ByÂ Tanmaya Raj:
Today, one of our favourite comments is “What is happening to our society?” or “Has the world gone to the beasts?” No matter how angry we act, how many of us truly do anything to rectify the situation? Unfortunately, not many. However, there is one small ray that is trying desperately to dispel the darkness prevailing in our society, and this ray is the Kerala-based Vishwa Seva Education Trust (VSET) that has set up a “Living Values Movement” which aims to bring up a generation of positive thinkers and doers. The program helps young children appreciate and imbibe positive values that are imparted to them in a very non-conventional and friendly manner.
Realizing the importance of inculcating positive values for a better ‘next generation’, VSET launched the “Living Values Movement” with the slogan, ‘Together for a Joyful World’. Students from seventh grade onwards are provided value education by facilitators, who are provided a free training by VSET. Today, VSET facilitators are providing their services in almost 200 schools, in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Facilitators invite students to fun-filled sessions, which are called ‘Joy Clubs.’ Each ‘Joy Club’ session focuses on a particular value or theme, which is picked from a list of 60 values compiled by the team of facilitators. Along with providing positive values, the movement also trains students to face and combat adverse situations. The facilitators are very friendly and encourage students to share their life experiences. They are non-judgmental and try to learn from the experiences of the students. Therefore, the movement is a two-way process, which helps both the students as well as the facilitators in becoming better humans.
VSET has been a great success, and is appreciated by parents, teachers and students. Parents are happy to see their young-ones blossoming into responsible and morally strong individuals, while the teachers claim that the movement has instilled confidence and courage in the students and made them more cheerful and caring. However, the best thing about this innovative program is that the students are realizing the importance of positive values; in fact, one of the students said, ‘I now know that to build a good society, every individual has to change and contribute, and for that we ourselves have to become role models.’ Looking at the great success of the program, VSET is planning to implement it in corporate offices and other places to make a positive impact on our society.
Programs like the “Living Values Movement” are imperative today, if we want the human race to survive and prosper. Just sitting there and commenting on the sad state of our social world is not really going to help. Instead, we have to take some strong and positive steps to ensure that our society becomes a safe haven for all the forthcoming generations. Cases like the gang rape case in Delhi reflect the extremely fragile condition of our social fabric, which has been worn very thin. Giving strict and corporal punishment for such inhuman acts is like spraying pesticide on the social plant, when actually the problem is with the roots that need to be tended and well-taken care of, which is what the “Living Values Movement” is doing today, by creating socially-conscious and morally upright citizens.