5th Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2013
Press conference addressed by
the Chairperson of the Organising Committee Sri N Gopalaswami and
the Vice Chair Person Dr S Padmasubrahmanyam on February 11, 2013
The Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation [HSSF] is organising the Fifth Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair from February 19 to 24, 2013 at the sprawling AM Jain College grounds at Meenambakkam. The aims and objects of the HSSF is explained at the end from which it will be evident that the HSSF has adopted the cultural and spiritual meaning which the Supreme Court has attributed to the concept Hindu.
LK Advani to inaugurate the Fair
Sri LK Advani the former Deputy Prime Minister of India will be the Chief Guest at the inaugural function and he will deliver the keynote address. Two spiritual leaders of eminence, Swami Ashutoshananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math Chennai and Swami Omkarananda of Chidbhavananda Ashram Theni will be participating in the inaugural. Sri LV Subramanyam IAS Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams will be a Guest of Honour at the function. The Inaugural will be held at 6pm on February 19. Smt Sudha Ragunathan, noted Karnatic Music expert, will sing the invocation at the function. Sri Advani and other dignitaries will visit the Fair after the inaugural function.
Fair Dedicated to Swami Vivekananda
A significant aspect of this year's Fair is that it will be dedicated to the memory of Swami Vivekananda whose 150th birth Anniversary is being celebrated throughout by Central and State governments of India and also by many spiritual organisations. With Swami Vivekananda and the thoughts expounded by him becoming the central theme of the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair 2013 (i) the HSSF is installing 20 and 10 feet cut outs of Swami Vivekananda in some 400 spots in the city; (ii) along with the Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training [IMCT] which is a network of some 150 schools HSSF is organising yatra of Swami Vivekananda's statues in ten tableaus which will visit some 500 schools throughout Chennai and surrounding areas; (iii) in association with the IMCT networked schools is organising a Vivekananda Walkathon on February 16, as a curtain raiser for the Fair 2013; and (iv) the Central Hall of the Fair which is the most prominent attraction of the Fair will be dedicated to an exhibition on Swami Vivekananda and his thoughts, life and mission.
The Vivekananda Yatra has been a huge success with the 10 Vivekananda Rathams covering some 200 schools in five days with more and more schools – ranging from corporation schools to the CBSE schools vying to invite the rathams. Over 1.5 lac students have paid floral tributes to the image of Swami Vivekananda. The schools had arranged variety of programmes to receive the rathams.
Official Partners of the Fair
Another important aspect of the Fair is that autonomous that the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, Andhra Pradesh Endowments Department, Karnataka Endowments Departments and Travancore Dewoswom Board have agreed to be the Official Partners of the Fair. In addition the TTD will be conducting Srinivasa Kalyanam as the closing ceremony of the Fair on February 23, 2013 and the AP Endowments Department has decided to send eleven Prachara Rathams of their principal temples to Chennai to create awareness about the Fair. Besides they will also be participating in the Fair and exhibiting their services activities.
The picture of the Services rendered captured in the Fair
The fair aroused great interest among the participating organisations, media and the public. The fair aroused great interest among the participating organisations, media and the public. The aggregate public service details of the participating organisations of the Second Fair given below were a revelation. Here is a glimpse of the services rendered by the partipating organisations as per the data compiled last year. They run some 1.95 lac centres big and small and have more than a million full time and part time volunteers. They run a lakh of schools including single teacher schools and non-formal institutions, with 73.34 lac students on the roll and supporting 2.48 lac students financially. They run 59000 rural development projects in 89000 villages and supply water to 144 lakh people. They over 8200 hospitals and dispensaries, big and small, and conducted 1.18 lakh medical camps, treating annually 143 lakh patients with free or subsidised treatment for some 20 lakh patients. Some 1 crore tribal people benefit by their work. They built 8500 homes for Tsunami affected. They planted over 7.5 cr tree saplings. They run 347 orphanages and 1.48 lac self help groups. They have built and given free of cost over 32000 homes for slum dwellers
The HSSF is a trust which is registered under section 12AA of the Income Tax Act. The object of the HSSF, which is a non-profit organisation is to inspire, promote and sustain a high spirit of public service among the multitude of Hindu spiritual organisations The Trust deed of HSSF specifically provides that for all purposes of HSSF the term have the meaning assigned to the term Hinduism in the judgement of the hon'ble Supreme Court in Dr Ramesh Prabhu Vs Prabhakar Kasinath Kunte dated 11.12.1995 [reported in AIR 1113] to the effect that term Hinduism encompasses the culture and ethos of the people of India, depicting their way of life and is not a narrow religious idea. The Supreme Court had held in that case that Hinduism, which fosters and treats all religions equally is consistent with the secularism in the Constitution of India. The trust deed of HSSF expressly adopts the meaning that the Supreme Court has ascribed to the term Hindu.
Coffee Table Book and Brochure
The Coffee Table Book brought out by the HSSF last year and a brief brochure on the Fair this year which is in the kit provided to the media contain all relevant information about the Fairs in the past and why the Fairs are being held. The composition of the Organising Committee is contained in the brochure in the press kit.