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Charity is giving without expecting anything in return. Helping the poor has been the main focus of activities since its foundation. The Sri AgathiarSanmaarga Charitable Trust considers giving food, water and medical assistance to the unfortunate as the highest form of charity. Food and water are the basic necessities for every living being. When a person starves, his senses and thoughts become dim and non-functional. The weakening senses destroy the body and the soul eventually leaves.
When such starving person is given food, the body is revived and its senses start to function normally. Thus allowing that person to carry out his daily duties. Therefore giving food for the hungry is considered to be the noblest of deeds since it helps save lives. The praise of the soul that receives is the real grace of God. This grace accumulates our virtue of righteousness and strengthens the soul. Following this philosophy, the Sanggam
provides food, water and medical assistance where necessary.
Note : Authorized volunteers will display an identity tag issued by the Sanggam. They will also issue official receipts for any payments that are made.
The Sanggam provides basic food for the poor and hungry. This consists of rice, sambar (dhall curry), rassam (spicy soup) and whey. Everyone is fed until satisfaction once a day. At the centre in Ongkarakudil, Thuraiyur, about 1,500 to 2,000 people are fed daily. The Sanggam also has a centre about 7 km away at the foot of the Perumal Hill. This lies at the outskirts of Thuraiyur town where many old and homeless people live. Everyday about 2,000 people are given food here.
The Sanggam also extends its help to villages in about 50 km radius, providing food packets. These packets consists of tamarind rice, lemon rice, curd rice, vegetable rice or tomato rice. They are prepared at the Ongarakudil centre and are delivered to their destinations using lorries. This helps poor farmers, labourers and cattle herds to regain their strengths and to continue with their work.
For all these about 2,000 kg of rice are cooked everyday. [But when funds are insufficient, the quantity is reduced thus some of the services are stopped]. The Sri Agathiar Sanmaarga Charitable Trust also has branches at various places in the Tamilnadu State. Here the volunteers also cook and distribute food on daily or weekly basis depending on the financial situation.
The Sanggam provides herbal pordridge called 'Mooligai Arutkanji' for the patients in Government Hospitals in almost all the districts in Tamilnadu. There are plenty of volunteers who dedicte their life as full time service to provide herbal pordridge all over tamilnadu. There are arutkanji providing centers in front of GH at Trichy Srirangam, Veralimalai, Mannachanallur, Trichy Gandhimarket, Trichy Chathiram bus stand, Vayalore temple, Madhurai, Virudhunagar, Salem, Namakkal, Udumalaipettai, Thirunelveli, almost all areas in chennai. The details about the Pordridge and food distribution
The Sanggam provides basic KO-4 grass for the cattle in almost all the villages in and around Thuraiyur. The main purpose of feeding the cows is that feeding one cow is equalent to giving food for 100 hungry humen. Moreover the cow is considered to save the life of numerous new born kids who does not have an opportunity to be fed milk by the mother. Due to drought when the farmers and herders were not able to feed their cattle Ongarakuidl Gurunathar adviced the volunteers to buy KO-4 grass from people who sell them from different districts and distributed the grass to all the cows in and Thuaiyur.
The Agathiar Sanmaarga Sangam has also concentrated the need of clothing for the poor and needy people. For the past several years the trust is distributing dress, like sarees, chudidhaars etc. for women; dhothies, shirts for men; and school uniform for the poor and needy school students. Thus through all these activities Sri Agathiar Sanmaarga Sangam and its volunteers are gaining the blessing of God.
The sangam also provides clothes for the volunteers once every year as a bonus. Swamiji "Sri Rangaraja Desiga Swamigal" considers all the volunteers as his own children and gives two pair of new clothes to all the volunteers during the farmer's festival of Pongal.
The Trichy District (where Thuraiyur is) lies at the central point of the Tamilnadu State. Rain comes from two monsoon winds; the northeast and southwest. The northeast monsoon brings heavy rainfall at the coastal area of Tamilnadu. When the wind reaches the central part of the state very small amount of rain fall. During the southwest monsoon, the western-ghat hills between Tamilnadu the its neighbouring state, Kerala, blocks the rain fall. Thus, the dry wind causes the central area to be drought prone.
The main river that runs through this region is the Cauvery. It originates from the other neighbouring state of Karnataka and flow through Tamilnadu. This river is the main source of water for both consumption and irrigation. However, the Karnataka state dams the river upstream thus allowing very little or no water at all for the Tamil people along its bank.
The high salinity content in the water causes many disorders to the people in that area. One of the serious problems are cataract formation in the eyes especially for elderly people. By collaborating with the Rotary Club, Joseph's Eye Clinic, Annai Hospital and the Trichy District Association for the Prevention of Loss of Eyesight, Eye Inspection Camps are conducted second Saturday of every month.
The doctors give free examination and consultation during these camps. For those who need surgery or spectacles to correct their sight, the Sanggam sponsors the cost of material and surgery.
Since the beginning of this service, two years ago, more than 23,755 people have benefited. This includes complex eye - surgery and lens implantation. Apart from this, the Sanggam also allows its premises to be used for polio and jaundice immunisation programmes run by the local municipality.
Gurunathar arranged for free marriage for the villagers who are not able to afford to get married due to poverty. Gurunathar announced to all the villagers who have planned and decided their spouce could get married in Sri Agathiar Sanmaarga Sangam, during the Chithra pournami function held at ongarakudil in 1996 through 1998. During the marriage Gurunathar gave one pot full of rice, one Kuthuvilakku (holy lamp), four gram of gold in the form of 'thali' tied to the yellow holy rope which Gurunathar himself blessed and gave to all the individual couples.
Nearly 2001 families benefited by this marriage and many of the couples still visit Ongarakudil to exhibit their gratitude towards Gurunathar for helping them to start their life in a blessd manner.