SEVA TT-Ready for Selfless Service

SEVA TT-Ready for Selfless Service

Photo : Chairman Revan Teelucksingh

Seva TT is fast becoming a household name in TT. Its Chairman is Revan Teelucksingh, a Swayamsevek or Hindu volunteer trained by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh. I met Revan last Sunday (June 10) at the Ramjit & Basso Hindu Temple in St Helena where Helping Hands Foundation had sponsored a Health Fair. I sought an interview with Revan and he accepted.

“One objective of Seva TT is to sponsor 3-5 Health Fair annually. Our target groups are the rural districts where people are challenged to access public health care,” said Revan. “We have held Health Fairs at Rio Claro, Grandville in Cedros and Barrackpore over the past four years. Today we are happy to volunteer our services to Helping Hands Foundation.”

“In addition to Health Fair, Seva TT also engages in blood drives across the country. We strive to contribute 150 units of blood and to get 50 -75 new donors annually,” said Revan.

Revan in pleased with the response Seva TT has been getting from the public. He assured me that once a donor gives blood he/she will continue giving. “One criticism we get from the public is that our blood goes toward saving the lives of bandits. This is not so. Our blood goes toward patients undergoing surgeries,” he confirmed. “Also, we encourage people and groups to continue to be donors of blood independent of Seva TT.”

The latest initiative of Seva TT is a recycling project. “The project costs $100,000TT. It is locally designed and constructed. The only imported part is the motor,” he said. “This project is in operation. The plant has been taken to fifteen locations so far. At present it is located at Amar Jyoth Mandir, Cunupia,” Revan informed. “Currently we are building a compression moulding machines that would utilise the shredded plastics to make items such as rulers and planting pots.”

Charity Drives are another project of Seva TT. “We do drives for Shiv Ratri, Eid, Christmas and when there are natural disasters such as floods.  At this time we are focusing on our annual Eid Charity Drive. We would coordinate with supermarkets where a Seedah can be purchased for $100 TT by the public. Seva TT would then picks up the Seedah parcels and donate to the respective mosques to distribute to the needy persons,” said Revan.  

“Our major goal is to build and strengthen capacity to respond to a major natural disaster,” said Revan. There are numerous volunteers in Seva TT. When I asked about training in first aid and other paramedic skills, Revan lamented the lack of resources.  Nevertheless, “Seva TT was in the forefront bringing relief to flood victims in south Trinidad last year when three major floods denuded homes making it impossible for families to cook meals. We had more than 400 volunteers on the ground working round the clock to bring relief to the affected families.

Seva TT is a local chapter of Seva International which has branches in more than 30 countries. The volunteers for SEVA TT are drawn from the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and the Hindu Student Council. “At this point in time Seva TT has 10 coordinators, 40 active volunteers and the capacity to mobilise 400 volunteers in times of natural disasters,” Revan revealed.