Darshak Hathi stresses importance of youth's role in building new India

Posted on: Friday, August 16, 2013

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Art of Living, a life rejuvenating organization founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar — has done it again; this time coming out with a novel idea of rejuvenating India not by shifting blame on one person, group or organization but by creating awareness among masses that they can do many things by themselves without looking to the government or outside help.

This concept gained hefty ground in India, said Darshak Hathi, a volunteer of Art of Living, currently on a tour of the USA enlisting the support of the NRI community, particularly the youth. Hathi was in Chicago and met representatives of the Indian ethnic media recently and sought to explain the basic philosophy behind the new movement, which has no political bearings.

In his brief address he said that one might hold American citizenship or had spent several years away from India, but still one would have deep connection to the country of origin and get affected by the current situation in the country of birth be it the news on corruption and scams, terrorist strikes, women’s issues or suicide by farmers or the continuing water shortage or power cuts or calamities and disasters, but blaming the government would not be a solution.

Not content to watch silently and inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, over 100,000 youths from all over India gathered together at the Ram Lila Maidan in New Delhi on February 3, 2013 and launched the Volunteer for a Better India (VBI) movement. They had a very simple goal – to inspire millions of Indians to give just one hour a day for the nation. This call for action resulted into implementation of several projects all over India. This had a snowballing effect and got percolated in the mind of NRI youths too.

A few NRI youths decided that they did not want to be left behind and decided to start the Overseas Arm of the Volunteers for a Better India (OVBI). Over 1,000 youths have already joined OVBI since its launch in May 2013. “We found to our utmost happiness that being Indian goes beyond the geographical boundaries of the country and there are many overseas Indians, who want to be part of re-building India,” Hathi pointed out.

Hathi has been visiting a number of cities, including New York, New Jersey, Washington and Houston in the US, before flying back to India via London. He said that he was overjoyed finding huge favorable response among the Indian community in the USA.

During the brainstorming session with leaders of the community, he had identified key points like their keenness to support the projects related to rebuild India, the need to organize and mobilize the NRI community, effectively highlight issues that concern the NRIs in the USA in their daily life, rectify the incorrect projection of India and Indians in the mainstream, and the need to voice the issues of India in the USA.

Hathi had two meetings with the community groups in Schaumburg. He explained the basic philosophy behind the newly-launched movement and found instant support. He said that he would be available at any time for discussing the organizational problems or identifying the projects that needed to be supported, but the leadership here would be local to be more effective.

Darshak Hathi, a socio-spiritual activist, was a core member of “India Against Corruption (IAC)” movement led by Anna Hazare. In August 2011, he spent two days with Annaji in Tihar jail. Darshak has initiated and participated in various service projects and civil society movements such as conflict resolution, rehabilitation, a peace initiative program in North-east India, the creation of model villages in various districts of Maha-rashtra, child protection in Uttar Pradesh with UNICEF, Bharat Jago Abhiyam, Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna and Jal Jagriti Abhiyan. He is the strategic advisor for “Together Reform India,” a Times Foundation initiative. Based on his self-less service to rural India, Darshak was awarded the “Servant of the Poor” award by the Confederation of NGOs of Rural India, in 2010.

Source: India Tribune

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