Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What does Seva mean?
Seva (pronounced as in “sayvaa”) is a Sanskrit word which does not quite have a direct equivalent in English in its true sense. The nearest description is “selfless, deep, heart-felt service to an entity or noble cause without expecting anything in return except the welfare of the beneficiary”.
Is it 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.
Who runs all the projects of AIM for Seva across India?
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 the organization is involved in?
Main focus of AIM for Seva is education, particularly in tribal and rual areas. We also have healthcare projects wherever possible.
Why is AIM for Seva building Free Student Homes (FSH) and not schools to provide education?
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 (FSH) program is a more viable option.
How do you select the students who enroll themselves in these student homes?
A cluster of 10-15 villages are first identified in a particular area. We visit the government school in that area, announce our intention to start a student home and explain the idea behind it. We invite applications from children who are in need of support.
The criteria of selection are:
- Children from families below poverty line
- Lack of access to schools
- Coming from dysfunctional homes
We shortlist the most deserving students, based on the above criteria. Subsequently, we visit their homes to verify the information before we admit them.
How do you get the consent of parents?
We meet the parents of the children and explain the importance of education, the concept of a free student home and the philosophy of AIM for Seva and its founder.
What is the age group of children you admit?
Normally we admit children between the 8 and 12 years of age. They stay with us untill they complete 12th standard.
We prefer taking student from a lower grade 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.
Are there any legal issues while enrolling these children into the student homes?
At the time of admitting the children, we make the parents sign the application form which implies their consent to keeping the child in our homes. This helps us avoid any legal implications for keeping their children under our care.
Who are the caretakers at the student homes?
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 free student homes.
How do you facilitate education for a girl child?
AIM for Seva is highly committed to educating a girl child. At present, among the 108 Free Student Homes spread over 15 states, we have dedicated 10 exclusively for educating girls.
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, all free of cost
How often 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.
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 free student home provides the necessary environment.
How is a student home 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 student homes 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 Free Student Homes 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 the children is taken care of. Finally, classes on values and ethics focus on overall personality development for making these children responsible citizens of India.