The GenesisThe year was 1993. The centres of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission were busy planning the centenary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda's historic appearance at the World Parliament of Religions. Thousand of people all over the country were taking active part in the programmes. A small group of women, mostly housewives, living at Shibpur, inspired by Swami Vivekananda's ideal of ' Service to Man is Service to God', met and discussed among themselves, in all seriousness, how to make their lives more meaningful and purposeful. The search naturally led them to Belur Math since they were all devotees of Sri Sri Thakur and Ma. They got the necessary inspiration and guidance from the monks of the Ramakrishna Order. The women were advised to start an informal organization in the name of the Holy Mother to be called Sarada Seva Sangha. They were advised to organize regular classes on subjects from Ramakrishna Vivekananda literature and also undertake some welfare work such as free coaching centre for poor children. These ideas in fact reflected their own hearts desire, since these women had always dreamt of leading a life of service and spirituality as exemplified by the Holy Mother.

The GenesisThus in 1993 on Snan Yatra day, Sarada Seva Sangha was born. Initially it was started with a free coaching class for the local poor (students from class I to V). On special occasions like the Foundation day (Snanyatra), the Mother's birth day, etc distinguished speakers , i.e. monks from Ramakrishna Math and nuns from Sarada Math were invited.

After functioning in this way for 5 years, in 1998, it was felt that if the activities were to be given a permanent shape, it was necessary to give a legal status to the Sangha. Once again help came from Belur Math. After much deliberation it was decided to create a public charitable trust. Shri Prasun Ghosh, partner of M/s Sandersons and Morgans, a very reputed firm of solicitors, rendered all legal assistance as his offering to the Holy Mother, and the Trust was registered in December, 1998, on the Holy Mother's birthday. In the meanwhile, a tailoring training centre for women and a charitable dispensary (mostly homeopathy) had been started.

The GenesisSoon the need for more space as well as a permanent home for the Sangha were keenly felt. But we had virtually no funds. The first major contribution before the formation of the trust had come from Rev. Swami Dayatmanandaji Maharaj of Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre, U.K. This was too little for purchasing any property and moreover the amount had been donated as permanent fund for activities. Further, the land must be located in Shibpur area itself since this is a women's organization and most of the members came from lower middle class families with enormous family responsibilities. Miraculously, in a manner very similar to the parable of Sri Ramakrishna (rain on a Swati Star day, human skull, snake, frog, etc.) a piece of land was located at Shibpur itself and a donor , Mrs. Anima Banerjee who had returned to India, from U.K. only a few months earlier, came forward to donate the entire cost of the land. Once again Sri Prasun Ghosh rendered all the necessary legal assistance. Once Land had been acquired, there arose the need for a building. Once again, we had no money. But Mother intervened and brought Shri Ram Ranjan Gupta of Kuwait who donated some money for construction as first installment. Even as plan and estimate for the proposed building were being drawn up information came that an adjacent plot of land was available for sale. Once again Sri Ram Ranjan Gupta came forward and magnanimously donated the entire cost of land. Then it was time for preparing the plan and estimates. Through Sri Prasun Ghosh's help we came in contact with Sri Malay Ghosh of Espace, a firm of architects. Shri Malay is a brilliant architect although quite young and he designed the building. Not only that, he and his team from Espace have supervised the entire construction work and rendered all technical assistance as their labour of love and humble offering to the Holy Mother.

The GenesisIn 1999 realizing the total lack of medical facilities in rural Bengal, we started a medical camp at Janai Road. Subsequently such camps are also being run at Jangalpur, Sonamoyee, Meharpur etc. This programme has been of immense benefit to hundreds of poor people. We had conducted free eye-operation camps every year till the recent past where patients were provided spectacles. We are deeply indebted to the State Bank of India, Bengal circle for this work who have very kindly donated a vehicle for conducting our medical camps.

But, it has not been a smooth sailing all the way. We had to face insurmountable hardships on several occasions. But our members, though inexperienced never gave up. Their determination, dedication and commitment is praise-worthy. At present our activities are being conducted from our new premises.