Sarada Sangha in city doing yeoman service for 69 years

In 1955, four prominent citizens of Shillong, inspired by the works and teachings of Sri Sarada Devi, established Sri Sarada Sangha to help the needy in remote areas of Meghalaya.

The organisation, which will be 70 years old in 2024, is part of the All India Sri Sarada Sangha. “The philanthropic organisation was set up following the ideals of Mother Sarada, wife of Sri Ramakrishna, whom Swami Vivekananda entitled as ‘Ideal of Indian Womanhood’. The Sangha was initiated in 1954 in erstwhile Calcutta by the women devotees of Sri Ramakrishna, on the occasion of the birth centenary of Mother Sarada. It was decided that branches would be set up in every corner of the country to preach the message of Mother Sarada through service to humanity,” said Uma Purkayastha, president of the Shillong chapter since 2009.


Initially, the Shillong branch had four members. Usha Bhattacharjee, former principal of Lady Keane College, and Prava Dutta, who was a teacher and social worker, were the president and secretary, respectively. Now, the Sangha has 55 members.

Each member contributes Rs 1,000 a year and the money collected is used for philanthropic activities in the villages of Sohra and Shella.

“We distribute clothes, food and medicines, besides other essentials. Our members were active in remote areas during the pandemic. For children, we supplied stationeries,” said Purkayasthya, adding that the Sangha members celebrate Children’s Day, Swami Vivekananda’s death anniversary and Durga puja with the villagers.

Purkayasthya said though none of the founding members is alive, the Sangha’s current members “are following in their footsteps and living up to the ideals of Sarada Devi”.

~ Team Meghalaya Monitor

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