VIVEKANANDA Kendra, Kanyakumari initiated all its activities drawing inspiration from the dynamic mantra-Shiva Gyane Jiva Seva (service to man is worship to God) and is guided by the twin national ideals of Renunciation and Service.
In its mission of service and national awakening, the Kendra has initiated activities with special focus on developing the youth power for the nation. The purpose is to train youth volunteers to channelise their energies and idealism into creative and constructive activities, to develop a greater understanding and perspective of the larger community and to eventually assume responsibilities for its development and well-being. It is through the following activities and projects that the ideals are sought to be realised and waves of awakening are sought to be generated.
Swadhyaya Varga: The deeper ideal of these series of youth workshops, interactions and collective activities is the realisation of inherent Godwardness of each being. The Varga’s inspirational core is Swami Vivekananda’s teaching that each individual is potentially divine. The aim to coalesce youth for the task of national resurgence is to get them to unite, think and work in unison for the define goal of national resurgence. The development of clarity of thought on national issues and to develop a national perspective on these, to develop an understanding of our potentialities and achievements as a nation and to be able to evolve a direction for national resurgence are some of the core objectives of the Swadhyaya Varga.
Universal Brotherhood Day: September 11, the day Swami Vivekananda gave his message on the true equality and universality of religion is celebrated by the Kendra as Universal Brotherhood Day. The objective of the activities centred on this day is to generate awareness to the Motherland, her present strength, her current dynamics and her future potential as a world-leader. And in consonance with these it also aspires to inculcate in youth the spirit of selfless service with the aim of self-salvation and world-welfare! Competitions, group-discussions, seminars and workshops are organised in schools, colleges and universities and in-depth discussions of facets of Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts and works are undertaken under the auspices of this historical and epochal event.
Yuva Manch: Swami Vivekananda had reposed a mighty faith in the youth when he said that his hope of the future lay in youth of character – intelligent, renouncing all for the service of others. Youth are idealistic, willing to lay down their lives for a great and noble cause. It is the youth who are the future citizens and leaders and when they understand the history of this great nation and the challenges she faces, the youth will be able to translate the solutions into action. The youths of India are strong and able-bodied and if the national consciousness among the youth is strengthened they will be capable of providing a dynamic creative leadership to the society. The Yuva Manch and its allied activities are designed with this aim of developing a cohesive and dynamic national consciousness among youth. The Yuva Prerna Shivir aims to expose youth to the grand cultural heritage of India and to acquaint them with the inspiring life and message of Swami Vivekananda while instilling in them moral, ethical and spiritual ideas that shall motivate them to work for nation. The activities undertaken under this programme are varied and include lectures, creativity programmes, brainstorming sessions, film shows, singing of patriotic songs and more importantly studying defining aspects of India’s glorious past. The Vyakati Vikas Shivir under the aegis of the Yuva Manch focuses more on evoking the inherent powers of character, personality and being.
A massive youth contact programme called ‘Vijay Hi Vijay Mahashivir and Abhiyan’ was launched nationwide by the Kendra as a run up to the 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda. The aim is to take the life and message of Swami Vivekananda – the eternal youth icon – directly to the youth of this nation and develop in them an intense aspiration to serve the nation and sacrifice self and ego in her service. In October 2010, the youth of Arunachal Pradesh, the Land of the rising sun, shed a dazzling blaze under the Vijay Hi Vijay banner when nearly 650 of them congregated from all over the state in Itanagar, and with brimming enthusiasm, participated in the programmes. A number of luminaries and leaders who served the nation addressed, inspired and energised the youth on the occasion. Among those who addressed and interacted with the youth were Shri Ajit Doval, Director, Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi, Shri Bosiram Sairam, Minister of Education, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Kumari B Nivedita, vice-president of VK, Shri Balakrishan, vice-president of VK, Shri Mukul Kanitkar, secretary of Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi, Maj. Gen. (retd) GD Bakshi, SM, VSM.
The Vijay Hi Vijay programme in down south in Tamil Nadu, is called ‘Velga Velgavey’. A specially prepared book on the life and teaching of Swami Vivekananda and that of the revolutionary-spiritual Tamil poet Subramaniam Bharati, who was himself inspired by Swamiji’s message, is being distributed all over the state for youth. A series of tests on the compilation will select 2000 youth who will participate in a mega-youth camp to be held between January 26 and 25, 2011, in Madurai. The Vijay Hi Vijay project in Delhi for the past two years has attracted hundreds of youth from the capital’s colleges and universities. Enthusiastic participation, genuine seeking for answers, eagerness to understand the nation and her problems and readiness to serve has been the hallmark of the youth attending these programmes in Delhi.
The Vijay Hi Vijay initiative in particular and other youth activities of the Kendra do offer hope for the future of the nation and reflect Swami Vivekananda’s hope in the youth of character to work out his ideas, to do good unto themselves and to the country at large through sacrifice and service.