Ashadha 17 Vik Samvat 2066. Yugabda 5111: July 1, 2009

1. FESTIVALS: First Fortnight of Shravan: The month of Shravan, a harbinger of hope to the common man, starts on July 8 this year. In Lord Bihariji temple of Vrindavan, the summer festival called 'Phool Bangla' is celebrated during the first fortnight of Shravan. Phool Bangla is a festival of flowers dedicated to Lord Bihariji. In the evening of Amavasya i.e., the fifteenth day, the festival of grand golden swing, ‘Hindola’ is started and Lord Bihariji is taken out of Sanctum Sanctorum for this very auspicious Jhoolan Yatra (journey of swing).
2. HINDUTVA IS THE COMMON IDENTITY OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN INDIA - Mohan Bhagwat: RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat affirmed that the terms “Hindu” and “Hindutva” are an inseparable identity of Hindustan. Stating that RSS is committed to the ideology of Hindutva, he made it clear that there will be no compromise on this ideology. He was speaking at the “National Remembrance Convention” organised by Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation in Jammu on July 23 to pay tributes to Dr Mookerjee on his 57th death anniversary.
"Hindutva believes in co-existence and welfare of human beings as a whole, which no other philosophy teaches in the world." Shri Bhagwat added.Paying rich tributes to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, he said: “He laid down his life to oppose the discriminatory tendencies and the theory of two constitutions, two flags and two heads of state within one nation.”
Others who spoke at the function were BJP president Rajnath Singh, Brig. (Retd) Suchet Singh while Thupstan Chhewang, president, UT Morcha, Ladakh, presided over the function.
3. 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF SRI AUROBINDO’S UTTARPARA SPEECH: Maharshi Aurobindo, before his spiritual recluse to Pondicherry , was implicated by British in a bomb blast case and sent to Alipore jail in 1908. After his release in 1909, he made a historic speech at a public reception at ‘Uttarpara’- a suburb of Calcutta that was to be a turning point in his and this immortal nation’s life. The Bharatiya Vichara Kendram (BVK) and Aurobindo Study Circle jointly celebrated the 100th anniversary of this speech at Sanskriti Bhavan, Thiruvanantha-puram, recently.
Addressing the elite audience, Padmasri P Parameswaran, RSS ideologue and Director of BVK, said for Sri Aurobindo, nation and spirituality were one and the same and his heart was always throbbing for Bharat.
Presiding over the function former Union Minister Shri O Rajagopal said “Sri Aurobindo realised that a free Bharat without a spiritual mission would go astray. Hence he proceeded to Pondicherry for acquiring spiritual sadhana to guide the nation and give it a new direction”.
4. BHARAT TO JOIN CLUB OF 56 COUNTRIES: With the central government announcing a panel to implement the programme of giving identity cards to all citizens of the country, Bharat is set to join the club of about 56 countries around the world which have some form of national identity cards.
This gigantic and complex exercise is estimated to involve an expenditure of over Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The first task step in issuing ID cards, being done by the Registrar General of India (RGI), is building a complete computerized record of all citizens above the age of 18. The technical challenge is to create a tamper-proof smart card, which can function in Bharatiya conditions. The cards would contain as many as 16 pieces of personal information like photo, age, address and fingerprints, the MNIC will contain a National Identity Number unique to the individual.
5. NILEKANI JOINS THE GOVERNMENT: Nandan Mohan Nilekani, 54, till recently co-chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd, Bharat’s second largest software services firm, joins the government as chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of Bharat, an agency working on a project to give every Bharatiya a unique identity card, similar to the social security number in the US . Nilekani, whose new position carries the rank of cabinet minister, will work with the Planning Commission on the project which will cover around 1.2 billion people—the largest in the world.
6. CHINA ALLOWS BUDDHA RELICS EXHIBITION: The Chinese government on June 23 decided to make public the relics that had been kept out of public gaze in an underground vault of the Capital Museum in Beijing. The relics have been returned to the Beijing Yunju Temple, where they were found in the first place will be exhibited.
The “corn-shaped red Buddha body relics” are seen as one of the three precious" sets of relics in China. The others are Buddha teeth relics in Beijing's Lingguang Monastery and Buddha figure relics in the Famen Temple in Xi'an.
7. BHARATIYA OUTSOURCING TO BENEFIT FROM DOWNTURN - AZIM PREMJI: The turmoil in the financial market is likely to spell good news for the Bharatiya outsourcing companies, as the downturn will compel multinationals to seek further economies for sustenance in these tough times, Wipro Technologies founder Azim Premji has said.
Premji insisted that “the Bharatiya outsourcing giants will benefit from this downturn, as all multinationals seek further economies.”
Premji further warned that it will be America and Europe that will suffer, because they will be excluded from the only growth markets left – in Asia, Africa and China.
8. PLIGHT OF KASHMIRI PANDITS HEARD IN WASHINGTON: Almost forgotten, the plight of Kashmiri Pandits uprooted from their homes and living in desolate conditions in Bharatiya refugee camps since 1989, was brought to light again by a group of Bharatiya Americans at a hearing on Capitol Hill June 9. A resolution adopted unanimously urged the Obama administration to make aid to Pakistan transparent and accountable and ensure it is not used against Bharat.
These helpless people numbering about 300,000 have become homeless in their own country and are living in crowded tents or one-room units with hardly any hygienic facilities for the last 20 years. They are victims of Islamic terrorism that forcefully threw them out from their homes in the beautiful Kashmir valley. They have received very little attention from the Bharatiya government.
9. BHARAT'S POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECT IN CHINA: The first-ever Bharat funded project, which is really a diplomatic initiative to connect with a provincial government, was inaugurated by Smt. Nirupama Rao, Bharatiya ambassador in China, and Wang Zhengwei, chairman of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, in Liangtian township on June 20. The NHAR is jointly funding the project with the Bharatiya government.
The centre will provide farmer with access to information about latest farming techniques, cropping and marketing trends besides impacting training on technical and managerial techniques. The centre will be used by members of the Liangtian Vegetable Growers' Association and other local residents.
10. RASHTRA SEVIKA SAMITI ORGANISES 29 TRAINING CAMPS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: "The feeling that this country belongs to me should always be in our heart and we should feel the country’s joys and sorrows. This is the real Hindutva,” said Pramilatai Medhe, Pramukh Sanchalika of Rashtra Sevika Samiti. She was addressing a gathering of Samiti activists at a training camp organised in Delhi on June 21. A total of 110 sevikas from different parts of Delhi underwent training at the two-week-long training camp that began on 6 June.
The Pramukh Sanchalika appealed to the Samiti activists to feel proud of their mother tongue and speak only in mother tongue at home. She said Hinduism is not a way of worship but a lifestyle and we should become a true Hindu with our deeds too.
11. KURIEN’S KIWI DREAM GETS REAL: When Bharat gained Independence, it largely relied on New Zealand to meet its milk requirement in cities like Mumbai. Milk powder was imported from New Zealand and converted into liquid as the then Bombay Milk Scheme did not have adequate milk.
Six decades on, the dream long cherished by Bharat's milkman Dr Verghese Kurien to see that Bharat one day exports dairy products to New Zealand, is coming true. Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets Amul brand of products, is all set to export dairy products to New Zealand, the global dairy capital and home to Fonterra, world's largest dairy firm which controls almost one-third of international dairy trade. Though Amul's first consignment to New Zealand is only of 20 tonnes, the symbolism is causing excitement in the Bharatiya dairy sector.
12. HINDU PRIEST FROM GUYANA IS MOURNED IN QUEENS: Prakash Gosain, a Hindu priest who founded temples in Brooklyn and Queens and was active in politics in his native Guyana died on June 15 at age 56. Hundreds of members of the Indo-Caribbean immigrant community based in Richmond Hill, Queens, turned out to mourn his death.
13. LET GUJARAT FIGHT TERROR: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram cannot be faulted for reiterating, as he did recently in the context of West Bengal’s Maoist problem, that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of State Governments. That’s what the Constitution says, and that’s the way it should be unless the security situation in a State becomes so perilous that the Centre’s intervention is warranted to restore law and order. But while expecting State Governments to fulfil their constitutional obligation is justified, it is equally reasonable to expect the Centre to provide the State Governments with the wherewithal to maintain law and order. Antiquated laws and poorly equipped policemen were never enough to deal with crisis situations; they are definitely not sufficient to meet today’s challenges, especially organised crime and the menace of terrorism. It was bearing this in mind that the BJP-led NDA Government had asked State Governments to frame laws along the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act which has helped fight criminals and combat terrorism. While others dilly-dallied, the Government of Gujarat was prompt in framing a similar law and getting it passed by the State Assembly before forwarding it to the Centre for presidential approval. Meanwhile, certain clauses of MACOCA were challenged in court and to prevent the Gujarat law from getting embroiled in legal dispute, the Centre advised the State Government to suitably amend it. This was done and the Bill was once again forwarded to the Union Government. Soon thereafter, the Congress-led UPA came to power and the Bill was put into cold storage. For full five years the UPA Government did nothing about the Bill; it moved only after the Gujarat Government approached the Supreme Court seeking judicial intervention. The official UPA verdict on the Bill has been along predictable lines: It cannot be approved in its present form; the clauses are too tough; and, the State Government should incorporate further amendments and forward it again to the Centre. In brief, it’s back to square one.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi insists that incorporating the amendments ‘recommended’ by the Centre would dilute the law and render it useless. He has a point. After all, while there are a number of laws on the statute book, they are neither sufficiently tough to serve as a deterrent for those involved in organised crime and terrorism, nor are they useful in successfully prosecuting criminals. India’s laws are unique because they offer far too many loopholes for criminals to exploit; even when an effort is made to plug these loopholes to deal with contemporary challenges (for instance, the amendments made to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act after 26/11) shortcomings hobble the law. This is most glaring when it comes to dealing with organised crime as clauses pertaining to interrogation, detention and bail remain as loaded against the prosecution as ever. There is a strange reluctance on part of the UPA Government to take a tough stand on terrorism and this, along with deep-rooted political bias, lies at the core of its refusal to approve the Gujarat law. The bias is evident from the fact that the UPA has not asked Maharashtra Government to scrap MACOCA. Such an approach can only embolden those who wish to inflict further wounds on the nation. If the UPA is truly committed to adopting a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards terrorism, it should approve the Gujarat law and demonstrate that it means business. -- The Pioneer Edit, June 23, 2009
14. NOW SIKHS AND HINDUS IN KHYBER AGENCY TO PAY PROTECTION MONEY TO TALIBAN: The non-Muslim communities living in the Khyber Agency tribal area of Pakistan have now been asked by the Taliban-backed militant organization Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) to pay jaziya or tax in exchange for ensuring their protection in the area.
The jazia tax on non-Muslims has been imposed at the rate of Rs1,000 per year per person. Around 10,000 Sikhs, Hindus and Christians live in the Khyber agency area, of which about 7,000 are Sikhs. Jaziya was actually a tax for protection levied after a war by the victor on the vanquished, the amount of which was to be decided by both parties on mutual agreement. Having made the announcement, the Lashkar-e-Islami militants are already collecting jazia in Bara, Chora, Karamna, Bazaar Zakhakhel and Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency besides forcing those to leave the area who refuse to pay or who are not in a position to pay.
15. DOWNTURN? BHARATIYA ARTIST FETCHES RS 2.9CR: An ink and pastel composition by Jogen Chowdhury fetched $609,629 (Rs 2.9 crore) at a sale of Bharatiya art in London on June 15, setting Art on a High. The price — almost double the previous record for the artist of $324,114 — is a positive sign for the Bharatiya art market which has been feeling the effects of the global slowdown.
16. BHARAT ENTERS INTO DEFLATION MODE: Inflation in Bharat has turned negative for the first time in more than 30 years but there is no respite for the common man as prices of food items like fruits and vegetables, cereals and oil are still higher than last year.
Food articles were costlier by 8.7 per cent from the comparable week last year as pulses moved up 17 per cent, cereals 13.5 per cent, and fruit and vegetables 10 per cent. “Rising prices of crude oil and that of food grains will continue to remain areas of concern going forward,” said Dun & Bradstreet India COO Kaushal Sampat.
17. INSIDE BRITAIN'S FIRST HINDU STATE-FUNDED FAITH SCHOOL: Krishna-Avanti Primary School in Harrow, Britain's first state-funded Hindu faith school, has only one class presently in a rented room in Little Stanmore primary school as its £11m purpose-built site opposite is finished. Facilities will include a meditation garden, an amphitheatre for outside teaching and eco-friendly innovations such as a grass roof. Officially, applications are open to all but priority is given to vegetarians and Hindus; there are currently no non-Hindus on the register. It is clearly intended as a resource for the 40,000-strong Hindu community in Harrow.
18. KANCHI SHANKARACHARYA AT THE INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE: 1.Exactly one month ago to the date, the Pope went to Jerusalem where Jesus was born, for a similar dialogue that the Vatican had undertaken with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. At the end of that meeting when the Pope and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzer jointly addressed the press and media, the Chief Rabbi thanked the Pope for assuring the Chief Rabbinate that the Catholic Church would desist and cease from all missionary and conversion activities among the Jews. This is construed as endorsed and agreed by the Pope since he was present at the press meet. We need a similar commitment from the Church for Hindus.
2. After such inter-faith meetings, the points agreed have to be faithfully abided. Otherwise, there will be no point in holding such meetings. Unless the Church reassures Hindus that it will not conduct itself in a manner that wounds Hindu sensibilities and follows up on those assurances, such inter-faith meetings, no matter how frequently they are held, will be futile and not serve any meaningful cause.3. In 1999, Pope John Paul-II had stated that the mission of the Vatican was to plant the Cross in Asia in the third millennium to facilitate the Christianising of the world, which alone would cause the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Pope must tell us the rationale for the First Coming of Jesus Christ when there was no Christianity or the Church to undertake the mission to Christianise the world.
4. We see the USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) as an intrusive mechanism of a foreign government to interfere in the internal affairs of this country. The USCIRF, which has been permitted to visit this country to hold meetings with our people to ascertain religious freedom in our country, must no longer be permitted to enter this country on this intrusive mission. We will not allow external interference into our internal affairs.5. We know that very large amounts of money come into this country for churches and Christian groups, ostensibly for charitable work. These funds should be used only for social causes like health, education, etc, and should not be used for religious conversion. During these dialogues, it should be agreed that the funds should be distributed to all organisations who do charitable work, irrespective of the organisations’ religious faith. …..7. Hindu dharma is by nature diverse and so all different panths and sampradayas co-exist on this bhumi without seeking to destroy the others. …..We expect that religions which have come to this bhumi from other lands will respect this vital characteristic of Hindu dharma and not do anything to subvert or disturb the sense of nationhood of this country. Hindu dharma and the Hindu people welcome Christians and Muslims, Parsis and Jews to make this land their home…. We encourage all religions to live with mutual respect and harmony in a shared sense of nationalism which should bind us all as one nation. Nationalism should come first.
9. Most of the countries in the world (USA, UK, Japan, Middle-East nations, Pakistan, Sri Lanka etc.), adopt national resolutions and statements of intent proclaimed by their governments and their tallest religious bodies, affirming their determination to protect and defend the culture and the religion from which their cultures derive. In India alone we pass resolutions which officially and legally promote an irreligious and unspiritual creed called secularism. Secularism is an administrative quality; it cannot be the soul of this nation. The soul of this nation is religious and spiritual. We call upon our government and other important religious bodies to recognise this truth and affirm their commitment to protect the soul of this nation.10.The Buddhist Mahasangh and the joint committee of Buddhist organisations have declared their intention to get the Sri Lankan government to pilot and pass a national anti-conversion bill and make it law. We welcome this move and strongly endorse this measure.11.The Church in India must stop forthwith the use of Hindu religious words, phrases and symbols like Veda, Agama, rishi, ashram, Om and other such in what is referred to as ‘inculturation’ tactics, but which are only intended to deceive the vulnerable sections of our people who are the intended targets for religious conversion. This is also insulting to and wounding the religious sensitivities of Hindus. Similarly, it has been brought to our notice that some churches are scripting a new Bible for the new converts by usurping sections of our sacred Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas and incorporating them into the Bible. This must stop immediately and all such Bibles must be withdrawn from circulation. We urge the Indian government to look into the issue and do the needful. – ( Excerpts from the points that Pujya Kanchi Shankarachraya made at the inter-faith dialogue.) Organiser, 28 June, 2009
19. TOURISTS SPUR REVERSE MIGRATION TO VILLAGES: Rural Bharat is beckoning the world. As foreign tourists get charmed by quaint and picturesque villages of Bharat, they are triggering a new trend — reverse migration from cities to villages. From Raghurajpur in Orissa to Hodka in Gujarat, artisans who had migrated to big cities are gradually making their way back as their art is being appreciated by foreign tourists right at their doorstep.
About 15 artisans of Raghurajpur, famous for its Patachitras or paintings on treated cloth and dried palm leaf, have returned to their village. Though a small number in a village of about 100 houses and 311 artisans, this is an indicator that artisans are finding a good enough platform for their art even in their native villages. Raghurajpur, along with 35 other villages, has been developed by Tourism Ministry as a rural tourism site.
“We are getting a tremendous response for rural tourism now. Tourists, especially foreign tourists, are finding it fascinating to get a taste of ethnic Bharat.” Joint Secretary (Tourism) Leena Nandan said.
20. IN MINNESOTA, USA BIG MOMENT FOR A TEMPLE FOR HINDUS: Amid the soybean fields and silos on the outskirts of Minnesota, a testament to the Hindu faith, a 43,000-square-foot temple, has risen.
The Hindu Society of Minnesota began constructing the temple, which came with a $9.5 million price tag, five years ago, and worshipers have been able to use it since 2006. But it was not considered complete until its 65-foot tower was consecrated on June 28.
At least 10,000 people attended the formal opening of the temple in Maple Grove The temple has Eight-armed Durga, who is praised for victory over conflict, and Ganesha worshiped for successful beginnings.
21.. SWAMI RAGHAVESHWAR BHARATI RECEIVES DR HEDGEWAR PRAJNA SAMMAN: Gokarna Peethadhishwar Shankaracharya Raghaveshwar Bharati received the 20th Dr Hedgewar Prajna Samman in Kolkata on June 13. Instituted by Shree Burrabazar Kumarsabha Pustakalaya in 1989 the Samman was presented by RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Sureshrao Joshi who is popularly known as Bhaiyaji Joshi. The Samman consists of a cheque of Rs 51,000, a memento and a citation.
22. PAK AMONG TOP 10 FAILED STATES: REPORT: Pakistan, plagued by insurgency and the worst-ever economic crisis, has been named among the "top 10 failed states" by the US-based reputed Foreign Policy journal in its July-August issue.Pakistan, bracketed along with countries like Somalia, Afghanistan and Sudan, has improved its position only by a notch -- is placed 10th in the index for 2009.The fifth annual 'Failed States Index' is a collaboration between The Fund for Peace, an independent research organisation and Foreign Policy.
The financial crisis is a "near-death experience for insurgency-plagued" Pakistan, which remains on IMF life support, the journal said. India is ranked 87th, showing an improvement over the previous year.
23. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Shekhar Tiwari - USA Pravas: Dr.Shankar Tatwawadi , Samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will be in Bharat enroute Baharin.
24. FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Fear of darkness is fear of the unknown. Fear of light is fear of the known. Fear of the unknown is stupidity. Fear of the known is absurdity. – Atharva Veda
Sangeet Verma
Chitrakoot is famous for its significant role in the exile of Sri Rama. It was in these forests of Chitrakoot that Sri Rama spent a large time of his exile. This made Chitrakoot a place of devotion and faith for Hindus worldwide. However in recent years, apart from its religious significance, life for the villagers in this holy place gradually lost relevance with the teachings of Sri Rama. The dense forests disappeared with time, agriculture lost its profitability and governance was limited to tax collections and VIP visits. Poverty grew with increasing unemployment and water shortage ruined agriculture. Bandits controlled the area and spirituality shrunk to religious shrines and temples. By the early seventies, Chitrakoot became a dry and poverty-struck area with temples and shrines as the only source of income.
It was in 1969 that Nanaji Deshmukh visited Chitrakoot. He was moved to see the pathetic condition of the society in the karmabhoomi of Sri Rama. He sat by the holy river Mandakini, and resolved to change the picture of Chitrakoot. Nanaji gave up an illustrious political carrier, politely refusing a ministerial birth offered by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and announced his retirement from active politics. He returned to Chitrakoot to lay down the foundation of Deendayal Research Institute now famous as DRI. Named after the famous thinker and organiser Deendayal Upadhyaya and designed to implement development programmes through his vision of ‘Integral Humansim’, DRI was aimed at rural development and research, targeting villages around Chitrakoot. Nanaji laid down the objectives of DRI, aiming at complete independence of villages and villagers in agriculture, water resources, health, moral character, education and employment. His vision was to design a system of development based on local knowledge and technology and enhancing the same for the prosperity of the locals rather than invite external investments. The challenges were massive and the primary challenge was to win over the trust of the villagers in order to prepare them for the change.
Work started with minimum resources and maximum efforts. The primary focus was on making agriculture a profitable venture as Nanaji believed that only prosperity can make a happy society. A meeting of farmers from 19 villages was called and a decision to create local dams to sustain rainwater was taken. Men, women and children contributed to the call and before the rains could arrive, dams had come up in every possible location. Interestingly, no cement, concrete or iron was used for the purpose and only local stones and mud was used. Many ‘leaders’ laughed at the idea and said that these dams will not even stand the first rains. But they did, and are strongly standing till date. The experiment has recharged the entire ground water system around Chitrakoot and even in the months of May and June, local wells carry 10-15 feet of water. Nanaji went further to launch Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) resource and research centres aimed at transforming unprofitable landholdings of poor farmers into profitable ones. The KVKs helped the poor farmers harvest rainwater, use latest methods of agriculture and provided knowledge and resources for the same. They also created Seed Villages in a cluster of villages and Seed Clubs at village levels where farmers could get better seeds for better yields in their own villages, rather than awaiting government machinery to supply them. These villages are now not only meeting the seeds requirements of their own village but also supplying the surplus seeds to nearby villages that provide good income to the growers. The members of the Seed Clubs exchange their seeds for food grains within the village (for1 kg seed they take 1.25 kg food grain from farmers).
Nanaji’s focus on education was clear since the time he established the first Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Gorakhpur in his days as a Pracharak. In Chitrakoot, he has ensured that not only do the students get good education to earn a happy living, the same education evolves them as responsible citizens and integral components of a happy human race and not just money making machines that work under the pressure of a mad market frenzy. The pre-primary education begins at Nanhi Duniya or the ‘little world’ where children in the age of 3 to 5 years come not to study, but to experience nature. They play with everything from colours, balloons to geographic models, maps and toys, and learn by interaction rather than reading and writing. Nanhi Duniya is an interactive world that teaches important lessons of the world to toddlers while playing with nature. It has interactive and play-based models and galleries on themes of geography, history, zoology, sports and yoga, swimming, words and numbers, and art and creativity. Primary education in Chitrakoot begins at Surendra Pal Vidyalaya where the children study standard curriculum. The hostel accommodations here are designed as family units. Ten students stay in a flat as a family, with their responsibility assigned to an aged couple called Guru Mata-Pita who ensure that the children get a family atmosphere and do not feel isolated in a big world. They are also responsible for inculcating cultural and moral values in these children. Each family is provided with a cook. For post secondary education, Nanaji founded the first rural university in India, the Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya. This university has state-of-the-art courses and equipments, including a fully equipped Geographical Information System Lab in its Geology department.
Nanaji believed that only a healthy society can be prosperous. Thus came into existence the Aarogya Dhaam, a world class comprehensive health care and research centre that focuses on serving through naturopathy, yoga, and Ayurveda. The many components of Aarogya Dhaam include the Aayurveda Sadan (meant for Ayurvedic treatments and research), The Nidan Sadan (Out Patients Department), The Yoga Sadan (for yogic cure and training), the Ras Shala (where locally grown herbs are used for preparing ayuvedic medicines), Swasthya Kutir (health cottages that offer five star facilities with programmes for healthy physical, mental and emotional recovery), Matri Sadan (maternity and paediatric unit), Swasthya Sadan (In Patients Department), a fully furnished dental unit, Aahar Vihar Sadan (canteen), a spawning herbal garden spreading many acres, and a large library and documentation centre. Located on the hills of Chitrakoot surrounded by forests and overlooking the holy Kamtanathji mountain, this health centre with its lush green lawns, gushing waterfalls and picturesque surroundings are a feast to the eye. It is clearly aimed at handing over a suffering body to mother nature, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, helping it with the very components derived from nature in the form of herbal medicines and cure, thereby bringing a comprehensive recovery of the entire human system that heals the mind, body, heart and soul, permanently. The DRI has also developed and designed a pack of 34 local herbal medicines that are derived from local knowledge and have been found to be very effective in curing frequently occurring ailments and diseases. They call it Dadi Maa Ka Batua. This kit has gained tremendous popularity in the villages and has helped save the villagers from expensive treatment and medicines. Adjacent to the Aarogya Dhaam is a well-maintained and well-equipped Gau Shaala where cows of different Indian breeds are kept and conservation of superior genetic germ plasm and their propagation for milk production and agricultural needs is done, specially for breeds which are in danger of extinction. The Gau Shaala is also engaged in maintaining pure Indian breeds through artificial insemination of cows and bullocks for better and quality milk production in order to make the Indian cow an economically feasible, useful and profitable option.
Nanaji’s commitment to Chitrakoot further extends to its people in addressing their employment needs. His vision of providing local options of livelihood with minimum investment and maximum profits resulted in the institutionalisation of Udyamita Vidyapeeth, an entrepreneurship development and research centre that works round the clock for developing, training, and establishing low cost and high income enterprises in the rural areas with the help of self-help groups and individuals. At present this industrial training centre is providing training on fruits and vegetable processing, dal poha and lai production, oil expeller units, readymade garments, screen and offset printing, MCR tiles, sakar blocks, processing of cereals and pulses industry (PCPI), flour mills, cane and bamboo craft, fabrication, computer training, bakery products, soap and detergent production, hand made paper making, and radio electronics. Rural youth from all over the region come here and get trained in the areas of their individual interest. Training is provided in state-of-the-art class rooms and laboratories that help them understand every aspect of their future livelihood. They then go to their respective villages and establish the ventures giving employment to themselves and many others. The focus in designing all industrial solutions is keeping them a low investment enterprise based on local raw materials in order to ensure sustained supplies and profits.
A prosperous society is incomplete without its moral and cultural values. DRI has set-up Ram Darshan, a unique interpretation centre of the Ramayana, based on the life and teachings of Sri Rama. Through its unmatched paintings, sculptures, collections and crafts, Ram Darshan not only looks deeper into the meaning of Ramayana, it helps one understand the universal acceptability of his teachings and their relevance in today’s life and society. It is a mirror that tells us where we went wrong, and how the course can be corrected. It is a bridge that connects the islands of religion, knowledge, karma and spirituality for the supreme benefit of a glorious society. In order to ensure that his good work is sustainable, Nanaji, who is now 93, has introduced Samaj Shilpi Dampattis, newly wed graduate couples who have a commitment for community service, that live in the villages and look after the work of DRI in a cluster of five villages. The couples are responsible for overall implementation of the DRI programmes.
It is in Chitrakoot that Nanaji has shown the world that religion is meant more for the benefit of society than individuals. He has proved that pilgrimages like Chitrakoot should not just be places of worship, but also icons of development and self reliance. He has shown that ideals of Integral Humanism as propagated by thinkers like Pandit Deendayal Upadhayaya, can be made a living reality. Gandhiji’s dream of Gram Swaraj has finally been brought true, not by a congressman, but by a swayamsewak. Last but not the least, Nanajii has shown this generation what is meant by the life of a sage spent in penance. -- Organiser, 5 July 2009.