Kathakar and Religious Social Responsibility: Pledge for WASH
Pujya Swamiji recently graced a huge Shreemad Bhagawad Katha by Pujya Rameshbhai Ozaji (Bhaishriji) in the Gandhi Maidan, which is situated at the very heart and centre of Bihar’s capital, Patna. During the event, Pujya Swamiji emphasized how the true completion of the katha only happens when we leave the nearby premises clean and green. He inspired thousands of participants and especially called upon the organizers of the event to carry out a thorough clean-up, ensuring that there was not a single piece of trash left from the event. Pujya Swamiji also spoke to the large audience gathered about the importance of clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as so much illness and death could be prevented if these practices were taken up, and incorporated into our educational curriculum. He also inspired the Adhyatmik Seva Sangh Samiti, the committee organizing the katha, to adopt the Gandhi Maidan during the monsoon and to plan a massive tree plantation and greening drive to make the huge field lush and beautiful for all future events.
Pujya Bhaishriji was deeply touched by Pujya Swamiji’s message and shared his continual support for the cause by giving several examples on the importance of keeping both our surroundings and our selves clean and free from pollution. He shared that in 1993, when Pujya Swamiji and Pujya Bhaishriji traveled together extensively, during one of their visits there was a beautiful katha planned in Round Wood Park, London. The committee who rented out the venue to them were very hesitant and afraid to give the space to Indians, as they knew that they would have it returned littered with trash. Being aware of this tragic stereotype, Pujya Swamiji and Pujya Bhaishriji personally got together with all the saints to plan a major clean-up of the whole venue after the katha. Of course, when the participants got word of the saints’ plan, they felt deeply apologetic and came very early the next morning to clean the whole space before the saints got there. Pujya Bhaishriji personally reaffirmed his commitment to the Swachh Bharat Mission and shared that during every katha he would continue to speak about and raise awareness on this vital issue.
They also discussed extensively other components of “Kathakar Social Responsibility” (KSR) [like corporations’ Corporate Social Responsibility] and ways to utilize and channel the masses through their revered and respected faith leaders to be moved into action.
Pujya Swamiji also meet with Bharat Sadhu Samaj’s Secretary, Pujya Swami Harinarayandasji, to discuss ways in which Religious Social Responsibility (RSR) can not only fuel Human Social Responsibility (HSR) but also School Social Responsibility (SSR). They discussed the upcoming Kumbha Mela and how to work with Bharat Sadhu Samiti (BSS), a national level committee of India’s revered saints and religious leaders, to keep Kumbha Mela grounds in Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain clean, green and serene.
Pujya Swamiji also graced BSS’s Secondary Sanskrit Vidyala in Patna and inspired all the beautiful and young students to take the pledge for WASH, and to start cleanliness drives from their school, expanding into their homes and their families.