The Vishwa Hindu Parishad was established in 1964 with the objective of uniting the whole Hindu society. Special emphasis was laid on the service activities to achieve this objective. The establishment of a hostel at Talasari in Thane (Maharashtra) in 1966 was the beginning in this regard. It was the first service project by VHP. But today it has created a huge network of service activities across the country. However, the Sewa Vibhag of VHP was basically formed after the infamous incident of mass conversion in Meenakshipuram. Today, the Sewa Vibhag runs more than 35,000 service projects through more than 200 different trusts and organisations. The total projects include 20,163 educational projects, 9,486 health, 782 self-reliance and 2,886 social welfare projects. Besides these projects, many service activities are conducted during the festivals, melas, religious yatras and natural calamities.
Bal Kalyan Ashram
When the whole society looks after the orphans, how can they be called orphan. It is with this thinking that the orphanage homes were renamed as Bal Kalyan Ashram. One such Bal Kalyan Ashram was started at Fonda in Goa approximately 30 years ago. Today, this project has become very popular and many prestigious people of the society have associated themselves with it. It is basically an effort to make the children self-reliant. Weddings of the children of Fonda and Belgam Ashram are also performed to give them stability in their life. A total of 14 Bal Kalyan Ashrams are being run and there is a move to open one such Ashram in every district.
There are 105 hostels and 15 residential schools in different parts of the country. These hostels have proved to be very useful for the VHP to get large number of fulltime workers. Some of them have become Pracharaks and Vistaraks in the Sangh. For the benefit of the children of leprosy-affected people there is one hostel in Gulbarga (Karnataka), one in Kotkapura under Faridkot district of Punjab and two projects are in Haridwar. There are 16 hostels and 19 schools in the north-east.
Sanjivani Hospital of Ahmedabad, Eye Hospital of Pune and Ashwini Hospital of Karnataka have earned a good name, fame and reputation in the field of medical science. Modern treatment is provided there with state-of-the-art medical technology. The cost of treatment is more than 50 per cent less, than the other hospitals. In special circumstances free treatment is also provided. There are also some small medical centres. In Orissa, the Vanvasi boys and girls are provided primary health training under the Charak Health Scheme and then they are appointed at the village Panchayat levels to look after the health needs of the local people. A total of 133 workers are working today at 111 villages in 16 districts of Orissa.
A new project known as ?Rugnashrya? has been started for the attendants of the patients at Goa Medical College. In the first phase, the arrangement for 25 patients was made and the building to accommodate 100 such people is under construction. There are centres for the deserted women in Mangalore, Goa and Nagpur.
The Banswara and Beawar projects in Rajasthan have proved to be a hit. Under these projects more than 650 schools are being run in the Vanavasi areas. The areas, which once had the influence of Christians and Muslims, are today echoing with the slogans of ?Jai Sri Ram? and ?Bharat Mata ki Jai?. Not only this, more than 70,000 people of these regions have returned home i.e Hinduism.
More than 250 Self-Help Groups, run in Kerala have proved to be very helpful in making the women self-reliant. Ayurvedic Gram Yojna is also being run in 13 districts of the state. The work on planting more than 10 lakh trees of Ayurvedic medicines at 30 acre land by Vishwa Bheshjam Service Society is under process. Many Bal Samskar Kendras, Balwadi and cutting-tailoring centres are being run in the Sewa Bastis of Nagpur, Kanpur, Prayag, Thane and Portblair. They have proved to be very helpful in removing untouchabilty and strengthening social harmony.