A Role Model - Mrs Sarla Indulal Shah
An inspiring and remarkable woman, who rendered unparalleled service in the mission of Sri Sathya Sai Baba especially towards women and children, was late Mrs Sarla Indulal Shah. In the year 1969, Baba founded the Sri Sathya Sai Mahila Vibhag under the leadership of Sarla Ma, as she was fondly called by Him. He also entrusted in her care, the nurturing of children with a focus on character development. Along with her husband late Mr Indulal Shah, the forerunner of the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Sarla Ma devised programmes to train children in bhajans (devotional singing), enact small plays with themes selected from classics and cultivate habits of discipline etc. which came to be known as the Bal Vikas. She formalised the structure and content of the course including the syllabus, texts, training material for gurus (teachers who imparted the course) etc. She also spearheaded the Bal Vikas Magazine and strived to include content apt for gurus, children and parents.
In a life devoted to the service of Baba, the contributions of the devout couple – Mr Indulal Shah and Sarla Ma to the mission of Sri Sathya Sai are immeasurable. Their entire lives have been one of dedication, commitment and selfless acts of compassion towards the grand mission of the Divine! With complete surrender to the divine cause, Mr Indulal Shah and Sarla Ma, worked tirelessly around the clock.
In order to honour and cherish the contributions made by Sarla Ma, the construction of the Hospital in the shape of the auspicious swastik – the Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital - was announced by Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai on 06 May 2017. The passion and perseverance of Sarla Ma to love and serve others all her life, modestly and sincerely, has touched and transformed many lives. She is truly a role model worthy of emulation!