Bharat Parikrama Yatra by Shri Sitaram Kedilaya enters Karnataka
Senior Sangh Pracharak Shri Sitaram Kedilaya is on a mission of rejuvenating the villages. He walks about 10 km every day, stays in the village only, interacts with the villagers and motivates them to take up the work of village development themselves. Finishing this task in a village, he starts the journey for the next village. This schedule will continue for next five years till Shri Kedilaya completes the parikrama of the entire country. In this Yatra he has no personal belongings.
The Yatra was at Mayipaddy village of Kasargod (Kerala) on October 14, where RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, Kshetra Pracharak Pramukh Shri Da Ma Ravindra, Kshetra Sewa Pramukh Shri Gopal Chetttiyar, Prant Prachar Pramukh Shri Vadiraj, Prant Ghosh Pramukh Shri Na Nagaraj, Mangalore Sah Vibhag Pracharak Shri Pradeep, Mangalore Vibhag Sewa Pramukh Shri Subraya Nandodi, Zilla Sewa Pramukh Shri Pundareekaksha Bellur joined him. The Yatra is expected to reach (Karnataka) Mangalore on October 22.
Earlier, the Yatra entered Kerala on August 12. During the Yatra he met various socio-religious leaders and discussed different issues of social importance with them. He was accorded a warm welcome by a group of Muslims at Netoor Panchayat on September 10. Shri Kedilaya was accompanied by Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sanyojak of Seema Kalyan Jagran Manch Shri A Gopalakrishnan and Prant Prachar Pramukh of Kerala Shri M Ganeshan. Similarly, Kerala’s eminent Nair organisation, Nair Service Society (NSS) local president Shri Ramachandran Nair welcomed him in Kochi on September 8.
Beginning on August 9, the anniversary of Quit India Movement, from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, the Parikarma has till now completed the entire Kerala and some parts of Tamil Nadu and is going to enter Karnataka on October 22. Overall the Yatra has a scheduled duration of five years, covering over 15,000 km distance and reaching almost all districts of the country. Shri Kedilaya held the position of Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh till March this year. Hailing from Puttur, Karnataka, he has been a Sangh Pracharak for over four decades.
A day’s Yatra schedule for Sitaramji begins with the performance of goupooja (worshipping of the cow) at 6.15 am unfailingly, in the village he happens to be in. At 6.30 am the Yatra begins with a walk for three continuous hours after which, at 9.30 am he reaches the next village. Visiting the nearest temple and offering prayers is always part of the Yatra. After entering a village, he takes rest for a few minutes, following which he plants a tree in the temple premises or in its proximity. Lunch is a moderate affair, which is always at a villager’s home, irrespective of caste, creed, language or colour.
Then Shri Kedilaya goes for a Gram Sampark at 3.30 pm. It is a programme where villagers are reached out personally. As part of Gram Sampark, Shri Kedilaya meets selected individuals of the village, who are mostly school teachers, village physicians or Gram Vaidyas, village heads, etc. This is followed by a mass gathering at 5.30 pm. Known as Gram sankeertan, bhajans and satsangs are an inevitable aspects of the same. Shri Kedilaya addresses villagers on national issues, which usually takes place at 7.00 pm. During the course of these addresses, nine vital issues are stressed upon i.e., protection of land, protection of cows, conservation of trees, conservation of biodiversity, protection of individuals and families, conservation of water, preservation of native village culture, rural employment and preservation of values of rural medicine.
“All these help create a bond of great depth with the people, which ultimately help the villagers realise that villages are a single encompassing family. However, this feeling has taken a back seat now, which has led to emergence of a whole lot of problems everywhere. This has now escalated to national and international levels. The feeling of unity, along with creation of family bonds, if brought back to villages ensures restoration of harmony to a great extent. This can be instrumental in rekindling of the concept of Vasudhaiva-kudumbakam,” says Shri Kedilaya while talking to Organiser over telephone.
Before embarking on the endeavour, Shri Kedilaya visited Vivekananda Rock Memorial at Kanyakumari on August 7 and the Devi Temple of Kanyakumari on August 8 in supplication. A ‘Ganapati Homa’ was performed for the smooth progress of the Yatra, without any hurdles. The yajna was conducted by acharyas from Veda Vijnana Gurukul, Bengaluru. Co-incidentally, it was also the birthday of Shri Sitaramji on August 8.
Bharat has gifted this very concept to the entire world. This perception has no violence or strife. All it has is the message to live life filled with universal love, spirituality and compassion. Only this is required to pervade the entire world with harmony. The best place to initiate this is the village. And so the endeavour is being undertaken for safeguarding villages, the country and the entire world.
Swami Chaityananda Maharaj of Vallimalai Ashram blessed Shri Sitaramji for his successful Yatra in Kanyakumari on August 9. Shri Kesava Vinayakam, Dakshin Tamil Nadu Prant Pracharak, Sewa Bharati leader Shri Balasundaram, president Shri Ramanathan, Shri Paramesh-waran, senior Sangh worker Shri Ram Mohan, Vibhag Pracharak Shri Suresh also participated in the inaugural ceremony.