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Celebrating 20 Years of Commitment to Nationbuilding

By Fr. Isaac F. Arackaparambil, SDB
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Mumbai, Jan. 7. The Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) of Value Education for Peace organized its Forty-fifth Knit India live-in at National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), Indore, 28 December 2012. This Knit India was special in a number of ways. Of significance is the fact that this year is the Twentieth year since the foundation of the USM.
In this span of two decades, the movement has not only retained its charisma but has refueled its determination to help youngsters, teachers, religious and clergy to form visions, goals, and policies for personal transformation so as to make a social, national and eventually a global impact in creating a civilization of love.

Unlike other Knit Indias this year the USM Core Committee decided to limit the number of participants from each school to three students and a teacher and principal. The participants who were to attend were to be a selected group of youngsters who either had previously attended the Leadership Training Programme of the USM, or had a previous Knit India experience. This was done with the intention of making the programme more intense and so that it could serve as a follow-up of the trainings imparted to these students. It was also meant to reinforce the core values for personal transformation in the minds and hearts of these students who would eventually be the torch bearers for the movement.

A special emphasis during this Forty-fifth Knit India was on providing students the opportunity to share and listen to the many testimonies of personal transformation from among the students and teachers themselves. This was carried out through a number of panel sessions, and these sessions were chaired by different moderators and chief guests respectively. The entire assembly was enriched not only by the sharings from the students and teachers, but also from the beautiful insights imparted by the chief guests.
A special motivational session on - 'Becoming Role Models and Leaving a Legacy to Transform Lives' was conducted by Fr. Isaac Arackaparambil, SDB. With concrete examples of young legacy makers, he invited the participants to have a broad perspective to everything they did in life in a way that would make them look beyond their personal and family interests so as to adopt a mindset that reached out to humanity and the universe as a whole. ''I have learnt that we need not be someone big to do big things, but can start from where we are right now, provided we have a cause to work for.'', said Yash Jain a student from Bharatmata Convent Ganjabasoda after he listened to the motivational session.

An occurrence of great significance at this Knit India became a landmark event for the USM - the LAUNCH OF THE HONESTY FOUNDATION. December 30, 2012, saw the Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) providing the platform for the launch of the Honesty Foundation in the presence of Mrs. Anuradha Shankar IPs, IG, Indore who was the Chief Guest, and Rt. Rev. Dr. Chacko Thottumarickal, Bishop of Indore, who was the Guest of Honour for the occasion. (For more details on this please refer to BIS report #3305)
Another significance of the forty-fifth Knit India was that it celebrated the Shashti Purthi, i.e the completion of sixty years of the life of USM's founder and national co-ordinator, Fr. Varghese Alengaden on December 30, 2012. It was overwhelming to see the number of well-wishers who came to felicitate Fr. Varghese from all over Indore, comprising Rotarians, Gandhians, Social Activists, Educationalists, Journalists, including the Inspector General and Bishop of Indore. Every one appreciated Fr. Varghese and the USM for its yeoman service to the nation. Mr. Narindra Virmani IPS (Rted) noted that the USM was sowing the seeds of change while imparting enlightened leadership among the young students of India.

Prof. R. D. Prasad, Gandhian, Educationalist and Social Worker in his felicitation address, appreciated Fr. Varghese and the USM for having identified the core issue of decline in character as the root cause of societal deterioration, and for helping children sustain innocence through the USM mission. Rt. Rev. Dr. Chacko Thottumarickal, Bishop of Indore appreciated the movement for the great work and assured Fr. Varghese of his continual support.

Mrs. Anuradha Shankar IPs, IG, Indore appreciated Fr. Varghese for the love and dedication he invested in the USM mission towards Nation Building. The inspiring felicitations to Fr. Varghese Alengaden on the occasion of his Sashti Purthi were a grand tribute to the meaningfulness, relevance and impact of the Movement of Universal Solidarity.

The forty-fifth Knit India in the twentieth year of this movement has proved to be a milestone that has reinforced the conviction among the USM members that the cause for which the movement was established is a truly viable engine for creating India at its best. Congratulations to the entire USM fraternity for its untiring energy, conviction and commitment towards hoping and working towards this end.
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