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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Service Activities

  The Divine Will

Source: Radio Sai E-Magazine, January 15, 2004

The Divine Will
The story of how the Bangalore facility was put up
by Satish Nayak
The author was involved in the setting up of the project

When a project is the result of a Divine Will, normal human limitations and norms do not seem to apply to its execution. The speed and mode go beyond credible human limits and the presence of the Divine is made evident at every stage.

It was at the end of May 1999 that the Government of Karnataka requested Baba to accept the grant of the 52 acre plot of land on which the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences has been constructed. All procedures were completed in time and it seemed the Government's red tape was on a 'double fast-forwarded'! On Sunday August 8, 1999, with Baba's blessings, a ceremony happened at the South West corner of the plot, when devotees and volunteers joined in a prayer session.

The formal 'Bhoomi Pooja' [ceremony of beginning a construction] and the laying of the north-east corner foundation stone were carried out on Thursday September 2, 1999. The doyen of the trust's construction engineers, Col S P Joga Rao was there to cut the first sod.

In a project of this size, in the normal course, the following minimum steps would have been taken in sequence:

  • Concept

  • Architectural and functional designs and drawings

  • Structural specifications, designs and drawings

  • Project estimates

  • Tendering and contracting

  • Mobilisation and start of execution

All these activities were telescoped, and many of them were carried out in parallel. A good part of these activities continued during the execution phase of the project also. This was possible by the divinely inspired spirit of cooperation among the consultants, architects, contractors and suppliers, ail of whom took on the project as a joint and a united endeavour. Each party involved had, no doubt, its own limited objectives, but the one over-riding objective was to please Baba by completing the work to the required standard within the specified time. There was a lesson that all those involved learnt: Unity in Diversity i.e., diverse individual objectives, but one sole unified over-riding objective can produce a synergy, which can extend usually accepted limitations beyond expectations.

Two prime contractors were chosen: one for the main hospital complex and the other, for the residential complex. For the main hospital complex, under the prime contractor, there were as many as 21 nominated subcontractors in 29 contracts, in addition to a myriad of other sub-contractors. Directly contracted suppliers of materials and equipment numbered 421. Inputs from all these sources had to be received strictly in time and order of sequence so that the project schedule could be maintained . One could see the commitment of all these parties to the common cause; each of them gladly bent over backward to fulfil their obligations. Such commitment, one could clearly see, was possible only because the Divine Hand was guiding them.

During price and schedule negotiations with all these diverse parties coming from all over India and abroad and belonging to various religions, one could sense and see a common theme: they wanted to participate in this unique humanitarian endeavour, even if it meant foregoing some profit, or going that extra mile to meet the requirements of the project. There were, no doubt, humanly created problems like strikes, transport problems and power shortages in various parts of the country from where items had been sourced, but none of them were such that could not be compensated by human effort, aided by Baba's Grace. There was hardly a case where alternative sourcing had to be done to cover contract failure.

It was a case of: 'Without God on our side, we are nothing; with God on our side, we are everything'.

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