His Holiness Satguru Baba Hardev Singh Ji preaches that the Sant Nirankari Mission is a mission of love, humility, selfless service, and compassion. He asks his devotees to portray their belief that we are children of same God by serving others in need. The Salvation Army is a service organization that has a similar vision of the helping the needy. Like the Sant Nirankar Mission, the Salvation Army promotes education, providing relief for the less fortunate, and aiding society in any way to enhance the feeling of community of mankind.
There was a program that I became aware of in 2015 through a local dental society meeting where dentists had the opportunity to volunteer their time and provide dental treatment to the less fortunate pro bono. The program was named ‘Project Dentist’ and allowed dentists to volunteer their time at the local Salvation Army dental clinic near downtown Fort Myers. The clinic schedules patients who need teeth extracted, dental fillings, and dentures or partial appliances fabricated to fill spaces where teeth are missing. The clinic is usually open for three hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Dentists have the opportunity to choose the procedures they want to perform and what days they are available to carry out these procedures.
With Satguru Babaji’s grace and blessings, I was given the opportunity to enter the field of Dentistry in 1994 when I was accepted into dental school. I have always envisioned providing some type of sewa to promote the Sant Nirankari Mission’s vision since the Mission has done so much to provide me with the comfortable lifestyle I have been blessed with. When this opportunity to serve the needy came through the Salvation Army, I couldn’t think of a better way to serve mankind and carry out Satguru Babaji’s vision.
The Salvation Army Dental Clinic provides with materials and instruments needed to carry out the various dental procedures. Also, there is a dental assistant who is in charge of making sure the schedule is carried out properly and the doctor gets any assistance he/she needs to perform his/her duties. Various times, there are dental assistants available who are getting trained at the local universities. This provides a great environment where patients are getting the treatment they need, students are getting experience as is required by their schools, and the dental care providers get the satisfaction of giving back to the community.
I hope to provide my time at least once a month for this great cause hoping to make a difference in the lives in the people I get the opportunity to treat. Even though patients are usually scheduled for one to two teeth, if I have the time or see the possibility, I try to do more than what is scheduled in the hopes that patients reach the goal of good oral heath sooner than later. Exceeding patient expectations and seeing the relief on their faces provides me with a great sense of satisfaction. When the patients get up from the dental chair and reply “God Bless You,” I can only envision Satguru Babaji smiling and approving the little sewa I was able to provide in the name of love, humanity and Humanness. I pray to Satguru Babaji that I get more opportunities to serve the Mission in any capacity possible.
Kanwal Chawla, DDS, FAGD
Report by Kanwal Chawla, DDS, FAGD