“They only live who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.” It is such words as these from Hinduism philosopher Swami Vivekanada that drive the local Hindu society to care for the less fortunate.
It was all about good eyesight this past Sunday as the Botswana Hindu Society: Shiv Pariwar Group hosted Gakgatla village elders for a free eye screening exercise. Through their Eye &Vision Care Community Service Project the Hindu society hosted more than 100 Kgatleng residents at their Maruapula (Gaborone) temple. Addressing the elders Indian High Commissioner to Botswana DrKetan Shukla said the screening has for a long time been an ongoing exercise by the Hindu Society.
“In Shiv Pariwar, the Lord Shiva’s forehead is also the spiritual eye or chakra which stands for higher consciousness and allows us to see the real world for the world as we see it. It is also sometimes known as the eye of wisdom.” He said the Lord Shiva’s left eye represents his activities in the physical world while the third eye symbolises his spiritual wisdom and power.
Dr.Ketan also quoted a verse from the bible (Isaiah 58:7) which says, “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
The Project Coordinator Harish Pathak said eyes are the windows to the soul and the gift of vision is the most treasured, charismatic gift of all. “What more could be devastating than not being able to see?”
He said the Hindu Society had in the past rendered services to local communities, donating food hampers, and blankets among other things.
Giving his remarks Gakgatla’skgosiLenyeletseMoshapa said he was humbled to see the Hindu Society showing love to even those who do not share the same religious beliefs. “I would like to thank the Hindu Society for hosting us here today and I pray to God to bless them for their goods deeds and compassion,” he said.
Moshapa said it was not the first time his community had benefited from the generosity of the Hindu Society as they had been assisted twice before. The Botswana Hindu Society rendered eye tests to more than 100 mostly elder people from Gakgatla.
The residents were transported from the Kweneng settlement by the society and spent the day undergoing tests. The costs for the day’s activities were estimated to be P40, 000 all donated by the local Hindu community.
The Shiv Pariwar Group volunteers offered to provide free eye screening and provision of spectacles to the needy residents of Gakgatla.
“We feel and are very hopeful that that the single pair of glasses can indeed transform, in most of the cases, the life of someone living without access to basic eye care,” Pathak said.Botswana Hindu Society is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Gaborone. The organisation is run by volunteers with the aim of enhancing religious and cultural activities. It also aims to participate in the civic, cultural,social and moral welfare of the local community.