By Nithin Sridhar
Bengaluru: The city is currently hosting the Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair (HSSF) that is showcasing the spiritual, social, and service activities of around 200 Hindu organizations. The fair, which is being held at National College grounds at Basavanagudi, will conclude on December 13.
It was inaugurated on December 9, by Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala along with religious heads of various Hindu mathas. Speaking to NewsGram, Rajesh Padmar, the media and communication in-charge of HSSF, stated that this was the first time that such a fair was being held in Karnataka. Previously HSSF held spiritual fairs in Chennai and Jaipur. When asked about the response of the public towards the fair, Padmar shared that around 1.5 lakh people had already visited the fair towards the end of Friday i.e. third day of the camp and they are expecting a few more lakhs people in the remaining two days. He also added that, around 30% of the visitors are school and college students, and more than 50% visitor are under the age of 25.
When asked about why they were conducting such a mammoth fair, Padmar said that the purpose behind the event was twofold. First, they wanted to sensitize the public about the large number of social and service activities that was being done by various Hindu organizations. He stressed that the need for such a sensitization had arisen because of the propaganda in many quarters that Hindu organizations were purely religious, who did not undertake any social service activities. Second, he said, the fair also aimed to inspire people to associate themselves with various social organizations and volunteer for them.
When NewsGram visited the fair on Friday, there was a continuous inflow and outflow of visitors throughout the day. The theme of the day was ‘Gau-Ganga Vandana’ (Salutation to Cow and river Ganga). Cultural programs that showcased the Indian cultural heritage and Food court that provided Swadeshi (Indian) food were also part of the fair. Participating organizations were given spacious stalls to showcase their activities through videos, charts, and presentations. Organizations were also allowed to sell their books, paintings, CDs, saplings, and Ayurvedic products.
Organizations working in various fields participated in the fair. Religious organizations like Ramakrishna Ashram, ISKON, Sri Swanandaashrama, Melmaruvathur Adhiparashakti Spiritual Movement, Sri Vaishnava, The Universal Kriya Babaji foundation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, etc. took part in the event. There were many Yoga organizations like Yogasri, VYASA, and Arogyadhama. Organizations working in ecological field like Indus Herbs, Sri Revanasiddeshwara Goshale, and Tulasi Matha also participated.
In the social sector, there were organizations like Cauvery Kanya Gurukulam, Keshava Seva Samiti that concentrated on educating underprivileged children, Ekal Vidyalaya that imparted education to tribal children, Grama Vikasa that concentrated on improving Rural lives, the Akshaya Patra foundation that provides midday meals to various schools, Nele- a caring home for destitute children, youth organizations like Youth for Seva and health organizations like Good Luck Araike Kendra.
The fair also showcased many organizations like Rahstriya Sevika Samiti, Sri Bhavatarini Ashram, Samskrita Bharati, Mythree Samskritha-Samskrithi Foundation, and Hindu Seva Pratishtana, which are working towards upholding Indian culture and tradition.
Apart from this, a lecture by Dr. B. Mahadevan of IIM-B was also organized on Friday afternoon. Speaking on the topic ‘Inspirational Leadership- Lessons from Bhagavad Gita’, Dr Mahadevan beautifully explained the qualities of leadership using Bhagavad Gita to a jam packed audience.
Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair has successfully managed to not only showcase the huge amount of social work that is being done by various Hindu organizations in different fields, but it also has served as a platform to sensitize the public to various issues of Indian culture, heritage, and ecology.