Vishwa Sangh Shiksha Varga in Trinidad and Tobago concludes
Vishwa Sangh Shiksha Varg (VSSV) – 2012 concluded on a happy note with an in-house programme at Chinmay Ashram on August 5. The public concluding function was held at Diwali Nagar, Chaguanas in Trinidad and Tobago on the evening of August 4 in the presence of Minister of Local Government, Dr Surujrattan Rambachan as chief guest and RSS Sarkaryavah (general secretary) Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi.
The VSSV, 2012, began on July 15 at Chinmaya Ashram, Couva in Trinidad, was the first such Varg outside Bharat. A total of 58 participants from six countries participated in the Varg. The countries represented were USA, UK, Kenya and Caribbean countries of Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad. This was the 6th VSSV which takes place every three or four years for volunteers of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) who finish their three Sangh Shiksha Vargs of seven days in their respective countries.
The public function at Diwali Nagar, attended by local Hindu community in large numbers, saw impressive physical demonstrations of Yoga, Niyuddha (Self-defense) and Ghosh (Marching band). Chief guest Dr Rambachan urged that all Hindus should inculcate the spirit of yajna in their work. The Minister also stated that he considered it unfortunate that we only look at western models for human transformation and youth development and we do not seem willing to look into alternative cultural models, which we should embrace as part of multiculturalism. Praising the initiative by HSSTT he felt that such programme should be taken to every village in Trinidad and Tobago.
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi spoke about the term Hindu and gave insights into its depth, meaning, values and principles. He stressed its one special feature that the entire humanity does not have to follow one scripture, one way of worship or one religion and that the ‘One Supreme Reality’ manifested in many ways and thus there are many ways to worship and reach the Supreme. He mentioned that the root cause of world problems seems to spring from narrow and exclusive perspectives that promote materialism that leads to human conflict and the fast depletion of resources of Mother Nature. He said that Hindus have respect for all existence and have respected diversity for centuries. He urged all the participants of VSSV to strive for inculcating these noble ideals in the world.
Included in the audience were Senator Shri Mbau Moheni, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration, Shri Deokinanan Sharma, president of the National Council of Indian Culture, Shri Jagdish P Arya, director of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Cooperation, various Hindu leaders and several other dignitaries. Swami Aksharanandaji, Guyana and Shri Deoroop Teemal, Sanghachalak, HSS Trinidad and Tobago were others present on the dais. HSS International coordinator Shri Saumitra Gokhale gave information about the VSSV while Shri Lalchan Dookie, Karyavaha HSS Trinidad and Tobago conducted the proceedings.
The Varg was inaugurated on July 15 by Swami Prakashanandji of Chinmaya Ashram in the presence of Swami Aksharanandaji, Guyana who was Sarvadhikari for the Varg and Shri Arunji Kankani, Vice President of Sewa International USA the Karyavah for the Varg. Swami Prakashanandaji detailed the importance of service to humanity and appealed to the participants to remain sachet (alert) during the Varg. The Varg schedule included shareerik training like Ashtang Yoga, Samata, Dand, Niyuddha and Bauddhik programmes of important topics on Hindu culture, challenges to youth, modern methods of communication etc. Programmes from local cultural groups showcasing the efforts taken by ‘Jahaji’ Bharatiyas to preserve their culture and roots with Bharat touched the hearts of the participants. A 35 minute Path Sanchalan (route march) through the lanes of felicity brought the local community out on streets greeting the young participants of VSSV on Aug 1. Door to door Rakshabandhan undertaken by these volunteers was a heart-warming experience which revealed the deep rooted emotions within the ‘Jahaji’ community about the land and people of Bharat. Another memorable evening was that of Matrihaste Bhojan, when about 20 families brought home-made food and each family shared it with a group of participants giving the whole milieu a touch of family get-together.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Trinidad and Tobago which has about 20 branches all over the country was the host for the VSSV and its office bearers and volunteers took all efforts to make the Varg successful. Many Hindu organisations, temples and NRI community in Trinidad heartily supported the Varg with food and other requirements. RSS functionaries Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Shri KC Kannan, Shri Bhagaiahji and HSS USA Sanghachalak Prof. Ved Nanda addressed various sessions in the varg and interacted with the participants. HSS international coordinator Shri Saumitraji Gokhale and joint coordinators Ravikumar and Dr Ram Vaidya also guided the participants. The tours conducted after the VSSV gave a kaleidoscopic glimpse of Trinidad’s beaches, rich biodiversity, various temple sites, etc. Particularly inspiring was the visit to the ‘Temple in the Sea’ at Waterloo which is a testimony of Siewdass Sadhu’s grit and determination to build the temple amidst all adversities.
Overall, the successful completion of 21 day camp will certainly prove to be an important milestone in the Hindu work abroad.