DAVSS Children Raise $12036 for Jeevan Prabhat Readathon


By Roma S. Nayyar
HOUSTON: In December 2004, a terrible tsunami ravaged the east coast of India affecting not only the land and coastline but also destroying the lives of children who were left orphaned and families left sundered. Many were left without homes, and without family, and there was massive destruction and sorrow. Soon afterwards, various organizations started working towards rehabilitating these lives, a process that required time as well as funds.
In 2005, Arya Samaj of Greater Houston started the Jeevan Prabhat Readathon to help raise funds for many of the children orphaned by the tsunami. All funds raised in the Readathon go towards benefiting Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry, the orphanage that Arya Samaj Greater Houston helped to establish. The Readathon is unique to itself, and ever since its inception, it has been a way of not only uniting the children of Jeevan Prabhat and Arya Samaj but also uniting the members of the Arya Samaj Greater Houston community. The entire community comes together to give the kids at Jeevan Prabhat a better, brighter future. By doing this, they strive to make the world a nobler place, following one of the core principles of Swami Dayanand, the founder of Arya Samaj, “to make the whole world noble”.
During the Readathon, children read books and collect pledges from family and friends. The Readathon has been met with outstanding support from everyone at Arya Samaj, and each year, becomes bigger and better. The bar is raised every year with more kids participating, more books being read, and more money being raised.
Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry is a state of the art institution, and the children residing there are provided with the best education, food, and clothing possible. It is a non-government institution, run and managed by volunteers, and in large part funded by support from Arya Samaj of Greater Houston including funds raised during the Readathon. It has been a phenomenal success story, with some of the children there now preparing to go to college to pursue their individual careers and dreams. Recently, a new pen pal program was started by some of the students in AYM, the Arya Youth Mandal (a branch of D.A.V. Sanskriti School) a Sunday school program at Arya Samaj. The first letters have been sent, and replies are being eagerly awaited.
This year, the DAVSS children raised $ 12036, including matching funds from our patrons Ashutosh Garg, Ankur Sanghi, Sanjay Sood and Sushma Mahajan. Top fundraisers were Roma Nayyar, Shivam Nayyar and Anusha Sood, raising a total of $ 4120 between them. Our Star Readers were Mahi Tomar, Vipashchit Nanda and Siddhant Arora reading over 31000+ pages between them. In all, 17 of the participants raised more than $100 each during the readathon. The Readathon kicks off on 14th of November (Children’s Day and Chacha Nehru’s birthday), and runs through Martin Luther King Day each year. It has achieved such success because of the tireless dedication and commitment of Bharati Patil, Kiran Ahuja and Preeti Rana Tomar, with unstinting support of ASGH stalwarts Dev Mahajan and Shekhar Agrawal .