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Madhu's Blog Posts

  Gifting the Gifts

During Joy of Giving week somebody "anonymously" gifted us lot of very beautiful children books in Moved by love space. It definitley felt gift of love as somebody literally emptied their library and I am sure those books held lot of childhood memories for the person who gifted them. Our first natural response was to share it further in Manav Sadhna school in Gandhi Ashram, where children from the most poorest family come. However when we spoke to the teachers and children in that s... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Oct 15, 2011 | permalink

  Servant of Peace

Meet Gopaldada, a true mystic and servant of humanity. An 86-year-young teacher, singer, activist, and philosopher, he was born in a small village of Gujarat, India called Unjha. Although he was brought up within a large traditional Gujarati family, he was never interested in pursuing a profession in business. From the beginning, he was attuned to nature and living outdoors. At the age of 16, when he was a young student, he was very inspired by Gandhiji and that led him to work with Vinoba Bha... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Aug 29, 2011 | permalink

  A Smiling God

One of our Lokmitra fellows, Raghu, has been running a Tiffin service for the poorest of the poor. Recently Rafa, a Manav Sadhna volunteer from Spain, went to distribute food with Raghu and shared the following experience: “After three hours of roaming in the Ahmedabad slums with Raghu, distributing food from house to house, I started to feel tired. What kept me going was the thought that Raghu does this every single day without his disability limiting his compassion. The last house we ... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Aug 5, 2011 | permalink

  A Water Bowl

“I step outside the gate pleased with my bottle of cold water in my hand to combat the beads of sweat on my brow. No real rush to get to my destination. I know I will get there though. I step outside the gate and I see the bowl for the stray dog who frequents Gramshree NGO. An empty bowl parched dry by the rays of the sun. I am filled with gratitude, a radiance and force that drives me to pour my water into the bowl. How fortunate am I to receive this opportunity, how fortunate am I to b... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jul 9, 2011 | permalink

  Opening of Moved By Love Space

Birds sang, squirrels roamed and peacocks danced as nature showered its blessings through mild raindrops on a small group of people who gathered to pray for well being of all. On morning of 1st July, on the day that this couple got married seven years ago, :) we inaugurated the 'Moved By Love' space at the Gandhi Ashram in  Ahmedabad.  Inspired by the values that we all at Manav Sadhna and CharityFocus share in common, Moved By Love is a collecti... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jul 2, 2011 | permalink

  Samajhdar Shopkeeper

Recently Gujarat Govt banned use of plastic bags in it’s state, yet it is always a challenge to implement it. Our lives have become so accustomed to it that now it seems almost impossible without them. Giving us hope are several everyday people doing small things they can to avoid plastics and help keep our world greener.  Abhishek (in the pic) who runs a small grocery store was inspired by two college students, Anushree Poddar and Saurabh Pacheriwala who have started a environmenta... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jun 25, 2011 | permalink

  Music night in Seva Cafe

"Food for soul" is what many friends say about Seva CAfe, a gift economy restaurant run by volunteers. Recently there was a beautiful poetry and music night held there by Robin Sukhadia and Neelanjana Banerjee. Cafe is open to new ideas and events, we invite you to experience it when you come to Ahmedabad and also get involved with some creative activity.... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jun 25, 2011 | permalink

  Spread smiles..

One month back we were anonymously gifted with few Flip Video cameras with a smile card. “Just keep spreading smiles and share stories” the mail read. This was not the first time when we were overwhelmed by random kindness, few years back we were tagged with a 3000$ expensive video camera by a complete stranger and thats how our personal journey and later birth of MAM Movies happened. With great gifts come great responsibility, the effect was so profound o... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jun 6, 2011 | permalink

  Architects of Love

“Constructing buildings are easy, making homes are difficult”, felt Jesus Porras when he first came to volunteer in Manav Sadhna from Spain. After spending more than a year helping build play schools in slums, Jesus, who is also an architect has truly lived a life of Lok Mitra ( friend of people). Here’s some glimpses from their recent play school , named Bholu 8, which was made with the help of Kaafai ( another volunteer from Australia) and local community. A labor of love p... read full story

Posted by Madhu on May 4, 2011 | permalink

  Local Moved By Love Gatherings

I always believed that we all have goodness within us and when we are in a safe environment, our best automatically reflects. We sometimes create a shell around ourselves, afraid of being hurt or taken advantage of. Last evening we had the opportunity to experience a similar space of goodness where a small group of volunteers, doing small acts of kindness met and shared their stories. Stories of what makes them come alive and their efforts of making this world a little more beautiful. We invi... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Mar 18, 2011 | permalink

  Loving Leper Community

Few days back I had the opportunity to visit a leper community to do a movie screening. I went with an idea to share stories but came back home with my heart moved by hearing their stories. I was invited by Christopher ( is now called krishna by the community people), who is literally staying there and volunteering to heal them and in the process being healed himself with their love His primary method of treatment is Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient form of Japanese medicine. and his effort in h... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Mar 9, 2011 | permalink

  Give, Receive, Dance

On Jan 7th, Nipun gave an informal talk at ESI on service, generosity, and how 'being the change changes the being'. He spoke about his own service journey, framing it in three stages: giving, receiving, and dancing. The first stage represents inner transformation, the second humility, and the third is joy. Full Story ... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Mar 1, 2011 | permalink

  India On a Bike

Meet Kalyan Akkipeddi and Wiebke Koch, who are on social adventure that takes them on cycles, but sometimes on buses, trains, horseback, whatever it takes. covering around 12000km through (mostly) rural India, across 27 states in about 200 days! The core idea is to document the rural conditions along these 12 dimensions: Food, Water, Shelter, Clothing, Energy, Income Generation, Education, Health Care, Public Domain, Connectivity, Social Equity and Eco-Conservation/Disaster Management. M... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Feb 20, 2011 | permalink

  Small Bag Project

 A small act of generosity sometimes changes the entire world of somebody. This happened to Nathi ben, who after her husband died, has been trying to raise three daughters and two son by rag picking, not just on daytime but even night with just few hours of sleep. An anonymous donor sent us Rs 10000 for ‘moved by love projects‘ and a dear friend Swara, inspired her colleagues to do clothes collection drive in her office and thus began ‘ Smal... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Feb 14, 2011 | permalink

  Giving Shape to Life

Be, Give, Live: his entire life is summarized in these three words. A world renowned sculptor, Kanti Kaka has been only making statues of people who have dedicated their lives for service and spirituality. He stayed with Gandhi ji and made his sketches when he was a kid. "I am not a kalakar (artist) but just giving Akar (shape) to my own life," he says. Currently he stays in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India ... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jan 27, 2011 | permalink

  Mr. Toilet -- Shri Ishwar Patel

"To build toilets is easy, but to shift people's mind and hearts is the real work. Software is more important than hardware," Ishwar Dada often used to say. Ishwar-kaka started volunteering with Gandhi.s Sewadal at the age of 12. When he encountered a painful experience around the taboos of scavengers who gathered human waste, Ishwar-kaka consciously dedicated his life to the work of sanitation and raising consciousness around related issues of .untouchabili... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jan 27, 2011 | permalink

  Riding For a Cause

Meet Ritesh, a media student from Baroda. He travels everyday more than 10 km to his College in his bicycle and leave annonymous notes of gratitude for other cyclists, for keeping our world green. ... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jan 20, 2011 | permalink

  A Dog Ashram

Meet Govind bhai Patel. A mechanical engineer, who worked for Govt of Gujarat for most part of his life. He once had a beloved dog with the name "Johnny". So dear was Johnny that he purchased shares and property at his name. After his wife and beloved dog died, he found a new meaning to his life and decided to dedicate it for street dogs. Today he walks 20 kms every morning and on his way he feeds stray dogs, more than 20 kg of milk, biscuits and sweet halwa. His house is now con... read full story

Posted by Madhu on Jan 9, 2011 | permalink