GUJARAT, JAN 4, 2015: The Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) of Value Education for Peace organised its 48th Knit India Movement meeting at Don Bosco Dakor, Gujarat from December 28 to January 1.The movement was founded by Father Varghese Alangaden and drew youth from the north, south, east and west.
The event was conducted in line with USM’s five-fold path for self-transformation and students were taught to be agents of peace and reconciliation. It was stressed how contributing to the needs of the poor could keep people emotionally in touch with the hungry and the needy. Further, the youth were taught to develop loving concern for the nation by selflessly doing good on a daily basis. Honouring parents, teachers and respect for the environment were some of the other attributes stressed up on in the meet.
The five-fold approach is a simple and apt for self-transformation. USM does not force students to follow it, but the movement helps keep the young students in touch with God, the needy and themselves, well-wishers and natural resources.
Father Isaac Arackaparambil, the Rector of Don Bosco Dakor, addressed the gathering at the onset. He explained the meaning of staying united, learning to adjust and build a home away from home, here in the USM family. On day two, Father Arackaparambil focused on what it means to be ‘Responsible citizens of India’. Three panel sessions were conducted in which students shared their life-transforming stories with others in order to inspire them by the example of their lives.
Father George from Bangalore, helped the audience reflect on the purpose of human existence. His session focused on issues like ‘why are we born?’, ‘what is our purpose? Father George helped the youth understand that human beings are born to share. He stressed that we can share 32 parts of our body too, through organ donation. Father George said that donating eyes is a beautiful gift one could give to the blind after one’s death.
Five students were presented with Honesty Awards on the third day. They were presented with a cash prize of Rs.10,001. Himadri Jain, a sixth-standard student from Nainital was rewarded for her honesty in returning one thousand rupees that she found in a library book. Gulafsha Shah, a tenth-standard student from Panji was rewarded for pointing out an error in her marks, which led to a reduction in her grades. Aspreet Singh, a student of standard 12, Muskan Khan from standard ten and Sarvesh from standard ten also received the award. Kamlesh Singh, a journalist, also received Rs. 30,000 for his honesty.
The fourth day was reserved for a panel discussion for those who wanted to share life-changing stories with the others during their stay. The second-open session was the presentation of the four topics, prepared in anticipation by four selected students. A creative painting session was then conducted on the social topics. This had to be presented by painting a big picture on a cloth.
The evening was a wonderful experience as all the participants got their Knit India graduation certificate in the presence of Archbishop Thomas Macwan, Bishop of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar. The gathering ushered in the New Year by placing candles on the map of India. This was followed by a dance celebration.
Students, who attended the meet, stressed that it was life-changing experience, which helped them take serious resolutions for their future. These students would now impart the knowledge gained with others in their schools and surroundings and promote peace around them.