Swami Dayananda Educational Trust | Spirit Of The Earth Donate Now

FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ - USA

Have a question? Browse through our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

If we haven’t answered your query, please feel free to reach out to us using our Contact Form, or call us on +91 44 24987955 or +91 9500060153

Who is the staff at AIM for Seva? Is the home regulated?

The staff in our student homes (Free Student Hostels) comprises a warden, cook and a helper. Security personnel and CCTV cameras provide ample protection and a secure environment for our residents. Students live with us for 10 to 11 months of the year and the homes are looked after by Swamiji’s disciples, who are naturally committed to the cause.

The JJ Act– Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 of the Government of India mandates that each home is registered, under the Act, with the Local District Authority. Every quarter, members from the Child Welfare Department and Child Protection Force visit our homes. The officials examine the physical infrastructure and also speak to our students, on a private basis, to ensure compliance to the procedures of the JJ Act.  We at AIM for Seva are glad to inform that we are well within the parameters set out by both the State and Central Governments. 

How are AIM for Seva projects managed?

AIM for Seva, India is an independent registered public charity managed by a Board of Trustees, consisting of a Chairperson, Treasurer and Trustees. The Board’s decision is final and abiding in all matters concerning our projects in India.

AIM for Seva manages projects independently, following the guiding principles given by our Founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Sarswati. Donors and visitors are very welcome to visit any home, with prior notice, and accompanied by our coordinators.  They will have the opportunity to interact and speak with the students.

Donors suggestions are most welcome and after discussion with all concerned, we are happy to implement any suggestions falling within our objectives.  While we encourage our donors to offer their inputs, the final decision remains with the Central Office.

Our Sadhu coordinators’ requirements and support comes from the Central Coordinating Office at Chennai. We have well trained personnel who assist our Sadhus in all areas of management of the student homes.

Finance and accounts are overseen and audited by the Central Office, under the Indian laws which govern our accounting system. Our accounts are submitted to the Income Tax Deptartment at New Delhi, where our Trust is registered.  Our audited accounts are uploaded on to our website, and are available for public perusal.

How can we help?

AIM for Seva welcomes every kind of support as it reaches out to more and more students. You could help our ongoing projects by supporting a child in our home. You could click on to our donations page.

In this context, we would like to share Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s wisdom on Danam. “Danam, giving or sharing, is a mark of growth. Remaining a consumer all the time, and not becoming a contributor, is not the Vedic view of life. We have to be contributors. Only by giving, you become a giver, a contributor,” he says.

You could also offer land or building for us to initiate a new student home. Once you indicate the location of your choice, our coordinators visit the site or building to review for its suitability. Easy access by road with a high school within a radius of 3 kilometres of the site is pre requisite for us to promote a new student home. If you wish to help further, could also offer to construct a home dedicated to the memory of your loved ones. We at AIM for Seva understand and accept every help as a precious gift.

The reason we are writing in such detail to you is in order to give insights into our world of Seva and our sacred commitment to its founding principles. Without an appreciation of the principles it may be difficult to appreciate our vision and how it is implemented.   We suggest that you read a few books by Swamiji if possible, as you may not have had the opportunity to have met or listened to him. It would help to understand the values guiding us and the way our homes are structured.

We look forward to your participation in, contribution towards and support of AIM for Seva.  We warmly welcome you to join us. We would like to conclude from Swamiji’s Danam, “By participating in our programmes, you have an opportunity to grow and be a contributor. Be part of AIM for Seva’s programmes of caring.”

How can you make a difference?

We would be extremely happy and privileged to work with like-minded individuals and organisations in furthering the cause of value-based education across far flung regions in India.

You could choose to support us in the following ways:

  • Channel partners If you are a Foundation, you could join hands with us to support  our movement in the areas of rural education digital literacy and computer centres in distant areas, community development initiatives and healthcare centres in the hinterlands.
  • Infrastructure development support—As the act of doing a charitable act and supporting a noble endeavour gains ground, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and high net worth individuals are looking to give back to society in their own way. You could support our existing projects, contribute to new construction like classrooms and toilet blocks (in line with the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan)
  • Infrastructure development support—Education is invaluable. Make a difference to a child’s life by sponsoring the complete care of one child for one year for Rs 30,000.

We deeply cherish your support and your assistance is invaluable. We look forward to work with partners in progress who share our mission of educating rural India.

 

The Organization


Who is the founder of AIM for Seva?

Swami Dayananda Saraswati, visionary, profound thinker, writer and an eminent scholar of Vedanta and Sanskrit, is the founder of AIM for Seva.

Who is behind the management of the organization?

AIM for Seva is a registered Charitable Trust and the Board of Trustees includes corporate leaders and management experts who are keen to contribute towards the development of India. The day-to-day operational activities, planning and administration are handled by the Managing Trustee and Secretary.

Read more about our team here.

Who runs the projects of AIM for Seva throughout the country?

Students and devotees of Swami Dayananda Saraswati committed to seva, coordinate and administer AIM for Seva projects.

What are the core areas of work that AIM for Seva is involved in?

The main focus of AIM for Seva is as an enabler of education, particularly in tribal and rural areas, by helping children attend a nearby school.

What is your model of project implementation?

Unlike many other voluntary organisations, AIM for Seva  adopts a direct delivery model, i.e. we design and deliver projects ourselves rather than through a third party. This ensures the organisations purpose remains on course and coupled with the system of volunteering inherent in the governance of the organisation, helps keep our overheads to less than 10% of costs.

Is AIM for Seva a religious organization?

AIM for Seva’s programs are truly secular. It reaches out to all people in need irrespective of religion, community or nationality.

 

FSH


In what way is an FSH different from an orphanage?

All our students come from families who have willingly accepted the concept of a FSH, and have signed an agreement to let their children stay in the home and access a nearby school. During vacation periods , they return to bond with their families and communities.

How is an FSH different from a hostel?

Generally a hostel means a place where children are given boarding and lodging facilities alone.

However, at the AIM for Seva FSH, we not only take care of these two basic necessities, but also provide all that is required for a healthy upbringing of a child.

In our vision, for a holistic development, one needs to pay attention to the growth of a child in three main areas namely: giving emotional security, developing cognitive & intellectual skills, and finally, overall character building.

The programs at our FSH are designed to take care of each of these aspects. The nurturing environment of our student homes ensures emotional well- being of children. Through private academic tuitions, computer and language classes, intellectual growth of children are taken care of. Finally, classes on values and ethics focus on overall personality development for making these children responsible citizens of India.

Why is AIM for Seva building Free Student Hostels and not schools?

Building a school in each village requires large-scale economic and human resources.Further, it is very difficult to get qualified, trained teachers, willing to work in tribal and rural areas. Therefore, the Free Student Home program is a more viable option.

Your website talks of 129 projects, while the number of FSH is lower. What are these other projects?

The main programme activity of AIM for Seva is in education, in helping poor children in rural India to gain access to a nearby school.  In addition, in certain geographical regions, projects in healthcare, rural development, running of schools and environmental conservation are being run. This is to meet specific local needs. The organisation’s core activity will remain in providing education in rural India.

How do you select the students who enroll themselves in the FSH?

A cluster of 10-15 villages is first identified in a particular area. We visit the school in that area, announce our intention to start an FSH, and explain the idea behind it. We invite applications from children who are in need of support.

The criteria of selection are:

We shortlist the most deserving students based on the above criteria. Subsequently we visit their homes to verify the information before we admit them.

Is institutionalization of children desirable?

While it is desirable for children to stay with their parents , lack of access to school , lack of awareness of importance of education and difficult or problematic family circumstances, require the students to stay in a conducive atmosphere. A student home provides the necessary environment.

How do you get the consent of the parents?

We meet the parents of the children and explain the importance of education , the concept of the FSH and the philosophy of AIM for Seva and its founder.

What is the age group of children you admit in the FSH?

Normally we admit children between the 8 and 12 years of age. They stay with us until they complete their higher secondary education – Class 12. We prefer taking in younger students, so that they stay with us for at least 3-4 yrs. This gives us an opportunity to help them grow into responsible and honest citizens of India.

What about the legal implications of enrolling these children in an FSH?

At the time of admitting the children, the parents sign an application form, which includes their consent to caring for their child/ward in our FSH. We comply with all legal requirements related to the care of children according to the laws of the respective states and the central government.

Who takes care of these children at the FSH?

We have regional coordinators who administer two or more student homes in a particular area. Specially trained wardens manage the day-to-day running of the FSH.

How do you facilitate the education of a girl child?

AIM for Seva is highly committed to educating the girl child. At present, of the 95 FSH, 18 are exclusively for girls. We also run a school for girls in Khategaon, Madhya Pradesh.

Do you charge any fees from the students?

No. AIM for Seva student homes provides complete care , including clean living quarters, nutritious food, regular health check-up, school needs, clothes, extra coaching in academics, sports, yoga and much more, free of cost.

Do the students visit their family?

We encourage parents to visit their children at specified intervals. Students go home to their parents for Deepavali and during summer vacation.

 

Support / Donations


How can I support your work?

You can contribute in many different ways. You could Volunteer, Donate, Visit our students. Further details can be had from our website www.aimforseva.org.

Can I volunteer my services to AIM for Seva?

Yes, AIM for Seva has several opportunities for volunteers. Due to the remote nature of our projects, one-day/weekend volunteer opportunities are limited. Please fill out our Volunteer form and we will get in touch with you.

What percentage of my donation reaches the students benefited by AIM for Seva?

As AIM for Seva works on a direct delivery model, owning and operating most of our projects, our overhead costs are very low at less than 8%.

For more information on our finances, please visit Financial Reports.

Will I get a tax exemption for my donation?

If you are an individual taxpayer in India: Yes, donations to AIM for Seva are eligible for 50% tax exemption under Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act.

If you are a taxpayer in the US: Yes, donations to AIM for Seva are eligible for a 50% tax exemption under 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

If you live elsewhere: Unfortunately, AIM for Seva is not a registered charitable organization in your country, and you might not be eligible for a tax exemption.

Can we visit one of your student homes?

Yes, but we need prior notice and  clearance by the central office in Chennai. On receipt of a request for visit, a guidance note and a pro-forma will be sent to the visitor to complete . If you are a visitor from the USA or Canada, the request for visit has to go to your country coordinator in the first instance. Other visitors, please contact aimallindiamovement@gmail.com.

Can we donate old clothes?

No, we do not accept any used items, except books.

Can I sponsor a specific child?

No, AIM for Seva does not believe in singling out beneficiaries. You are, however, welcome to support one child for perpetuity from a specified student home, through our ACE fund. For more details, please contact us.

I want the guests at my daughter's wedding to donate to AIM for Seva instead of giving us any money, with due acknowledgement given to their contribution. Can I do that?

AIM for Seva has specially formatted gift cards for just this occasion. Please contact us over email or use our Contact form to know more.

My company wants to expand its CSR activities, and we are looking only for project-based partnerships. Does AIM for Seva have any such projects?

Yes, many companies and banks are sponsoring projects under their CSR programme. Please contact our Director – Strategy and Resource Management at gayathriaimforseva@gmail.com.

I live abroad, and don't see a local AIM for Seva address listed on the web site. How can I help create an AIM for Seva chapter here?

We welcome people who want to join the movement and spread the word around. Please contact us with more information, and we can together build a strong presence of AIM for Seva in your country.