Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Baba, along with the Mission's guest Ann Shannon, made his annual visit to Hingalganj for the festival celebrating LDLM and its work. The villagers were overjoyed to see their Baba. The Self Help Group (SHG) women met Baba and escorted him to Baba Lokenath's Temple, which they e constructed with the Mission's help. Baba served 4,500 people food prepared by SHG women with grains provided by the grain bank of Dulduli.
In the afternoon all SHG women came to meet Baba to discuss their achievements and the problems they are facing with their groups. The bank managers always give them trouble when withdrawing money from bank or a loan disbursement. Baba and LDLM Rural Program Director, Amalendu Haldar, presented details of a plan to Cluster SHGs in groups of 20. The bank manager will then have to deal with one very skilled committee that represents all SHG transactions and accounts. The committee will submit complaints to Bank officials if the bank managers obstruct the loan or banking process in any way.
Baba reminded the SHG women that the main target of the Mission is to make them economically independent and to believe in their own abilities. He assured them that Baba Lokenath's blessings are always with them in their endeavors to become self reliant, and that the network of support that they provide to each other is an irreplaceable, precious safety net.
The villagers and SHG members then felicitated Baba and Ann and other guests with flowers. Then the children from the families of SHG members presented songs, poems, dance-drama and highly advanced yoga and gymnastics program that thrilled the crowd. Baba addressed the villagers and stressed the importance of this human body, how we are blessed as human beings to have organs like eyes, nose, ears, brain and heart, which gives us so many different types of senses. "Express your gratitude to the Lord for all these blessings and create awareness through the gift of your Body," Baba said. The villagers treasured every word Baba spoke.