It is rightly believed that the youth are the future of the nation, and the future is undoubtedly bright if the energy and spirit of the youth is channelized in the right direction. Through an unconventional melange of sports, selfless service and self-enquiry, the SRMD Youth Festival 2019 aimed towards exactly that! The Youth Festival organized by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, was a 2-day residential festival, held on the 27th-28th December 2019 at the International Headquarters of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur in Valsad, Gujarat.
Known for its unmatched involvement of youth in selfless social activities across the globe, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur is a global movement with 108 centres and 44 Youth Groups worldwide. The Youth Festival was a uniquely designed 2-day module, that used sports and management-based games to internalize long-term values, and then, putthose values in action by contributing to the underprivileged communities. Thus, the Youth Festival was a magnificent celebration of diversity and togetherness, as it welcomed about 1500 young people from over 200 cities across the globe!
The Youth Festival featured the World Cup Finals of the SFC Football Tournament- an initiative where over 650 youngsters (26 boys’ teams and 24 girls’ teams) came together through football and undertook massive social projects in the past two years. Apart from contributing to the society through fundraising, the youth have strongly cultivated the long-term value of sportsmanship.Youth from the USA, UAE, UK, Singapore, etc. participated in the World Cup Finals. The eveningswere adorned with diverse cultural performances by youth from all over the world, along with unique stalls run by the women of the rural pockets of Dharampur. The Youth Festival truly promoted togetherness and compassion over competition.A unique series of action games such as Zorbing Football, Human Foosball and Knockout (a challenging obstacle series) were conducted to induce values such as co-ordination, team spirit, confidence and perseverance. Along with physical activities, the Youth Festival was an opportunity to enhance one’s emotional well-being through themed meditation, yoga and creative therapies using paint, music, etc.
What made the Youth Festival an interestingly rare opportunity was- the first-hand experience it offered the youth for working towards extremely marginalized communities, thus transforming themselves and others too. After having strengthened the values of sportsmanship, the youth undertook 9 handpicked social initiatives in the tribal belts of South Gujarat to strengthen the principle of selfless giving!
Some mega social initiativesundertaken were:
Medical Outreach Camp in Rural Areas
Manufacturing products with the tribal women of MahilaGruhUdyog (Women Skill Development Centre)
Educational Visits and Beautification of the local school and college- Shrimad RajchandraGurukul and Vidyapeeth.
Learning Organic Farming
Caretaking of Cattle in the Jivmaitridham (Cattle-houses) and much more.