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Region 5 - Health Awareness Day: October 2012

With the Grace Of our Bhagawan, Region 5 of the Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation (UK), in conjunction with Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Oldham Council (Greater Manchester), successfully hosted its 2nd Health Awareness Day on 6th October, 2012. The event was inaugurated by the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Olwen Chadderton who was also joined by Oldham’s Director of Public Health, Mr. Alan Higgins.

This event was planned and run entirely by volunteers acting upon Swami’s message of Love All, Serve All. Over 100 volunteers ranging from medics, therapists and general volunteers contributed their time and service in raising awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and pointing out any serious medical issues of which they may not have been aware.

This service was offered to the general public and community in Oldham and surrounding areas. They used this opportunity to have various medical assessments which were available. The assessments offered included the measurement of body mass index (BMI), blood sugar and blood pressure. The public also had the opportunity to visit volunteer dentists as well as have their vision and hearing checked by trained professional volunteers. There was also an opportunity to discuss any concerns with GPs and pharmacists. Throughout the day, various workshops and complementary therapies were offered, including homeopathy, back care, stress management, massage, meditation, and yoga.

Our collective aim was to use this opportunity of rendering selfless service as a means to improve our own progress in the path of spirituality and to put into practice many of the teachings we have learnt on the value of Selfless Service to all. We are blessed in having Bhagawan as our Guide in our pursuit of spiritual sadhana and using Selfless Service as the means for us to realise Divinity in humanity.

Swami, we offer some of scenes from this event at Your Lotus Feet, which shows the type of services we rendered to promote Love All, Serve All. We also offer to You two experiences which have been shared with love and humility by the volunteers at the Health Awareness day. We wish to share these experiences with the spirit of caring and sharing, to all our brothers and sisters in the UK, so they may also feel the joy from the service rendered.
Swami, please continue to guide us and provide us with more opportunities to Share Your Divine Love.

Personal experiences of two volunteers from Region 5’s HAD, 2012

Personal account by Nirali Sisodia, Leicester (Region 4)
My humble pranams at the lotus feet of my beloved Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
It was Saturday 6th of October 2012 in Oldham Library, that the blessed Health Awareness day took place. The day was cold, but the hearts of all were full of love, excitement and enthusiasm. There were health care professionals, organisers and volunteers from all over the country and from different areas of work. We all shared a common goal; Love all, serve all. Service to man is service to God.
What were your main duties on the day?

It was the first time that I had taken part in a Health Awareness Day and I was glad to be a part of it. Being a pre- registration pharmacist, I was nervous yet enthusiastic to help people in whichever way I could. I was assigned the duty of checking people’s BMI (Body mass index) and advice on how they could possibly change their lifestyle and the risks associated with having an increased BMI. It is a sensitive topic for most people especially if they had previously had a heart attack or surgery. The most important part of the process was positive reinforcement; to give people the encouragement and motivation to head in the right direction.

What was the feeling throughout the day?

It was an overwhelming sight to see, once the public had filled the hall. There were people attending from all walks of life. They could also feel the love throughout the room as we carried out the work. It was humbling to see the grateful faces of all the people who had their various checks. One person had even said that they had learnt so much about their health on this day and how to better their lifestyle for their benefit.

Not only was it helpful to the people who attended for a health check, but also to health care professionals and organisers who learned new skills and gained experience in trying something new, as I have.

I would like to encourage everyone, whether you are a health care professional or not, to come and participate in this amazing experience, which is not only uplifting to those you who help but to yourself as well; most of all, we put into practice the teachings of our wonderful Swami – Love all, serve all.

I thank my dear Sai Maa for enabling the volunteers of the Health Awareness Day to serve with selfless service and love.

Personal account by Radha Measuria, Region 5

‘Love all, serve all’; Swami’s most prominent message to us all. He is in everything and everything is within Him. We are all on this spiritual path but we live in a physical world, so we must begin our Sadhana on a physical level, by helping the body. What a better way to do such service than by enabling others to look after their health and their bodies!

The Region 5 Health Awareness Day brought together the love and happiness from all Centres in the region to help in one common goal, to serve the community. Although the day was based on medical checks and a lot of medical professionals from the Organisation were there as volunteers, there were many general volunteers there to ensure the day went smoothly.

What were your main duties on the day?
As a medical student I was helping with the medical side of things. There were several stations to check people’s general health including their blood pressure, BMI, blood sugars.

What was the highlight of your day?
The Health Awareness Day brought all such specialists together providing the community with at hand professional advice and help. The day was very successful as several people who would have otherwise not gone to see specialists came to get checked and were found to have conditions which can be detrimental to their health but also easily controlled such as high blood pressure. It was great to see all the volunteers, both from a medical and non-medical background, coming together with the common goal: to help others with love.

What was the feeling throughout the day?
I found that there was a distinct positive atmosphere throughout the day. Informing someone that they have problems with their health can be a difficult task, however, everyone present had one goal, improving health and wellbeing of the community. Love conquers all, and I feel that this was the take home message from this day. If one faces every task in life with Love and faith in the Lord, then there will be no worries or hardships as all work is His work and our Worship.

"Believe your experience; what gives you peace and joy, the bliss of Aatma anandham - the joy of the Inner Self. Believe in that. That is the real basis for faith."
~ Sathya Sai Baba

Swami wants us to detach ourselves from this world and merge with him, but it is also our Dharma to help others to attain immortality. Relieve suffering in others. By helping all with unconditional love and joy, you are not just helping their physical health but also their mental health. Embracing others with our love brought great joy within as we saw Swami in each individual that we met and treated them as Swami.