New Delhi, November 10: Darr jo hain insaan ka sabse bada dushman hain, aur ye andar se ata hain. Jab darr insan ke uppar havi ho jata hain toh, hume rassi sanp dekhai deta hain, billi jo hain sher dikhai deti hain (Fear is man’s biggest enemy – it emanates from within – and when fear takes control, our perspective to life is reduced – we see snake in place of a rope, we see a wild lion in place of a meek cat.) These were the words of Caritas India’s Executive Director Fr. Frederick D’Souza as he gave away his valedictory message at a two-day conference on Volunteering for Change.
He also said “NGO samudai jo hain, woh parivartan ka sabse bada dushman hain, kyunki jab bhi kisiko pareshani hoti hain, woh pani wani leke chale jate hain. (NGO sector is the biggest enemy against change and development, as NGOs give away relief materials in charity which not necessarily empower people.)
Isse kya hota hain? Log chup ho jate hain. (What happens in this process? People learn to keep silence and become dependent)
Toh hum chuppi lagane ki koshish ki hain, naki parivartan lane ki! (So, we may have temporarily satisfied their need but end up making them dependent)
Toh hume chahiye parivartan, logo ki chuppi nahi. Parivartan ke liye hume logo ki manobhavna badle, unke vichar badle, unke under swayam sewak-sevika banne ki itcha jagayein. (What we intend is people’s change and not their dependency and silence over matters. For true transformation to happen, we would need to capacitate and empower them, change their perspective, kindle in them the spirit of service for themselves as well as others), he said as he launched a guide book for volunteers on the occasion.
Father D’Souza’s words have set a high benchmark for Caritas India in the years to come, especially as the 54-year-old humanitarian organization is preparing its next five-year strategy plan.
Presently, more than twenty thousand volunteers are connected to Caritas in the field of health, education, environment, anti-human trafficking and other developmental initiatives. Over the next five years, Caritas will expand its volunteer base to a million. Dy. Director Fr. Poly Varghese has invited all people of goodwill to join Caritas in this movement building.
As debates on religious freedom abound India’s social and political arena, the bringing together of religious leaders from different faiths at the conference seem to have made an unequivocal statement for solidarity amidst diversity – that may have dipped in the recent times.
“Service should be based on need and not based on religion”, Pujya Swami Chidananda, co-founder at the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance said at the inaugural function.
He comes from the banks of river Ganges where he sees people dumping garbage. “It is a green crime” he said. “It is a violence – let sanitation and meditation go together”, he demanded. We need to move “from temples to (more) toilets” the Swami advocated.
Speaking on volunteerism he said “Creator – God is the first volunteer – with no discrimination – no vacation – we sleep but he breathes for us- he insures us – with no premium…If you cannot go to mosque, masjid or church sometimes, become a volunteer – give your service.”
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