The sacred text (Sutra) of Taittiriya Upanishad – “YUVA SWAT, SADHU YUVA ADHYAYIK, ASHISTHO, DRADHISTHO, BALISHTAH” had a profound effect on the life of our beloved Bhai ji (Late S. N. Subba Rao). Giving the example of this sutra, Bhai ji always used to say that ‘be young, well natured, intelligent enough to teach, hopeful, optimistic nor pessimistic, healthy enough to eat and digest everything, strong bodies as well as strong-willed.
The National Youth Project emerged from the peace building and youth process in the Chambal valley of Madhya Pradesh. In the year 1970, some youth workers met at the Mahatma Gandhi Seva Ashram at Joura, a small town in the once dacoit affected Chambal Valley in Madhya Pradesh. As most of the dreaded dacoits took to their wretched life in their youth, the Chambal area was selected for the meeting so as to divert the youth’s energy for constructive work. (The Ashram had played host to hundreds of notorious dacoits (bandits) surrendering to Gandhian principles). A series of youth camp organized nearby the Joura in ravines before the dacoits surrender and during their rehabilitation program. Meanwhile, the consensus was, that the one force that can help build an India free from these shortcomings is the youth of the country. Hence the need for a National Youth Movement that is free from religious, linguistic, regional bias and from prejudices of political ideologies.
The National Youth Project:
As in many other countries, in India too, thousands of youths came out with dedication and sacrifice to join the struggle for freedom and the motivating force then was to free their country from foreign rule. Now it should be to free their country from the shortcomings like forces that intentionally and unintentionally causing the disintegration of the country, widespread violence, criminalization of politics, Corruption in public and private life, Economic and social disparities, Poverty, unemployment, over population, Superstition, ignorance, Gender discrimination, Environmental problems, Drugs addiction, alcoholism, which threaten the social fabric of our country. Activities that will help build the espirt-de-corps among the youths include community work for the benefit of the needy, all-religious prayers and learning each other’s language, singing patriotic songs for national integration. Youths will have other activities devoted to the process of making a family of youths belonging to all religions, regions, languages and political thinking.
The Name of the movement: National Youth Project – (NYP), launched with its office in the Mahatam Gandhi Sewa Ashram in the year 1970 under the directorship of Late S.N.Subba Rao (Our beloved Bhai ji), who had devoted his whole life for national building activities especially by mobilizing youth power.
In the year 1992 National Youth Project Trust was registered under Public Trust Act in Delhi and founder trustee were Late S.N. Subba Rao, Rammurti ji and Ran Singh Parmar.
The youths could establish that in spite of differences due to religion, caste, language or status they could lie together and be friendly to one another, bringing forth living meaning to the spirit of “Unity in Diversity”. After their experience in the NYP camps the youths themselves felt that their life became more meaningful when they participated in nation building activities.
Realizing the potential of youth power for national integration, brother-sisterhood, communal harmony, environmental security, relief to needy community the National Youth Project is organizing youth camps across the country and abroad also. The camps can be divided into different thematic area:
- National Integration Camp
- Communal Harmony Camps
- Literacy Camps
- Relief Camps for victims of riots
- Building houses for victims of earthquakes and floods
- Women’s camp
- Camps for Self Employment skills
- Camps for Management course
- South East Asia Friendship Camp
- Camps on Wheels
- Camps in Abroad
Profile of N.Y.P Camp:
On an average, there are 250 to 500 young men and women in a camp. Some camps had more than 2,000 participants. One at Kevadia, Gujrat 23,500 youth worked for planting trees on the mountains in the year 1988 and the camp at Anandpur Sahib in the year 1999 had 2546 participants from 29 States, One in Jaipur in June, 2000 had 1221 and another in Sikkim in December 2000 had 1035 youths. The camp routine is like:
- Wake up early morning and sing the youth song
- Flag Salutation and Work in community on a select project for 2 to 4 hours
- Learn each other’s language : 1 hour
- Talks and discussion: 1 and half hours
- Play games suitable for India : 1 hour
- Exchange talents with others: 45 minutes
- All religions prayers : 45 minutes
- Cultural programmes : 1 hour
- Village visit during the camp
Camps are usually for 5 to 10 days.
Camps on Wheels
For the first time in the history of mankind an experiment was made to inculcate Sadbhavana (goodwill) among the various sections of people, utilizing youth power and carrying it on rail tracks. Under the inspiring leadership of Dr SN Subba Rao, National Youth Project launched the Goodwill Mission, known as the Sadbhavana Rail Yatra in collaboration with the Government of India. 2500 young men and women from 26 states of India and a few from outside, speaking different languages, having different religious and cultural background with different political views and coming from different strata of society, toured the length and breadth of this vast country, covering 21 states. They lived 12 months in the Special Train as members of one family, transcending all differences. The First Phase of the Sadbhavana Mission was for 8 months-2nd October 1993 to 31 May 1994, followed by 2 months each in the year 1995 and 1996. Their mission was to spread the message of love, peace, friendship, and communal harmony, brotherhood of man and world peace.
The Sadbhavana Rail Yatra was a grand success, and more than 70 lakhs people received the message. It was welcomed by all religious and socio political groups, District collectors, business houses, educational institution including 33 universities and a large number of governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Transcending geographical barriers, NYP has expanded its family to countries like America, Canada, London, Germany, Israel, Shri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia and has been working for international understanding and world peace.
NYP Children’s Festivals:
Realizing the potential of children’s education to promote National Integration and Communal Harmony the NYP has been organizing Children’s Festivals on National level. Children between 8-12 years from different States are brought to one place; they are given some programmes/ activities to mingle with other children speaking different language during day time. They are sent out in the evening to stay with the local children. They will be brought in the morning again to the meeting place to play and work together with other children. The teachers who accompany the children are sprite from them on their arrival at the meeting place The Anatar Bharati friends join hands with NYP.
NYP Follow up program:
The basis of NYP prorgammes is the the adage, “Think Globally, Act Locally”. The minimum programmes for NYP members are:
|First Saturday evening||Intellectual programmes-talks, debate, book review, symposium etc.|
|Second Sunday morning||Manual work project to benefit the needy|
|Third Saturday evening||All religions prayers followed by cultural programme|
|Fourth Sunday afternoon||Field activities- Drill, Games etc.|
NYP has its headquarters in Mahatma Gandhi Sewa Ashram, Joura: 476221, Dist. Morena (M.P) and the registered office of the NYP Trust is 221, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi-110002