We are living in stressful times with serious economic, social and moral challenges. There are now more than ever before far greater expectations and demands on the South African Hindu Maha Sabha from the Hindu community and beyond from those in need.
With the above in mind, the SA Hindu Maha Sabha launched Initiative 108 as part of its centenary celebrations in 2012. The number 108 is highly significant and auspicious for Hindus. Initiative 108 is the Welfare and Seva Chapter of SAHMS based on the principle of “Nishkaam Seva” (unconditional, selfless service), and is driven by the motto of SAHMS, “Vasudeva Kutumbakam” – The World is One Family.
According to the Bhagwad Gita (17.20), “Charity given out of duty, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness” (Nishkam Karma). Some give money, while others offer time and labour in support of worthy causes. Charity that is given as a matter of duty, desiring nothing in return, to a deserving candidate at the right place and time, is called sattvikam (Bhagavad Gita (17.21)
The Objective of the Initiative 108 project is to set up several categories of projects in partnership with affiliates which include, but is not limited to:
Feeding Schemes, distribution of food parcels, clothing, entrepreneurship and job creation, providing support to clinics, hospitals, and the like; winter warmth, provision of water; counselling and life skills services; educational support; care of the physically and mentally challenged, orphans and the elderly as some of our diverse projects.
The intention is to build bridges between people of different races, cultures and religions, to promote goodwill, tolerance and mutual respect, and harmonious coexistence, in keeping with the basic principles and tenets of Hinduism.
The “Initiative 108” Program is managed in a transparent and accountable manner, like all ventures of the South African Maha Sabha, and is subject to independent audit. Donors qualify for a section 18 Tax exemption certificate.