The benevolent activities
of the BAPS have spread even among society's tribal classes. Untouched
by the progress of modern society, the tribal natives cultivate
their isolated and hilly terrain with great difficulty and little
In Gujarat, 14.23%
of the population consist of tribal people. Spread throughout
the State, the tribal territories occupy nearly 200,000 sq.km,
stretching from Ambaji to Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Panchmahal,
Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Valsad, Dang and Dadra-Nagarhaveli.
It is mostly rocky, sparsely populated and bereft of modern facilities.
- Since 1972, under the inspiration
of Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj, sadhus and volunteers of BAPS
have visited the tribal areas of Gujarat. Superstition and
hard-core addictions were widespread. They faced many difficulties,
but did not give up.
- The BAPS has regularly given
clothes, educational help, farming help, and medical help.
Children Centers and Youth Centers have been opened.
Today, BAPS has 209
centers in these tribal areas with 30 mandirs and cultural complexes.
BAPS volunteers travel from hut to hut, village to village, covering
the whole of the tribal area. From tribal villagers living in
Dadra- Nagarhaveli to Panchmahal and Vadodara, the saints and
volunteers of BAPS help these people become literate, educated
and cultured, free from addictions and superstitions.
The majority of these
neglected people are illiterate, spending their money on cheap
drugs, alcohol and gambling. The volunteers give them moral understanding,
teach them about family values, childcare and how to save money
to build better homes and life. Literacy classes have also helped
bring considerable change. The changes are dramatic. One finds
solid brick homes that have replaced the once common mud huts.
Fields which once had only fruitless weeds, now have healthy crops.
Thousands more have been freed from superstition and addictions.