SAVE A SMILE, Sponsor a Child < 


> Kashmiri Overseas Association USA <

The KOA organization has its origins in the early meetings of several Kashmiri > Pandit  < families in the Washington D.C. and Maryland areas. These families soon came to realize the importance of building a community structure which could include other families too in a bond for mutual preservation and growth. As more families and members joined the founding group, the organization evolved to become a national outfit with regional chapters, documented bye-laws, systems and procedures as well as a non-profit status to better seek donations and pursue community actions.

The KOA Community: > * H E R E *<

Shriya Bhat Mission Hospital and Research Center: Since then the hospital is working as a multi-disciplinary clinic. Over the years some amenities have been added like an air conditioner, refrigerator, ECG machines, glucometers, nebulizers, traction apparatus etc. A medical van has been kept at the disposal of the sick patients. The Center is open to every body irrespective of cast or creed, region or religion.

There is a work force of consultants in internal medicine, neurology, general surgery, urology, orthopedics and dermatology in regular attendance. Patients are registered for examination and treatment round the week. The mission hospital has so far rendered its services to more than 35 thousand patients. All the patients receive a free 3-4 week supply of available medicines. A mini laboratory helps with some basic investigations, again conducted free on the patients.

Sharda Peeth Rishi Model School, Udhampur, J&K: In 1990, terrorism and sectarian violence caused nearly 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus to flee the land of their ancestors, the fabled valley of Kashmir in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. These victims of terrorism, refugees in their own country, left behind virtually all of their worldly possessions as they had to flee under threat to life and honor.

As in most situations, the worst sufferers of this violence were the children of this displaced people. With their parents consumed with, yet often unable to, provide the basics of living to their families these unfortunate children were often left without the only hope for a better life – a healthy education.

The Rishi Memorial School was started in the mid-1990s with contributions from a group of US-based Indian-Americans concerned for the future of these indigent children. This remarkable experiment in social self-service began with only about a dozen students and one teacher.

Save a Smile – Sponsor a Child: The refugee camps in Jammu and Kashmir house hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits displaced from their homes as a direct result of the Islamic militancy in the valley. This tragedy has resulted in children being denied the opportunities that we take for granted. Since 1995, the Kashmiri Overseas Association, USA has implemented the Sponsor-A-Child Program for the age group 5 year olds to 17 year olds. This program aims to provide educational opportunities to the children directly affected by the tragedy. While individuals worldwide have contributed to these programs more children are in need of our financial support than currently available funds can support, there are many more that deserve our assistance. Goal: To provide tuition, school supplies and living expenses to school children who are currently living in refugee camps.

Religion – The religious practices of Hindus of Kashmir (popularly known as Kashmiri Pandits) revolve around the worship of Shiva and Shakti. All other deities (gods and goddesses) of the traditional Hindu pantheon are worshipped as various manifestations of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is the Supreme Lord of the universe and Shakti, the Universal Mother Goddess, is his eternal companion.

Region Kashmir: Poetry of Nature – Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a many-faceted diamond, changing its character with the seasons always extravagantly beautiful. Three Himalayan ranges – Karakoram, Zanskar and Pir Panjal – snow-capped, majestic, frame the landscape from northwest to northeast. They are the birthplace of great rivers which flow down into the valleys below, forested with wild orchards and lily laden lakes.

BYO, Yogaverband Österreich:  www.yoga.at : > Eintreten in das göttliche Bewusstsein” < , Ref.: Bettina Bäumer, Ort: St. Virgil Salzburg, 23.07.10 – 25.07.10

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