VT Seva Founder & CEO Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji’s trip to the United States this past summer was no ordinary one – He traveled to 23 cities in less than 2 months and spoke to audiences across the United States. Swami Ji visited the length and breadth of the USA from July 2 – August 14, 2023!
Equality, tolerance, service, and navigating challenges. These are amongst the world topics addressed by Swamiji. Interactive sessions with Swami Ji and youth were the highlight of every event.
We start in Boston on July 8, 2023 - with an interactive session with the youth entitled, “Ask Us Anything.” Addressing an audience of 200 people, Sri Swamiji delivered a beautiful message on how equality in diversity is possible, very much like the parts of the body works in harmony to allow us to function wholly. Swamiji answered many questions asked by youth on varied topics from the Bhagavad Gita to practical life advice. Swamiji encouraged all to take the initiative in serving the community.
On July 14, 2023, the Embrace Equality event in Detroit was conducted by Jeeyar Educational Trust and VT Seva. There was an interactive youth session "Find your answers" with over 700 attendees. Swamiji spoke about the importance of an inclusive and harmonious society with moral values and encouraged all participants to follow the path of righteousness, equality, and selfless service. Youth members of the community came forward to ask questions which Swamiji answered in great detail. The event was attended by Senator Jim Runestad Representing Michigan's 23rd Senate District and Community Leaders from over 30 organizations.
On July 17, 2023, VT Seva and JET Cary conducted a youth interactive session during their annual event Sadaya. With 750 people in attendance, the audience was inspired to service for the greater good. Distinguished community leaders and nonprofit organization team members graced the occasion. Mark Stohlman, Past Mayor, and Steve Rao, Council Member, Town of Morrisville, NC attended the event. Members of the Apex Police Department, FS Series Coordinator, Meals on Wheels Durham, Diaper Bank of NC, and Durham Rescue Mission were also in attendance.
On July 19, 2023, Atlanta conducted their program with an audience of 600 attendees. With great excitement, they welcomed VT Seva founder and Humanitarian Leader and Padma Bhushan Awardee Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji. The youth designed several booths and presented their annual service projects and innovative creations. Five VT Seva High School youth clubs displayed their year-round club activities. Swamiji delivered a discourse entitled “Path of Compassion: Exploring Spirituality & Social Service” which was very enlightening and inspiring.
On July 23, 2023, the VT Seva Bay Area Chapter conducted a Discourse on Techniques for Stress Management with 800 people in attendance. Dignitaries at the event were Head supervisors from Second Harvest Silicon Valley, Valley Water District, and FCSN.
On July 29, 2023, Seattle conducted “Ask Me Anything - Youth Edition”. With 600 people in attendance, Swamiji answered questions submitted by the youth on a wide range of topics, from dealing with stress and peer pressure to addressing discrimination in society and promoting religious tolerance. Dignitaries in attendance included the Consulate General of India from San Francisco, Dr. T.V. Nagendra Prasad, Senator Manka Dhingra, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (Virtually), Bellevue City officials, and Issaquah City officials.
On August 6, 2023, Houston conducted the Prajna and VT Seva Youth Meet. With over 300 people in attendance, Prajna youth and VT Seva youth volunteers gathered for Swamiji's message to the next generation – to widen the horizon of volunteerism with exemplary service and to continue learning where there is an opportunity and experience.
On August 7, San Antonio conducted an event with over 500 in attendance. Mayor Ron Nirenberg graciously attended the event and proclaimed August 7 as a Day of Service in San Antonio. Swamiji unveiled San Antonio’s annual event under the banner Spoorthi.
On August 8, 2023, Swamiji visited and toured the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI). TSBVI shares a great partnership with VT Seva Austin, currently working towards creating an innovative "Real Voice" audiobook listening space for students. The dedicated VT Seva student volunteer force has helped complete the project of recording over 100 books. VT Seva obtained a General Motors grant of $20,000 and design assistance towards the completion of this exquisite listening space! VT Seva also contributed $30,000 to TSBVI, and Swamiji encourages continued collaboration between both organizations and their students. This goes to show what a driving force we can be when working together for the long-term benefit of our communities.
On August 12, 2023, Dallas had its event entitled “Celebration of Service and Spirituality”. With 600 people in attendance, it was a day marked by inspiring tales of VT Seva youth leadership. The event featured captivating narratives from Allampalli (where VT Seva supports a school for tribal communities), offering a mesmerizing journey of music and dance and providing insights into the secluded woods of Adilabad. The audience was spellbound by the "Allampalli Diaries" Mr. Krishna Kanth, VT Seva advisor, shared the inspirational story of Lalitha, a visually challenged youngster studying at Nethra Vidyalaya, on how she made her journey from a tribal village to becoming a world-class athlete. During the event, based on the firsthand experiences of interns, identified volunteering and philanthropic initiatives were shared with everyone. The call to embrace this movement, contribute one's unique skills, and collaborate in the pursuit of a world illuminated by understanding and harmony was loud and clear. Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji graced the stage with a standing ovation from all the attendees for receiving the Padma Bhushan award from the President of India for his service to society for over 40 years. In his motivational message to the youth, Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, the visionary behind VT Seva, emphasized that the essence of life lies in "sharing.”
During Swamiji’s visit, many of the VT Seva branches throughout the United States had presentation ceremonies of the President's Volunteer Service Award to volunteers demonstrating exemplary service, a true testament to the dedication to service!
Swamiji's visit schedule can be accessed here https://www.vtsworld.org/post/hh-sri-chinna-jeeyar-swamiji-s-2023-visit-to-usa