Report by Pramodh Nataraj

Bengaluru Feb 01, 2017: DISHA Charitable Trust for Value Initiatives, in association with Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women, Bengaluru, held the 10th Annual Vivekananda Jayanthi Celebrations on 1st February, 2017 in the college premises at Malleswaram. The keynote speaker on this occasion was Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, Founder and Executive Director of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, which is a development institution engaged in a grass-roots approach to improvements in sectors such as health, education, and community development. Prof.N.V.Raghuram(President, Disha), Dr.T.L.Shanta(Director,mLAC) and Prof.Vijaya(Principal,mLAC) also graced the occasion.

Students were very inspired by the life and message of Dr.Balasubramaniam. In his address, Dr. Balasubramaniam stressed on the need to develop 3 P’s if we are to serve the nation by adopting the teachings of Swami Vivekananda – Purity of thought, word and deed, Patience and Perseverance. Asked to explain how one can stay inspired to work for the country, he advised, “Keep one foot grounded in the Bhagavad Geeta and the other in Swami Vivekananda and you will succeed in attaining your vision.” Using anecdotes drawn from his life as he worked to help his fellow countrymen inspired by Swamijis teachings, he sought to impress the audience with an awareness of the privilege they enjoy and the need to give back to society. To the majorly young audience who wanted to know the secret of how to fulfill Swamiji’s dream for the country, Dr. Balasubramaniam laid out an 8-step path consisting of having compassion, developing faith and hope, having a sense of humour and a positive spirit, inculcating a spirit of self-enquiry, fearlessness, a spirit of service and constant mindfulness. Students were very enthusiastic to ask questions to Dr.Balu regarding service, Practical Vedanta, Indian Philosophy and so on.

The keynote address was followed by inter-college competitions for students. There was a very good response from many institutions of the city for the events.

36 students from various colleges participated in the Speech Contest in Kannada and English on the topic “Vivekananda’s Vision – My Mission.”

The Group Song Contest saw 25 teams from different colleges participate enthusiastically with a wide range of patriotic songs in Kannada and Hindi.

Around  24 teams participated in the Dumb Charades event centred on the theme of “Bharat” and her monuments, natural resources and great personalities.

A Smart Phone User contest based on the theme of “Technology for a Better India” was also held for the first time to make the youth realize the power of social media towards national development and saw keen participation from 12 teams.

Swamiji’s message in short is “Be good. Do good.” As a part of “Do Good” activity, a blood donation camp was organized in which over 70 youngsters donated blood towards saving lives.

Cash prizes and certificates were given to the winners of all events.

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