Be and make. Let this be our motto.
Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal
For all young men who love India and her children and themselves too

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28 February 2010

Childhood lost

A unit of the Mahamandal is organizing weekly literacy and awareness programmes for working children and other children who are even younger and cannot yet work. It is a novel experience and an eye-opener for some of the young men who are conducting the classes. The children are very eager to learn new things and play. They enjoy even the smallest gifts, for perhaps no outsider ever loved them from the heart before. The adolescent boys did not know their country's name or map, nor that the earth revolves around the sun. They knew no games, for they work from dawn to dusk. We see such children at every roadside tea-stall, we know they are there in so many hazardous occupations throughout the country. There are a few crore of them, nobody knows the exact number. They are from villages, they are from urban slums! Educated young men who are associated with the Mahamandal should understand these post-Independence problems emerging out of lopsided development. Do you apply your minds to these problems with a bleeding heart?

No complacency

The Economic Survey of India, recently published by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, says that 80 % of our rural population will be considered BPL (Below the poverty line), if India's official criterion of 2400 kCal of daily food intake (for rural population) is applied. However, the present estimations are based on 1820 kCal for rural areas, which leads to the figure of about 42% BPL in rural areas. Shocking! Isn't it? The criteria for determining the BPL are changing and the governments have some schemes to aid them, without altering the fundamentals. Even those schemes are not properly implemented by our Babus and their elaborate machinery that has to limp in the midst of extreme corruption and political interference. So, what are going to do? Shall we be satisfied that the Indian economy has been less perturbed by the global meltdown? Shall we regularly overlook the suffering of the masses? We have become used to the appalling situation. Our first duty will be to break down this complacency and to bring about a sense of gravity and urgency.

26 February 2010

What is the purpose?

What is purpose of the Mahamandal? Arranging camps and study circles and giving young people some engagement, so that they become 'goody goody boys' and stop disturbing the established order? Not at all. Is it then for a little social service for the sake of self-satisfaction? By no means. Our object is to rebuild India and, for that purpose, to increase the number of 'Ignited Minds' on a nation-wide scale. Swamiji entrusted the young men of India with this duty and no less. Let us ponder, let us try to understand the gravity of the prevailing crisis and the import of the plan of the Mahamandal in this context. And let us prepare ourselves. We must not be satisfied with the little we have done. For unnumbered millions are still starving!