Thursday, December 31, 2015

ABVYM Annual Camp 2015

It was about 9 AM of last Sunday, one of those end-Dec. days when Her Highness visits ancestral place to take care of certain other things there. Checked with Ma, she was feeling much better that day (nothing serious, old age has its ups and downs). I made a quick estimate. Yes, I can finish shopping, cooking etc. and push-off for the 2:25 PM EMU local, for a seven-hour round trip to a place called Panskura. It would be 50 minutes train journey from Kharagpur station towards Howrah.

Ma happily obliged. I was going to Panskura to attend the afternoon / evening session of 5-day long annual camp of Akhil Bharat Vivekananda Yuva Mahamandal (ABVYM). The word 'Mahamandal' itself brings joy, a glow in our family for the contribution it had on us and in our neighbourhood. The other day HH came from local market, excited. Has any Mahamandal member of Kharagpur unit joined a book shop in the market? I answered in negative, at least I was not aware of. Came the reply - but the young boy, could be a college student, had the look, and the way he presented himself!

Went to market. Bumped on Anjan, another Mahamandal product, a self-made man who runs two schools and has tremendous entrepreneurial spirit. He visited camp on 25th Dec. and was to go again on 29th because it would have Swami Balabhadranadaji's lecture in the evening session. But, as soon as he heard that I would be going that day, he thought that there was nothing wrong with 27th either :-).

Shopping, cooking, lunch, medicine to Ma - all done and there was Anjan with his bike at our quarter at 1:30 PM. Together we boarded that 2:25 PM train. When we got down at Panskura station, we found Prabodh-da and another young companion of him, all going to camp. Prabodh-da too is from Kharagpur unit. His son and seven other from Kharagpur, are attending this camp for all five days.

Took vacation leave from office for visiting the camp again on 29th Dec. This time Sujoy, Kanchan, Anuj - a different set of Kharagpur unit oldies accompanied and also eight other young persons. While it was pre-planned that myself and Sujoy would go together, Anuj and Kanchan's decision to join was sudden. Anuj rang in the morning thanking me for my facebook post on 27th Dec. camp visit and when he heard that we would be going that day, he was in. For Kanchan, there was celebration of birth anniversary of their diksha-guru, Swami Swarupananda - Babamoni. He freed himself, had early prasad and joined the team. For youngsters in the team, a proposal was made previous evening and the number swelled to eight. Gifted these young companions a small book on "Leadership: Its Concept and Qualities" written by Sri Nabaniharan Mukhopadhyaya from the camp site book stall. Had an interaction with the author in the camp who has been the main driving force of ABVYM since its inception in 1967.

At the end of the picture series below, there are videos that has two interesting lectures on "Vivekananda and Technical Education" by Swami Vedarupananda, Ramakrishna Mission Shilpamandir, Saradapith (Link) and "Vivekanada's Philosophy of Work" by Swami Balabhadrananda, Assistant Secretary, Belur Math (Link). In the first, among others, the theory of adoption of technological skill brings unemployment, is bunked. In the latter, it was explained how work efficiency improves without creating bondage / backlash through practice of non-attachment.

There are few other short duration videos that shows different aspects of this camp - the flag-down ceremony (1), the physical skill demonstration by children's wing (1), prayer (1), song (1), Q and A session (1, 2), camp kitchen / dining, book stall (1,2 ) and also typical camp announcements (1).

Camp Pictures:

Camp Videos:

An audio of evening lecture in Day 2 of camp on "Vivekananda and World Peace" in Bengali by Sri Birendra Kumar Chakraborty, Secretary, ABVYM: Link

Endnote: There was email, phone call, SMS. A discussion was to take place on certain official activity where a faculty from another IIT was to come here. It happened yesterday evening. While we could wrap up the official matters in 15 minutes, the next 30 minutes went in sharing ideas and experiences on certain common interests. The young faculty and his wife work for  rescued children through an NGO, teach yoga in juvenile home etc. They have a team of 10 members in that campus and every weekend, 5-6 members of that team engage some of their time for the social cause in rotation. He showed me some of the photographs of the children he worked with. I showed him some of the activities being carried out here and also nararted experience of this ABVYM Annual Camp and NSS, IIT Kharagpur Annual Camp.

And, I had to email the young faculty twice at his request. The first time, I mailed him the weblink of that official activity. The second mail had link of this blog. I had the opportunity of reporting NSS, IIT Kharagpur 7-day long Annual Camp experiences in NSS, IIT Kharagpur blog (8 posts from Nov. 28 to Dec. 05, 2015). While I could attend ABVYM Annual Camp on 2 days, I visited NSS, IIT Kharagpur camp everyday except for one day as I had to be in the national launch of IMPRINT-India by Hon. President in presence of Hon. Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

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