Fund Misappropriated by Ashram Authority
Levy, President of UK Sathya Sai Organisation until removed as President
and relegated to the role of Central Coordinator for UK/Eire (from which
he was subsequently dismissed by Michael Goldstein & Indulal Shah), engaged
himself in obtaining funds for a sewerage and water supply scheme for
Prashanthi Nilayam ashram and surroundings. A team of professionals
from around the world (incl. From Canada, UK, and Norways eco-engineer,
Mr. Terje Nedland) worked very hard hundreds of hours voluntarily
- on designing a complete eco-friendly scheme, for which Levys
had collected the funds. The team was at Prashanthi twice in two years
the 70th birthday, and surveyed the area with the aid of Colonel Joga
Rao, the engineer who undertook many projects for Sai Baba. A large
sum of money was duly sent by Levy expressly for the purpose, but it
was simply appropriated out of hand by the Central Trust (without so
much as asking Levy or the team) for another project the very
expensive Rayalaseema Water Project, which had run into serious difficulties
of malfunction, maintenance and funding. The sewerage needs of Prashanthi
Nilayam were then met by a cheap Bangalore firm, which dug
open cesspits for chemical treatment, which cause most of the ashram
to stink to high heaven at regular intervals during hot or windy weather.
Who negotiated the cheap fix deal or what personal provision they may
have received is not documented.
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS) is
a philanthropic institution based in Puttaparthi, a town in Andhra Pradesh
State of India. It is known locally as the Speciality Hospital and was
founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in November 1991 to provide
free medical treatment in the region. It has also become an educational
The hospital with its current capacity of 350 inpatients and up to 600
daily outpatients caters for patients referred from other smaller hospitals
in the region; and currently has plans to expand.
SSSIHMS has become a world famous institution visited regularly by international
surgeons and doctors to teach and leam. Some also choose to serve voluntarily
for periods ranging from days to months before returning.
New Sewage Treatment Plant
Investigations into sewage treatment at the hospital took place as part
of the waste management planning (see Background) carried out in 1995.
It revealed that the sewage treatment system (a combination of septic
tank and soak-away) serving the hospital was * overloaded, in need of
repair and had an unsuitable discharge point. Recent discussions with
Dr A N Safaya (the Hospital Director) and Mr K Viswanathan (the Chief
Engineer) has established a clear need to treat the sewage within the
hospital perimeter before discharging to river or using it to irrigate
hospital land. This should be established by building a dedicated treatment
plant for the hospital sewage.
In September 1996, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave His approval to
A cost estimate of the sewage treatment plant (fully installed) is approximately
75 Lakh Rupees; i.e. some £150,000 (sterling). Six companies were
invited to compete for this job and the successful bidding company will
be chosen in the near future. The Chief Engineer of the Speciality Hospital
(Mr Viswanathan) will liaise with the co-ordinator of the project (Dr
Mistry) towards its full implementation.
In November 1994 a team of international scientists and engineers volunteered
to write a strategic plan for the management of all wastes in Puttaparthi
region. Members of the technical team were:
1. Dr P B Mistry, AEA Technology, UK
2. Mr A Slee, Accord Management Ltd, UK
3. Dr P Heaton, HMIP, UK
4. Dr A V Shekdar, NBERI, Nagpur, India
5. Dr B KHanda, NEERI, Nagpur, India
6. Dr S Badrinath, UNDP, New Delhi, India
7. Mr K T Nedland, NWTC, Norway
8. Mr N P Vithal, Prasanthi Nilayam, India
9. Mr A Randeria, Prasanthi Nilayam, India
Puttaparthi has become a multi faith centre attracting pilgrims from
around the world, due to the inspiration of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba (BSSSB). The team soon leamt that the District and the State governments
were already considering the region's sanitation plans. As such the
scope was made more specific to the requirements of the Sathya Sai Institutions
based in the region. BSSSB gave His approval to start the project when
it was presented to him on 28 November 1994. The plan covered the management
of clinical waste, sewage and solid waste generated from the Sathya
Sai Institutions in the Puttaparthi region.
The institutions included were:
1. SSSIHMS and General Hospital,
2. Prasanthi Nilayam (pilgrim centre or ashram),
3. Vidyagiri (educational institutions), including Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Learning (university).
These institutions have continuously developed in the last four decades
and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. As such the
team examined the existing situation and the likely developments for
the next 10-20 years, together with the effects of fluctuating population
(during festival times) to suggest appropriate waste management solutions.
The main conclusions reached were that managements of clinical waste
and sewage needed urgent improvements; whereas the solid waste, which
was managed satisfactorily, would benefit from a better collection practice
and recycling. In 1996 the clinical waste incinerator was supplied to
SSSIHMS, and it is now fully operational.
The full Waste Management Plan, completed in November 1995, now forms
a key guide to all improvements related to waste collection, treatment
and disposal of all waste in these philanthropic institutions.
Support from UK Charity
Implementation of improvements suggested in the waste management plan,
prepared in 1995, are supported by the UK charity 'Sustainable Waste
Management Initiatives" This charity is served by trustees and
members; and has a committee to approve and steer projects.
For further information on how to help with the hospital sewage treatment
project please contact one of the following:
Dr Prabodh B Mistry
30 Hanson Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire 0X14 1YL, UK. Tel: 01235 202660
Dr Phil Heaton
17 Millpond Court, Addlestone, Surrey, KT15 2JY, UK. Tel: 01932 821947
Mr Surendra Pitroda
73 Woodmere, Barton Hills, Luton, LU3 4DL, UK. Tel: 01582 650344
Sustainable Waste Management Initiatives (SWAMI); UK registered charity