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Seva at the White House

July 29th, 2011




"Be the Change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

This is one of Anju's Bhargava's favorite quotes as it encourages people to take matters into their own hands and empowers them to make real change in the world. Our first encounter with Anju was while we were filming Amma, the hugging saint of Kerala, in New York. Ms. Bhargava spoke eloquently for us in our Holy Kitchens film, Karma to Nirvana, and we have followed her activities with keen interest ever since. This dynamic woman is changing the world around her so it's no surprise that our remarkable friend Anju is the first person to bring the concept of seva to the White House. The organization she co-founded, the Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) is sponsoring an essay contest to inspire people to perform more service related activities around the world. There will be a press briefing at the White House on July 29th followed by a conference at Georgetown University.

In addition to founding HASC, Anju Bhargava is a member of President Obama's Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in which she advises the White House on matters relating to faith based organizations' roles in addressing specific policy issues in domestic and global development. Ms. Bhargava balances a busy and successful management consulting career with teaching and mentoring young people and looks outside herself for ways she can be useful to the community at large. People like Anju are teaching Americans about the new pluralism of America and inspiring people to build stronger communities by the example of their seva.

The essay competition is open until May 30th with four categories, including:
1. High School Students
2. Undergraduate Students
3. Graduates/Young Professionals
4. Senior Citizens

To enter your 1,000 word essay in the competition, go to the HASC website for details on submission requirements. You can support the activities of Hindu American Seva Charities through their website. Please donate generously. It is tax deductible and serves a great cause. It is a non-religious Non Governmental Organization whose mission is to promote pluralism, social justice, and civic engagement through seva and interfaith dialogues to build healthy communities.

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