura Nava Vadaj Ahmedabad 380013, Gujarat State.
Once, we went to this home to celebrate our daughter’s birthday with these children. We played with all of them. But most of them were crying when we were leaving them. During this time, we observed that a young couple, our friends and colleagues were adopting a girl child from this home. This child is grown up and they are a very happy family now.
Here also, Families, Volunteers & Organisations do visit this home on holidays and on memorable occasions and festivals. They play with these children and also share whatever they have brought for these children. However, these children love to experience our love more than the gifts.
Home for the Aged or Old Age Home
Jeevan Sandhya Old Age Home – Vanprasth Sewa Samaj, 132 feet Ring Road, Gharda Ghar Rd, near Ankur Bus Stop, Near Kalptaru Part 1 & 2, Naranpura, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380013, India
A home for the aged was started in Ramkrishna Ashram building some sixty years back. With increasing demand to accommodate more and more ‘AGED’ people, and the necessity of having a larger space, in 1978 Dr. Bachabai Nanavati donated her movable and immovable Trusts’ properties to run the home for old age people, Impressed by good work done by “Jeevan Sandhya” the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation gave 6000 sq. meters of land in most healthy area. The spacious and most beautiful Building is able to accommodate around 200 Aged people. The institution has built convenient rooms with Healthy Food, Medical Facilities, Prayer Room, Lecture Hall, Library, Physiotherapy Center, Beautiful Garden and other facilities.” I was working in an IT Corporate, Gujarat Infotech Limited (GIL), Ahmedabad, Gujarat State having 5 Companies under this IT Corporate. Jamsab Computers Pvt Ltd is also a Company under this Corporate. This Corporate’s MD’s birthday was celebrated in this Home for the Aged in 2019. This company has another registered charitable trust called Shree Radhakrishna Sadbhavana Trust.
Sandhya Deep, Society of the Helpers of Mary, “FERN HOUSE”, Opp. Rani Rupmati Masjid, Nr. St. Xavier’s School, Mirzapur, Ahmedabad 380 001. Sisters of Society of the Helpers of Mary are managing this Home.
Fern House, a 80 year old property, spread over 1,000 sq.yards was given to a registered group of Catholic Association, Ahmedabad. The Fern Family is settled in USA. There are more than 12 occupants in this prestigious home. An inhabitant, a retired Lady Doctor, Dr. Iris Fonseca celebrated her 100th Birthday in June 2022 in this home. She has served the rich and the poor people of the walled city for more than six decades. Unfortunately, she left for her heavenly abode on 2nd October 2022.
The Legion of Mary (An association of Mother Mary), St Ignatius of Loyola Parish, St. Xavier’s Hr. Sec. School Campus, Ahmedabad visited this home. I was also an active member of this Legion of Mary.
Only when we become old going through the old age practical experience with many difficulties, we reflect on whether we had taken good care of our own parents in their old age or whether we gave them valuable, useful time sitting and talking to them with due respect and kindness or whether we helped and supported them.
Slum Residents and Migrated Laborers
Visit to the Slum and Temporary Settlement, Opp. Tripada High School, Near Gota Railway Track.
You can serve the people who deserve, the poor and the needy at any place and at any stage. Such services can be extended in your Personal Life, Professional Life, Religious Life, etc. This means that being of service to others in need in whatever way fits your lifestyle. Whether donating time to the homeless, or assisting in your community as a mentor; it’s as important to you as to those you may serve. This enables you with a good foundation to build your successes in your life. The background of my professional success also came in such a way of life, service, etc.
As mentioned above, I was working in a Corporate establishment having 5 different companies and a charitable trust called, Shree Radhakrishna Sadbhavana Trust, D4 Ankur Complex, Jay Tower, 5th Floor, Near Ankur Bus Stand, Naranpura, Ahmedabad 380013, Gujarat State.
All the staff members and the students doing Tally Training, contributed some funds, clothes, shoes and other useful gift articles. Volunteers from this trust visited this slum settlement. These gift articles were handed over to these challenged people. Another NGO (Non-Government Organization) with Charity Workers, was giving an Education and Training Program to the slum children living here who could not go to the school. Shree Radhakrishna Sadbhavana Trust also donated some amount to this NGO for this purpose of training these children.
Commissioner of Charity, Gujarat, India
All these Charitable Trusts, doing such honourable and noble services described above, do maintain accounts and these accounts are audited annually. The Audit Reports are presented to the Commissioner of Charity, Government of Gujarat and they get Clearance Certificate from the Charity Commissioner every year without fail as per policy and guidelines. I personally used to carry out this process when I was working in St. Xavier’s Social Service Society for 8 years.
Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)
Most of these Service Societies do receive grants and funds from Indian and International funding organisations on the basis of Project Proposal submitted to them. In order to receive these funds or donations from such International Organisations, the charitable trust should get “No Objection or Clearance Certificate from the Government of India to comply with the policies of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). These funds and grants are the only income for these trusts and are very important component to manage the trusts with their on-going programs, salaries to the Social Workers and also Administrative Expenses.
BENEFITS of Serving Others
You become healthy and wealthy when you serve others
You become healthy; physically, mentally and spiritually when you serve others. Becoming wealthy relies mostly on your ability to serve others. Whatever position or status you are in, your financial success is linked to what you give. Whether that’s guidance, support, inspiration, entertainment, experience, or education, you get paid because you add value to others.
In your career, ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ often feels like a personal journey that relies on your own performance, achievements and individual brilliance. But your growth and success are largely centered on your impact on others.
Putting service at the center of your work reminds you of this.
- To be a great leader you need to serve others by guiding and motivating them
- To be a great writer you need to serve others by educating, inspiring or entertaining through your words
- To be a great entrepreneur you need to serve others by providing them with something that benefits in their lives
Focusing on how you can help others is the perfect anchor and guide to help you succeed in your work and reap the final and financial benefits.
You learn and grow more when you serve
When you serve others, you often benefit more than the beneficiaries.
Just because you do something for free or with the desire to help others doesn’t mean you aren’t gaining something from the experience. When you volunteer at an orphanage, you learn valuable lessons in gratitude, empathy, and care. You gain new perspectives and spiritual qualities that will feed into other aspects of your life and help you grow.
Even in a business, by desiring to serve others you open up new possibilities. For example, if you truly care about solving your customer’s problems or adding value to their lives, you do your best to understand them. This leads to better communication, a deeper understanding of their problems, and greater motivation to work. Caring about others increases your quality and pushes you to do more.
Importance of service to others
But serving others and the poor doesn’t just make your heart feel good. Studies have shown that there are mental and physical health benefits to serving, like reducing depression, lowering blood pressure and lengthening your lifespan. Putting other people’s needs before your needs, also strengthens your relationships.
You change the world while serving the community
If everyone puts service at the center of his/her life, the world would become a society of love, care, support, empathy, respect, reciprocity, and kindness.
The world won’t change by taking down corrupt leaders, introducing new laws and criticising other leaders or parties. But the change needs to start with the family, the downtrodden, labourers and farmers.
We can create strong family units through love, kindness, and service. Strong families are the foundation of strong neighbourhood, villages, cities and finally nations.
If we all just look beyond a bit and decide to base our lives on the service, we would live happier, wealthier, more purposeful and peaceful lives. When we are guided by the principles of kindness, gratitude, and humility, it’s very easy to lead a successful, fulfilling and thankful life.
And change the world is in the process. You become happier, self-satisfied and successful
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. — Mahatma Gandhi
One of the biggest guaranties of happiness is service to others. When you are feeling down, an assured way to put yourself up again is to do something nice for someone else.
You are usually sad because you think more about yourself and are worried about yourself. However, your Service to the citizen, society or nation helps you in 4 main ways.
- When you are helping others, the focus shifts from you to them or others. When you serve, you forget your own problems and are reminded that others also face difficulties in their lives. This helps you appreciate what you have and reminds you that you don’t suffer alone.
- By serving others, you feel useful. Having a positive impact on someone else’s life reminds you of the value you bring and gives your life purpose. Feeling fulfilled makes you incredibly happy.
- Serving others opens the doors to solving your own problems. When you help someone else, you are gaining a new perspective. You are a problem-solving person. You are gaining experience. Whatever your problems may be, the process of adding value to someone else’s life helps you learn, adapt, and have a better chance of solving these issues.
- Receiving people feel happy about your service to them. They are thankful to you and this makes you feel that you are a good person. In this way God resolves all your problems, lifts you up and puts you in a better and successful place.
You get peace of mind and you can sleep well and at ease. God has given you the ability to change someone’s life. Are you using your ability to do so?
Though we sacrifice much in the name of success, deep down we desire something more meaningful — a genuine sense of purpose and fulfilment. It’s possible to experience this sense of purpose and fulfilment without giving up the pursuit of success. How do we get it? By serving others. You will come forward to work towards :
Donating your Product, Fund or Service
Feeding the hungry
Becoming a Mentor
Volunteering yourself to give your valuable time and services
Organizations Helping, Supporting & Funding these Charitable Trusts
MISEREOR is right there at the side of the weak and it stands for transparency
MISEREOR supports the weakest members of the society: the poor, the sick, the hungry and the disadvantaged. It is of no importance whether those in need of help are men or women, what religious or beliefs they belong to or where they come from. To love one’s neighbour is a basic attitude of Christian life, and MISEREOR’s vocation is to translate this attitude into concrete action; the poor are our sisters and brothers, who have a right to live a life of dignity. MISEREOR supports them in realising it. The organisation works towards promotion of development.
MISEREOR uses the funds responsibly, economically and efficiently, and regularly accounts to the individual and public donors. A multistage monitoring system guarantees that the stewardship of funds remains transparent both within and outside the organisation.
All the areas of work are regularly and consistently monitored by MISEREOR. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the development work performed in the projects supported by MISEREOR is also reviewed by external consultants, and documented every year in a public evaluation report.
Caritas International & Caritas India
Caritas is a Latin word meaning love and compassion.
We are a family of 162 National Catholic Relief and development agencies working across the world. Our work is inspired by the Gospel.
Inspired by Catholic faith, Caritas is the helping hand of the Church – reaching out to the poor, vulnerable, excluded and marginalised, regardless of race or religion, to build a world based on justice and fraternal love. Service to the Poor and the Needy is Service to the Lord. Caritas does the Charity Work in India as well as in Abroad in the following major areas:
Global Programs India
Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Risk Reduction
Climate Adaptive, Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
Livelihood and Skill Development
Anti Human Traffic & Safe Migration
Health & Nutrition
Peace Building, Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
CRS works with organizations around the world to help poor and vulnerable people overcome emergencies, earn a living through agriculture and access affordable health care
They work on Turn-key Projects basis, especially in the areas of
Agriculture, Education and Emergency Response & Recovery
You can clearly understand that I have shared my practical and exciting experience of having worked in a Social Service Society, a Charitable Trust and having visited all these homes, along with my colleagues and professionals. These homes for the deserving and the needy are based in Gujarat, India. The current Prime Minister of India is also from Gujarat State, India.
In short these Charitable Trusts are accountable and answerable to: Funding Organisations, Commissioner of Charity, FCRA and to the Government of India with audited accounts and reports.
However, such activities and services for these noble causes, are being viewed differently instead of viewing them positively and appreciating them.
There are many organisations and individuals who are criticising these meaningful, beneficial, effective and result-oriented services. This means that these criticisers have never visited such homes in their lives and they are unaware of who are the beneficiaries and what kind of constructive, effective programs and services are going on in these homes.
You will agree with me that Service to Humanity is Service to God