"Service to humanity is service to God," and the founder of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal foundation believes in this saying and makes it a way of life. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal- SBS Foundation is a non-profit organization, based in the national capital of India, New Delhi. Padma Shri Awardee Jitender Singh Shunty founded it in 1997, and for the last 25 years, the organization has been serving the people selflessly. The primary goal which incepted this organization was to provide easy accessibility and availability of emergency services and cremation of unclaimed dead bodies; However, over the many years of serving people, the Foundation has expanded its ambit of services as per the demand of people.
The reason why Jitender Singh Shunty took up his life goal to serve and cater to the underprivileged goes back to an incident that took place in 1996, which changed the course of his life. Jitender Singh Shunty was visiting a crematorium where he met a poor man stealing wooden logs from a burnt pyre for his 13 yr old son's last rites, and his economic conditions did not even spare his young son the right to die with dignity. This incident deeply touched Jitender Singh Shunty's conscience and got engraved for a lifetime.
While the primary aim with which Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal was founded was to provide free of cost cremation service to anyone in need; Under the leadership of Jitender Singh Shunty and his proactive team members (including his family), the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal now serves people with emergency ambulances and hearse van services, disaster management and aid, blood donation services as well, along with cremation. This Foundation has become a household name, especially after its profound activeness during the covid-19 pandemic.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal is one such Foundation that came up with all kinds of emergency services that people needed in those tough times. From arranging langar for the workers in quarantine to providing mobile fronts to keep the dead bodies of those who died due to covid safe overnight to make their dignified cremation possible. During the covid times, Jitender Singh Shunty, the organization's founder, observed that the times were so harsh that even the family members were leaving the dead bodies of their close ones unattended for fear of the virus. Still, something had to be done, or the pile of dead bodies would keep growing. That is when Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal came into action and cremated dead bodies 24×7, out of which Jitender Singh Shunty himself cremated around 4000 bodies.
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal was appreciated by people from Delhi and many other states, so much that it currently has branches in almost five other states. This organization started from a small region of Vivek Vihar in Delhi; it worked only in the trans-Yamuna areas of Shahdara, East, and North East Delhi in the pre-pandemic era. Still, during the covid days, it covered all of Delhi to provide free emergency services to needy people. Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal got so much appreciation for its work in corona times that leading media outlets such as The Print, Quint, Dainik Bhaskar, Pioneer, Indian express, and so on covered their excellent work.
Today they have many drivers and ambulances that carry the patients in need of emergency treatment to hospitals on time or the dead bodies to crematoriums in specialized hearse vans. They even work towards disaster preparedness and allocating free food and medicines to the needy.