Dhyan Foundation: Taking the karma path to help the needy

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RALPH ALEX ARAKAL
Published Jan 7, 2019, 6:04 am IST
Updated Jan 7, 2019, 6:04 am IST
Insisting on karma or immediate action, this NGO believes that helping one another is equivalent to helping oneself.
A class in session in one of the Dhyan Foundation schools in Bengaluru 	—DC
 A class in session in one of the Dhyan Foundation schools in Bengaluru —DC

“A thought to aid Creation”, that’s how Yogi Ashwini, the guiding light of Dhyan Foundation (DF), defines the not-for-profit organisation that brings together service-minded individuals, groups and organisations willing to help others across domains.

Members of team DF, who come together with no membership or registration, contribute in cash, kind or service to the cause as per individual capacity without any remuneration and any form hierarchy. “Everyone’s a volunteer as we never believe in building assets. All that comes for charity, 100 percent, is directed towards the cause,” Team DF elaborates.

 

Insisting on karma or immediate action, this NGO believes that helping one another is equivalent to helping oneself. “Be it giving a blanket to a man sitting outside the house in cold or feeding a dog dying of hunger 2,000 miles away, the entire energy of Dhyan Foundation is focussed on action – no tall claims, no selling or advertising, no name or fame, just doing the karma,” explains Dr Deepa Diddi, Trustee, Dhyan Foundation.

On the NGO’s inception, Dr Diddi said that the idea came when people who came to visit Yogi Ashwini, their patron, would discuss different physical problems they faced and what cures were available in the market at a payable price. “Yogiji then decided to start DF, where actual science of yoga is taught as he strongly believes that there are no quick-fix solutions off the shelf,” she said.

Their activities, which began with langars (food distribution camps) for the poor, gradually expanded to a number of outreach activities, including Anand Vidyalayas for underprivileged children, and campaigns to save, feed and nurse animals.

The NGO now has its presence in six countries, including Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the US. In India, they are active in Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Dehradun, Kolkata, Darbhanga, Katihar, Balasore, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Shimla, Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kochi, Tirupati, Bengaluru and Mysuru. DF also runs several yoga and meditation (Dhyan) centres, six schools for underprivileged children, food distribution camps on a daily basis feeding thousands, 25-plus animal shelters housing over 8,000 animals, eight ambulances, rescue rehabilitation treatment programmes, emergency relief programmes, prosthetic limb replacement for handicapped animals, animal and environmental awareness programmes, 500-plus animal feeding points and hundreds of doghouses for strays, to name a few.

Some of their recent projects include emergency relief camps for nearly 1,000 cattle in Chitradurga and Kollegal, Latur (Madhya Pradesh), Hingonia (Rajasthan), Mahoba (Uttar Pradesh), rehabilitation of cattle rescued by BSF at Indo-Bangladesh border, feeding monkeys in forests of Asola (Delhi), Vrindavan, Shimla and Mysuru, blanket distribution drive in North India, All-India Dhyan Foundation Conclave on Healing Systems of the World with special focus on ‘self-healing’ and Himalayan Treks in June and September 2018, among others.

Quoting St. Francis of Assisi, Dr Diddi said, “For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” 

Dhyan Foundation has been invited by forums like the Indian Medical Association, IIM Bangalore, TEDx, SVYASA by Dr Nagendra, Oxford University (London), IIT Delhi and Commonwealth Games 2011(India) to share the science of yoga. Recently, DF’s Koovapadam (Animal Shelter) in Kochi was adjudged the Best Shelter by Fiapo.

“We firmly believe that existence is only at the present. Hence, being happy and spreading delight among all is important,” team DF concludes. 

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