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Session – Services Hindu Service Perspectives in International Development through American Hindu World Service. By: Divya L. Selvakumar, MPH. September 11-13, 2009. The Need for a US-based Hindu NGO for International Development.

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Session – ServicesHindu Service Perspectives in International Development through American Hindu World Service


Divya L. Selvakumar, MPH

September 11-13, 2009

the need for a us based hindu ngo for international development
The Need for a US-based Hindu NGO for International Development
  • To expand and bring Hindu service philosophies into international development and humanitarian work in other countries around the world
  • To educate masses about the Hindu philosophy and concepts of peace, non-violence, compassion, tolerance and compassion
  • To collaborate with other faith-based NGOs in establishing interfaith dialogues and partnerships towards service
  • To reach out not only to populations in need in South Asia, but also in other regions of the world
current major hindu charities
Current Major Hindu Charities
  • ISKCON, Hare Rama Hare Krishna Movement: Food for Life (Potomac, MD)
  • IDRF: Indian Development and Relief Foundation (Bethesda, MD)
  • SEWA (Fremont, CA & Ahmedabad, India)
  • BAPS (Piscataway, NJ & Ahmedabad, India)
  • Sri Ramakrishna Mission (Kolkata, India)
  • Hindu Aid (London, U.K.)
american hindu world service
American Hindu World Service
  • An NGO aimed towards education of the Hindu faith and is currently in the brainstorming session
  • An organization of international development that is currently being designed to utilize the Hindu concepts of service
  • To provide international humanitarian services to people of all races, classes, and ethnic groups, including those individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, marginalized groups, youth, indigenous groups, and LGBT communities
  • Emphasis on prevention, advocacy and education and working towards the Millennium Development Goals
ahws vision and mission statement
AHWS Vision and Mission Statement
  • Dedicates to serving the poorest of the poor and helping to alleviate ills – poverty, hunger, and disease through progressive programs and sustainable development
  • Promotes human rights and justice to people of all races, background, religious faiths, and ethnic communities
  • Offers information and brings awareness to the public about the philosophy of Hinduism with an emphasis of service, tolerance and compassion
ahws programs and countries
AHWS Programs and Countries


  • Nutrition and Food Security – food aid, feeding centers, etc.
  • Water and Sanitation – latrines, wells, water filters, etc.
  • Education – life skills, vocational education, non-formal
  • Environment – biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, etc.
  • Microfinance – loans, lending, access to info/tech, etc.
  • Women’s Empowerment - Gender Development


  • South Asia: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Mauritius
  • Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Sudan
  • Middle East: Afghanistan, Yemen
involvement of hindu communities and mandirs with ahws
Involvement of Hindu Communities and Mandirs with AHWS
  • Partnerships with Hindu mandirs and from religious organizations of a variety of faiths i.e. development of Interfaith-related dialogues in the collaboration of service projects across the globe
  • Youth Leadership Development:

College students and High School students

a) Service trips for projects based in India, Nepal, East Africa b) Opened to students of all faiths c) Trainings to learn about Hindu concepts of Seva

  • Engagement and networking with NGOs on global health in the international development community
  • Raising awareness for worldwide issues – Darfur crisis, natural disasters, etc.
conclusion ahws
Conclusion – AHWS
  • South Asian ethnic group, predominantly Hindus is the most successful of all ethnic groups, financial contributions can be put to great use
  • Encouraging South Asian-Americans to get involved in service initiatives across the world
  • Providing a glimpse on the world of international development
  • Creating and fostering an environment for promoting diversity and tolerance towards all faiths, ethnicities, and communities

Divya L. Selvakumar, MPH

Nutrition International Development Specialist

Walden University PhD Candidate

Public Policy and Administration


Cell: (626) 475-7149