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UNMESH - Literature, Language and Philosophy

Essay Competitions:

2011: To commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, a state level multilingual essay competition in English, Konkani and Marathi was held during the Indradhanush 2011.

Panel Discussions on Tagore

2012: To commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekanada, a state level multilingual essay competition in English, Konkani and Marathi was held in connection with the workshop “Swami Vivekananda: Realizing Self potential and Redefining Success” on 8 September 2012. Prof Debashish Mazumdar spoke about the overwhelming response from the youth, and nature of articulated thoughts in the submitted essays. Jennifer Furtado (Margao), Veronica Coutinho (Miramar) and Snehal Gurav (Morjim) took away the first three positions and won cash prizes respectively of rupees 4000/-, 3000/-, and 2000/-. Two consolation prizes of Rs. 500/- each were won by Clarissa de Souza (St. Cruz) and Deesha Suresh Patel (Vasco). 

Panel discussion on Vivekananda:

Three Steps to Realize Self Potential: Outlining the tremendous achievement made during his short life tenure of only 39 years, Swami Raghaveshananda Maharaj, President of the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Belgaum, discussed the vision of Swami Vivekananda that includes universalism, tolerant, humanistic and inclusive socio-religious growth during a workshop held in Panaji recently. His holiness the Maharaj was delivering the keynote speech at the day-long workshop on “Swami Vivekananda: Realizing Self potential and Redefining Success”, organized by the city based Ganga Zuari Academy on Saturday last (8 September) in a city auditorium to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Earlier, welcoming the workshop participants the president of the Academy, Dr. Ranadhir Mukhopadhyay set the tone of the congregation in high pitch, by describing Vivekananda as the architect of practical Vedanta, who had the courage to challenge the impracticality and abstractness of Advaita philosophy. Connecting to the present day, Dr. Mukhopadhyay stressed that the cultural and spiritual integration can remove deficit of trust from the society and help derive maximum benefit from present day economic and scientific progress. And who could be better than Swami Vivekananda to lead the people in this endeavor? The patron of the Academy, Dr Maria Emilia Menezes in her inaugural speech spoke about the basic purpose of the workshop, which was to examine the relevance of thoughts and teachings of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) in today’s world, and to identify essential elements required to build a good human being in the Society.

Emphasizing on morality, respect, and empathy, Raghaveshananda Maharaj repeated the famous words of Vivekananda and told the participants that ‘all power is within you, you can do anything and everything. Believe in you, and do not believe that you are weak. Have faith in yourself and contemplate Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram with concentration, sincerity and faith’. To realize self potential, he prescribed every human being to follow three basic steps—purity of mind, perseverance in effort and patience in approach. He encouraged workshop participants, an interesting mixture of youth and old, to ‘dream’ not when you are asleep, but dream that will not allow you to sleep. The dream then needs to be consolidated into a rational ‘plan’, with strategic ‘action’ steps. Giving several examples from the life of Vivekananda, he spoke at length on the mental strength, determination and honesty of the monk that gave him the power to urge the world to come out of narrow religious compartments and work for common goal- ‘the humanity’. Vivekananda’s message and speeches had deep practical social implications. On Redefining success, Raghaveshananda Maharaj told that there is no short cut to success. One needs to toil hard to become a successful person. It is not how much one has taken from the society to become rich or successful, but the measure of success should be on how much the person has given back to the society. Success is a journey, not the destination.

Later in the day, a panel discussion on realizing self potential and an interactive session on redefining success brought interesting discussion. Taking examples from mundane daily life, an active audience kept the ball rolling only to be stopped by time limit.

The cultural magazine of the Ganga Zuari Academy- ‘Indradhanush’- was released by Swami Raghaveshananda during the workshop. Mr. D N Naik, the grandson of the late Mohan Das Naik in whose house in Margao, Swami Vivekananda stayed for few days in 1892 to study the Christian philosophy in Rachel Seminary, was felicitated. The workshop, which started with a voluntary blood donation camp in the morning, ended on a pleasant jugalbandi note of Sitar (Prof Manab Das) and Shehnai (Promod Gaikwad), accompanied on table by Mayuresh Vasta. Neeta Mazumdar anchored the entire program, while Nilima Chatterjee proposed the vote of thanks.

Konkani Class:

For the second successive year, the Panaji based Ganga-Zuari Academy conducted the Conversational Konkani Learning Class for the new-Goans and resident non-Goans. The 20-hours long course, distributed over ten Sundays spanning between 23 May and 4 July 2010, was deftly handled by the resource person Ms. Lata Naik (a Grade I teacher from Marcela). The classes were held at the NIO Club House in Dona Paula.
This is probably one of those unique activities by any cultural organization outside the government initiative that aims to understand the importance of assimilation in the society, in terms of mind, thoughts and expressions. “Language is basically a bridge that connects people and generates faith. It cements the bond and nurtures the trust”- Dr. Mukhopadhyay, the vice-president of the Academy articulated. In good old days, trust was not in shortage and rays of knowledge could penetrate the integrated life easily. But then something happened. Suspicion, the step-brother of trust, emerged that disturbed the balance. As a result, rays of knowledge flowing through the language, now dissipate and loose its purity. Thus today we have divided Society, imbalanced house and estranged human-being.

This Society lacks faith and trust, and this need to be repaired. The Ganga-Zuari Academy is experimenting at this critical juncture to repair the relationship in the society through language. “Dozens of students got benefited from this course”- a beaming student spoke to us with the completion certificate in her hand. The Course coordinator, Ms Nilima Chatterjee (a non- Goan school teacher from Calangute but fluent in Konkani) was found quite happy with the Course and accedes to conduct more such Courses in future. Glimpses of the program is given in Photo gallery

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Ganga Zuari Academy - Panaji - Goa - India