(This write-up can be found at the Disha Arambh website: http://dishaarambh.org/)
‘All I know is this: once I was blind and now I can see.’…..John IX. 24-26 (The New English Bible)
‘India’, a fast developing globalised India, is a land with variegated dimensions. Its hallmark diversity and plurality, generally construed in anthropogenic and cultural terms, are also manifest in every whit of the general social and economic fabric that weans its persona.
The second-most populous country with over 1.18 billion people; the most populous democracy in the world; one of the fastest growing major economies in the world; and the second most favourable outsourcing destination after the United States; India is still grappling with the largest concentration of poor people in the world! Although the Indian economy has picked up much-desired momentum in the preceding decades; its growth is ruefully still lop-sided when comparing different social and economic groups, geographical regions, and rural and urban areas. A country, celebrating its 64th Independence Day today, has still ‘miles to go ahead’ before it sleeps!
Education, food, shelter, basic health care, employment, potable drinking water, children and women welfare, still remain an elusive dream for the vast multitude of masses that lay at the heart and soul of an India of the new millennium. The existing squalor and abject poverty of these ‘amputated souls of India’ are woefully exacerbated by the skyrocketing price rise to the extent that even ‘hope becomes a dream’. Disasters, floods, droughts, earthquakes, visit this South Asian giant landmass as frequent as Hillary Clinton’s sojourn in West Asia and Afghanistan. The ‘real India’, the ‘poor India’, the ‘deprived India’ and the ‘aggrieved India’; is overshadowed, camouflaged and relegated into oblivion by the new ‘rejuvenated India’, ‘shining India’, the ‘smug India’ and the ‘well preened India’, typified by pockets of affluence with the perfunctory welfare state losing its avowed track mid-way and inadvertently relinquishing its commitment to deliver what was promised. An akratic sordid saga of pain sans any prosthetic, and stifled aspirations of a better life, lie beneath the veneer of ‘Mera Bharat Mahaan’ and ‘I Love My India’ campaigns.
Truth, as always, is seldom sweet or palatable, yet it makes sane minds cogitate. Understanding the casus belli and sincere admittance of reality is the first stride towards the realization of solution and resuscitate what has gone wrong or off the track. ‘DISHA ARAMBH (Initiation of new Direction) Towards Humanism’ is one such modicum step in this direction. It is a conflux where the best of minds and activists have pooled in with the subterranean zeitgeist to enable one and everyone realise dreams, however big or small they are! It is this that imparts us a precocious outlook. Our slogan, “I, We, Us” sums up best ‘what’ we are and ‘why’ we are. Its time our ‘individualism’ combines for ‘collective’ good. Let the ethos of ‘humanism’ with the props of human values and benevolent concerns permeate and prevail catalyzing lightened up faces and smiles emerging as spoors of our effort.
The brainchild and fruition of the vision of a group of Delhi University alumnus, comprising academicians, intellectuals and promising corporate professionals, DISHA ARAMBH Towards Humanism (DATH) as a non-profit organization (NPO/NGO) came into being in the year 2010. With a mandate to operate in a wide array of social and philanthropic causes at pan-India level, the registered office of DATH is located in New Delhi, India, with international chapters in Nottingham and London in the United Kingdom; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa. With the twin principles of human values and compassion as its bedrock and unwavering will to ‘serve humanity’ at its vanguard, DATH derives its core strength from the seriousness of purpose and convergence of intent towards the accomplishment of cherished goals.
The very raison d’être of DISHA ARAMBH Towards Humanism (DATH) is to bring the downtrodden, weaker and marginalised sections of the society into the mainstream ‘way of life’…..A life where poverty, hunger, illness and illiteracy, no longer remains the dampener and every man, woman and child gets all the ingredients for holistic development …..A life where ‘security’ in all its possible connotations is ensconced with stasis, fear and uncertainty, becoming a thing of the past.
Any endeavour becomes meaningful, forceful and more concerted when it becomes the ‘mission’ of several individuals, sharing the common vision. DISHA ARAMBH Towards Humanism seeks the cooperation of every like-minded person or group so that its pursuit of goal yields optimum results. Let ‘I’ merge into ‘we’ and ‘we’ metamorphose into ‘us’ as such like-mindedness becomes propellants of change in the direction of betterment. Your association with our cause can not only add to our strength and determination, it can be instrumental in ushering qualitative difference to the lives of several souls.
“He Who Saves One Life, Saves the World Entire”………….. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)
(The writer is General Secretary at Disha Arambh Towards Humanism, a pan-India NPO/NGO dedicated to the destitute, aged, orphans, women and child welfare with special emphasis on vocational training.)