By Ashley Reid, MIC Staff
V Sai Prasad expressed gratitude as he entered the MIC conference room space. The Hindu books and symbolism caught his attention and made the space welcoming for our conversation.
Prasad is a 22 year old native of Jeevan Bima Nagar, India, who is changing the world through love one act at a time. This summer he toured the Bay Area speaking at various Interfaith Councils, congregations, non-profits, and even Google spreading his message of love.
While recovering from a stroke in 2015 due to health complications, Prasad became attached to the Syrian refugee crisis. With the encouragement of a friend, he knew he had to actually do something about it once he was well enough.
“Sympathy doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t help,” said Prasad. “It’s not enough to simply feel bad about what’s happening to someone else. Now if you can empathize, you can make change.”
That’s exactly what Prasad did. Not only did he venture over to areas heavily impacted by the crisis, but he did it backpacking, and exposed himself to the same struggles and mistreatment the refugees were experiencing.
“It changed me as a person.” Prasad said those moments he spent playing with the children, sharing chocolate and candy, and walking beside them in their suffering will never leave him. More importantly, the moments where a hug was needed more than any worldly material Prasad could give, made him realize the need was deeper than surface level issues.
“They don’t want anything of this world. They want something universal, and the only thing that’s universal is love.”
Prasad emphasized how doing out of love is the key to many of our problems. He explained how the power of love moves your empathy into action. “If we attach love with everything we do, we can resolve a lot with love,” said Prasad. He believes that the work we do in love becomes our worship.
To Prasad, love transforms. When asked about what message he would give to America as a reflection of his journey, he simply replied that these are worldwide problems that we can choose to solve if we really want to.
“We can work better if we join hands together. You can’t be a one man army,” said Prasad. “There is a lack of love. If people would start accommodating people in their hearts, they’ll easily find the space to accommodate them in the world.”
In the midst of talking about the great success of Prasad’s work, we also explored how he handles the fear of doing something new, something dangerous.
“Fear only exists from the mind. It doesn’t come from the heart.” For him choosing to act out of love cancels out all fear. “The moment you start doing the work, there is no fear.”
Prasad referenced his work at one of the medical camps his organization provides assistance. His medical camps see at least 14,000 patients in India to help provide early prevention medical screenings and treatment. Volunteers of all ages, some even suffering from their own ailments, come forward to help and serve to ensure that those around them are cared for.
When funding concerns arise, Prasad takes refuge in the volunteers and the love that drives everyone to help and make an impact in some way.
“Love sustains. With love as the currency, it’s not going to stop.”
In addition to medical camps, Prasad’s project provides educational and food support in India. In the future, he plans on expanding his work to areas in Sudan, Somalia, and returning to Syria to provide more aid.
To learn more about Prasad’s work and how you can help, visit his website at: www.saiaashraya.org.