62nd Conference of ABVP : Galvanising Students’ Power
Apart from generating social feeling among 15,000 youth, the 62nd National Conference of ABVP decides to take concrete steps to clean the rivers and other water bodies, continue the celebration of 125th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, sensitise higher educational institutions for women education, and exhort the youth for actively joining hands for eradication of various social evils
The 62nd National Conference of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), organised in the Holkar Maratha city of Indore from December 24 to 27 was historic and unique in many senses. The mega show of organisational strength, at one hand, shook the opponents, including the NSUI, which left no stone unturned to foil the entire congregation. On the other hand it motivated thousands of youth to take up selfless service as their life mission. The NSUI had gone to the extent to instigate some people to go to the High Court challenging the allocation of Government College campus for the Conference. But the division bench of the High Court’s Indore bench, comprising justices PK Jaiswal and Virendra Singh, said the ABVP is a students’ body and the conference had nothing to do with politics.
Prior to the formal inauguration of the Conference on December 25, an impressive procession was taken out in the city which was joined by the participating students from all over the country including Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Meghalaya, where the ABVP units have begun some time back only. There were about 60 students from Meghalaya. Dr Ambedkar Sandesh Yatra, which began from his birthplace Mhow reached Indore spreading the message of social harmony. When the ABVP flag was hoisted on the inaugural day, thousands of students formed the image of Indian map, which seemed very fascinated. The venue was shaped like a historic fort, which turned the entire show very enthralling. But inside the ‘historic tent city’ there were serious discussions on different issues concerning the youth and the nation. Many eminent personalities interacted with the students and shared their views on different issues and also tried to understand the feelings of the youth on vital issues.
Union Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar and noted dancer Dr Sonal Mansingh jointly inaugurated the Conference on December 25. RSS Sahsarkaryavahs Shri Suesh Soni and Shri Dattatreyta Hosabale were present for all the four days. At the inaugural session, Manipur-based social activist and Animal Gym founder RK Viswajit Singh was felicitated with Prof Yashwantrao Kelkar Youth Award-2016 for his outstanding services to curbing addiction among youth.
In his thought provoking speech ABVP national organising secretary Shri Sunil Ambekar on December 25 said the world is talking about India’s rise today because of the students and youth of the nation. “Bharat witnessed glorious past as well as subjugation. Yet, we rose and fought back owing to many heroic sacrifices. Unfortunately, there has been an attempt to wipe out the achievements of such heroes. However, howsoever one may attempt, our history cannot be erased and our heroes shall live in the hearts and souls of the nation. We, the youth reestablished the ethos of democracy after Emergency during 1975-77, and we’ve never stopped protecting it. Our role was conclusive in determining the fate of Emergency. Since then, approach of youth towards activism has changed. Not just the approach, but the dimensions of activism are also evolving,” he said.
The arrangements at the Conference were in according with the Waste Management Policy 2016 of the Government of India to dispose the dry, wet and plastic waste. There were separate dustbins at the distance of every 50 feet for collecting dry and wet waste. There was also plastic waste collection centres at the venue itself, from where it was packed in special bags. The entire waste would be used in building the plastic roads in Indore. Apart from it, the paper cups used for tea etc were collected for making paper bags. In this way there was total disposal of the dry waste at the venue itself. It was for the first time that the waste was disposed of at source with collective efforts. A team of 25 workers led by Shri Imtiyaz Ali and Shri Ashish Hardia looked after the work with the help of Indore Municipal Corporation. The waste management system deeply touched the students coming from different parts of the country.
Shri Ambekar further said the organisations are meant to be voices of weak and marginalised and the ABVP has done immense work towards that path. Today, many talk about revolution, but ‘Kranti’ doesn’t mean violence, but devoting ourselves to social change. Today such a revolution is direly needed. Transforming India needs transforming of youth foremost, said Swami Vivekananda. Only youth of strong characters can fight for social transformation. This requires selfless committed youth: Selfless youth can be the changemakers. Many youth have moved towards that goal today. ‘George Bernard Shaw said ‘those who cannot change minds cannot change anything’. It is not enough if you’re best in the world but it’s important if you’re best for the world. One may pass examination through other's readymade notes but nation cannot change through others notes. The model of national transformation has to be indigenous, he added.
A total of 18 parallel sessions were conducted on different topics like education policy, employment and other vital issues concerning the nation. Conducting a session on employment, Shri B Surendran, joint organising secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), while reminding the students of the problems faced by their parents in bringing up and educating them, exhorted the youth by asking whether they would serve their parents equally in their old age. He said majority of the parents may wish that their children should become doctor or engineer, but the fact is that 67 per cent of employment is provided by the agriculture and its related sectors. In this situation, instead of joining the blind race of becoming doctors and engineers, the students should take up the work they can perform better.
On penultimate day i.e. on December 26 the students organised a huge procession in which over 10,000 students participated in their traditional attire displaying the message of unity in diversity. The students walked for around five kilometres in the all welcoming city. At every footstep the participants were showered with flower petals by the local residents shouting slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Mataram” and many others. They expressed gratitude to the young ABVP activists, who have been fighting not just rights of students but also for moral and spiritual development of the nation. The residents though were largely common unorganised citizens, some organisations like Rashtrawadi Muslim Sangathan, Indore Sikh Samuday, Sindhi Association, etc. offered mineral water.
In a session on North-East Bharat and the challenges and potentials there, national secretary of ABVP Shrihari Borikar said more than five crore people live in north-eastern states and the nation shares about 45,000 km long international borders. The negligence of the region is so much that we have failed to connect Manipur with the Rail even after 67 years of Independence. He stressed the need to understand the issues of North east Bharat and ensure equal development there. Rail link has reached Tripura recently but it is still to reach Manipur. He said China issued staple visa to the people of Arunachal Pradesh, but they rejected that saying if they have to go to China they would go as Indian citizen only.
Mobile App and Drone Cameras
Akhil Bharatiya Shikshan Pramukh of ABVP Shri Nagraj Reddy conducted a session on Make in India, Skill Development and Start Up and said these programmes of the Government of India can resolve many problems of the nation. On December 26, there was as former workers conference which was addressed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Devi Ahilya University Auditorium. On December 24, an exhibition showcasing the journey of ABVP was inaugurated. The conference decided to take up some concrete steps to clean the rivers and water bodies all over the country, as was done in Madhya Pradesh last year. Apart from it, the ABVP also decided to hold more activities next year to observe the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Additionally the educational institutions will be sensitised for promoting women for higher education.
The Conference passed three resolutions. In a resolution on national scenario, the conference appealed to the youth and social organisations to play important role in maintaining social harmony and take India on to the world stage through development. It also expressed concern over the attempts by some anti-India forces to create repeated hindrance in the national development. The resolution welcomed the recent surgical strike by Indian Army and demonitisation move as these have developed a sense of self-respect and self-esteem. The conference also applauded the efforts of scientists for setting new benchmark in field of science and technology. It applauded the sportspersons who have won distinguished position and brought laurels for nation in the field of sports and also the youngesters who are working for country with a feeling of belongingness. The resolution condemned the sloganeering against integrity of the nation in the programmes of JNU, Jadhavpur University and Amnesty International like institutions, also pro-Pakistan sloganeering in Bihar and Bengal and glorification of terrorists by some media channels.
The resolution on educational scenario welcomed the NEET examination started for admission in medical courses, and demanded that while conducting it in various Indian languages, no exemption should be given next year. It also demanded the Central Government to rescue common students from the whims and fancies of the private managements by organising similar All-India examinations for all professional courses. It however feels that the Government attempts to encourage Skill Education are not yielding sufficient results. Hence it demanded addition of skill education in the established educational institutions in place of establishing separate institutions to deliver skill education.
In another resolution, the conference called upon the youth to join hands in eradication of discrimination and poverty from the society. The experiment by ABVP in this regard in the form of ‘Samajik Anubhuti-2016’ proved to be very successful in helping the students to have proper social feeling, as about 11,444 students visited various remote and inaccessible areas for 10 days. This will help them to live a meaningful life. These students visited 30,825 villages and 3,38,351 families and tried to know the ground realities in the society. The conference called upon the youth to join hands for resolution of social problems like untouchability and take concrete steps to restore social harmony. n