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Dec 24, 2011: Living Service, at the Gandhi Ashram


Read Blog By Bela Shah:
Conversation with Jayesh Patel on Christmas Eve  


Born at the Gandhi Ashram, in India, Jayesh Patel's journey of service is exemplary in every imaginable way. His father, Ishwar Patel, revolutionized the face of sanitation in the country, building 400 thousand toilets for the underprivileged communities and igniting more than a 100 organizations, and led a life that many have called "saintly". Inspired by his father, he co-founded Manav Sadhna to serve the slum communities; today, after 25 years, Manav Sadhna provides health and hygiene, education, and employment services to over 4,500 women and children. After his father's passing, Jayesh-bhai has focused most of his efforts on Environmental Sanitation Institute -- and also supported the work of "inner sanitation" through Moved by Love retreats. Most recently, he has been named president of the renowned Harijan Sevan Sangh, a national organization started by Gandhi. He has received many awards, met dignitaries around the globe, and inspired tens of thousands by his living example of selflessness service.

Yet, any description of Jayesh-bhai is fundamentally incomplete. Words simply cannot capture the essence of his spirit. There are uncountable stories about how his spontaneous and overflowing love has sourced dynamic solutions -- often in the most dire circumstances. His humble, real, and loving presence has attracted admiring words from people ranging Dalai Lama to Nelson Mandela; when saints (likeVimala Thakar) meet him, they insist on giving *him* a donation! When couple folks recently visited him briefly, they remarked, "Just on an short walk together, we saw him high-five unknown kids on the streets and organically teach them a 'be the change' lesson; connect with a blind man he didn't know; elevate a woman's spirit who was on her death bed --- all unplanned events. He is just love in motion."

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