For a record 400+ volunteers of , their commitment to the concept of Sanskar, Sewa and Sangathan inspired them to participate in a nine-day intensive leadership training course, known as Sangh Shiksha Varg (SSV), which concluded last week.
Sanskar, Sewa and Sangathan loosely translates as culturally enlightened values, selfless service and unity and, according to the volunteers, are truly meaningful when experienced practically and with the right mindset. Towards that end, the SSV is organised and run as a flagship annual residential leadership course by HSS (UK). Now in its 45th year, this year’s chapter took place between July 23 and 31 at Avanti Fields School in Leicester. The event was curated as a space to learn when it returned to an in-person gathering after a Covid-induced gap of three years and attracted record numbers of men, women, boys and girls from across 60 UK regions and even 16 different language groups, with the oldest full-time attendee being 74+.
MORE LIKE THIS…
According to the organisers, the week-long residential course was an in sadhana – spending a week away from distractions such as social media and mobile phones, having simple food, living in a disciplined environment, learning from stimulating speakers, building sporting and physical strength and, perhaps the most difficult for the teenagers, waking up early and sleeping in shared spaces with other participants.
The British weather played its part too, with humid conditions indoors and unwelcome rain, but HSS (UK) said none of this dampened the spirits of the camp. It was, as one teenager said, “strangely like a holiday she never knew she wanted but so desperately needed”.
Alongside various councillors and visitors, Labour MP Barry Gardiner – described as an ardent supporter of the Hindu community – visited and chatted with HSS (UK) members. The organisers said he was urged to take back the message that there remains an anti-Hindu element which the Opposition Labour Party must tackle head-on.
MORE LIKE THIS…
acknowledged that much more needed to be done by the governing Conservative Party too for the Hindu community. However, representatives across the political spectrum were united in their praise for what they saw at SSV and the work HSS (UK) has been doing for more than 50 years – not only to unite people of all dharmic faiths but also the work at the grassroots level across Britain, HSS (UK) said.
At the concluding ceremony too, which attracted a gathering of over 800, this theme was echoed by Chief Guest Theresa Villiers MP, who congratulated HSS (UK) for its work during the Covid pandemic and the continued contribution British make as integral members of UK society.
Dr Yogish Joshi, Joint General Secretary of HSS (UK), pointed out in his concluding speech: “ are underrepresented in prison population, overrepresented as taxpayers contributing to the Treasury and one of the most hardworking communities, yet they are ignored in policymaking and indeed maligned by those with political agendas.”
The participants left inspired and dedicated to the goal at the heart of HSS (UK): to achieve “Vishwa Shanti” or Universal Peace by one own’s efforts.