The 4th edition of the Intergenerational Dialogue organized by Shanti Ashram, a member of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) in India, brought together young leaders to reflect on the theme, “Leadership and Community Service”. The 150-minutes meeting cohosted by Shanti Ashram and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, saw young people share their experience for community service during the COVID19 pandemic. The President of Shanti Ashram and Vice Chair of the Advisory Group, Dr. Kezevino Aram; and the Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Keynote speaker of the day, Dr. B.K.Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, together with other notable community leaders graced the event.
The Head of Youth Leadership Programme, Shanti Ashram and the GNRC Coordinator in India, Mr. Vijayaragavan Gopal, opened the event, setting the context on the role of leadership in transforming societies and addressing some of the most challenging problems facing communities such as the right to quality education and poverty among other issues.
Participants exchanged notes on how their understanding of ‘Leadership’ has been deepened by taking a service audit and examining the ecosystem required to nurture volunteering. During the session, members were entertained by the students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan who sang songs of Mahakavi Bharthiyar. They danced and through Bharatha Natyam they brought alive his poetry. An inspiring presentation on his life and work was shared.
Members from Shanti Ashram shared their ongoing volunteering efforts including their sustainable ways to end violence against women and girls, building peaceful communities and augmenting dialogue between people that leads to increased social cohesion.
Responding to the experiential presentations made by the young leaders of Shanti Ashram, the Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Keynote speaker of the day, Dr. B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, touched upon the spirit of India and its unique view of serving the community. He spoke of the larger purpose of education and reminded the audience that true education and concern for everyone in society will the critical ingredients for collective progress. He congratulated the over 30 young leaders (ranging between age 10 and 27) for their exemplary preparation and presentations. He added that the future of the world depended on what young people do today.
Shri. Shankar wrapped up the Leaders Dialogue series with appreciation to Shanti Ashram-ICPH-BVB team for their remarkable work. So far over 700 people have participated in this ongoing leaders dialogue.