Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has undertaken a number of schemes for improving the economic situation of the rural areas in Anantapur District, which is one of the most backward districts in Andhra Pradesh. Through His projects such as the supply of potable drinking water and the hospitals at Prasanthi Nilayam that provide free medical care, Bhagawan has addressed some of the most basic needs of the people of this region. Bhagawan has also built primary schools in places where the classes were being conducted in the open for lack of proper premises.
Every year, the students of Bhagawan's university and school, undertake the Grama Seva or village service programme. The students offer packets of food and clothes as Bhagawan's prasadam to every household in the villages they visit. Stationery items such as slates and pencil boxes are also distributed in the village schools. Every year more than a hundred villages are served under this programme.
Deena Janoddharana Pathakamu
On 24th July 2002, on the occasion of Gurupoornima, Bhagawan inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Deena Janoddharana Pathakamu, a scheme under which residential units were constructed to house destitutes and orphaned children belonging to the weaker sections of the society. Sixty children from various villages around Puttaparthi are now supported by this scheme. Rs.1 lakh has been deposited in the name of each child in addition to the free housing, food, clothing, education and other daily needs being provided. The residential units are located in a colony named Sri Sathya Sai Nagar in the village of Kammavaripalli behind the western perimeter of the ashram. A school also has been built here where the children are provided formal education and are also taught computer skills.
Disaster Relief Operations
In January 2001, a devastating earthquake struck the town of Bhuj in Gujarat state. Many thousands were left homeless after the disaster. Bhagawan's Love and compassion reached out to the victims in the form of relief material that was sent in a convoy of 30 trucks flagged from Prasanthi Nilayam by Bhagawan Himself. About 1200 quintals of foodgrains, over a lakh pairs of new clothes, tents, blankets and household utensils were despatched to Bhuj and were distributed to the victims by Seva Dal volunteers.
Homes for the aged
The trust runs Vriddhashramas (Homes for the aged) at Kadugodi, Bangalore and at Anantapur. The inmates are provided shelter, food and medical care completely free of cost.