UJJAIN. 26th December. Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram celebrated its sixteeth aniversary by hosting a convention of more than 250 vanvasi communities from all over the country in Ujjain. The convention saw more than 2500 participants from various vanvasi cultures across India coming together and sharing their faiths, lifestyles, food, languages and knowledge systems with each other. The event offered a unique opportunity for their urban siblings to share what is usually not reachable in the hue and cry of the modern world.
The event got a formal start on the 24th of December, with the tribal welfare minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Vijay Shah delivering the inaugural address.
The second day of the convention was marked by traditional worship by various communities in the campus of the event. More than fifty vanvasi communities setup their traditional faith places in the campus and displayed their traditional practices in full ornamentation and fanfare. The convention saw a unique fusion of faiths with music, rituals, dances and traditional music resounding the premises.
The third day of the convention saw a large prcession of all the communities that walked through the important roads of Ujjaini, creating an atmosphere of brotherhood and celebration with their hosts in the city of Lord Mahakaal. The closing ceremony was marked by the presence and address of Shri Mohan Rao Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh. In his address, he called upon the members of the convention as well as the large masses that gathered to hear him for dedication and sacrifices for a common cause of one country and for the protection of the vanvasi communities and their principles of peaceful coexistence. He also discussed in brief the contributions made by Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and appreciated their tedious and relentless efforts in the welfare of vanvasi communities. In his address, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan welcomed the vanvasis from all over the country to Madhya Pradesh and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the protection of the vanvasi communities in Madhya Pradesh. He staunchly warned those involved in forceful conversions against law and stated that immediate legal action would be taken against any such individual or organizations. He informed the gathering that his government has followed a policy of peaceful existence of vanvasi communities in their original habitat and in the process has issued almost one lac seventy five thousand land ownership documents to them in his tenure. Shri Brij Kishore Kuthiyala, the vice chancellor of Makhanlal National University for Journalism and Communication presented a research journal for inauguration based on a seminar on tribal cultures hosted by the university earlier, and highlighted the importance of its conclusions.