“Men, men, these are wanted: everything else will be ready, but strong, vigorous, believing young men, sincere to the backbone, are wanted.”
“It is man-making religion that we want. It is man-making theories that we want. It is man-making education all around that we want.”
“All power is within you; you can do anything and everything. Believe in that, do not believe that you are weak..”
The above quotes are taken from two of Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring lectures – ‘My Plan of Campaign’ and ‘The Work Before Us’ – both delivered after his triumphant return to India from the West in 1897. Swami Vivekananda laid his hope on the youth of our country to regenerate India and revolutionize the world.
The Youth Programmes Department of the Institute organizes a range of value-laden education programmes to spread the invigorating message of Swami Vivekananda based on the Indian ethos. The activities of the department are summarised below:
1. YOUTH CONFERENCES: The department organizes youth conferences in all 20 districts of Bengal. Books on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda are distributed to all participants. Elocution, recitation, art and music competitions are held and prizes are distributed at these conferences.
2. CENTRAL YOUTH CONFERENCE: This is usually held once a year at the Institute and is attended primarily by the youth from Kolkata and areas in close proximity to Kolkata.
3. CONFERENCES FOR TEACHERS, PARENTS AND GUARDIANS: These important conferences are held to enlighten teachers, parents, and guardians about the needs of youth in contemporary times.
4. ACADEMIC COUNSELLING: : The Institute organizes counselling for such students who are unable to focus on their academic careers through the services of a leading psychiatrist, Dr Nilanjana Sanyal, and her team of resource persons including a clinical psychologist. Over 100 students take advantage of this service every year.
5. VIVEKANANDA ANUSHEELAN: This is a forum for young people aged between 15 and 30 years. The aim is to study the spiritual, cultural, and aesthetic values of India in light of the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Every Saturday the group meets between 4.00 pm and 5.30 pm.
6. PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: The Department offers a programme on personality development for youth.
7. VIVEK CHETANA RATH – MOBILE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN UNIT: A beautifully decorated float to disseminate the message of Swami Vivekananda in far flung areas was launched in September 2014 with financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The Rath travels to the various districts of West Bengal (including remote areas) and uses the audio-visual format to communicate to the masses. Video shows on a variety of themes (Lives and Teachings, Belur Math, Personality Development, etc.) have received good response from the rural youth.