Monday, February 13, 2012

When hearts connected!

Lok (n): The people
Niketan (n): Abode
Lok-Niketan: The abode of the people.

A few days ago, 19 volunteers from 6 different countries decided to travel to our sister organization 'LokNiketan' based in North Gujarat. With no expectations, but only open hearts we set out to see a few of their communities but found ourselves in an ocean of love. The vastness of Harisinh Chevda's work left us dumbfounded as we literally found ourselves in the 'Abode of the people'. 

What started with 18 students in 1961 has now blossomed into a a community of 28 institutions across 12 towns and villages that provide the underprivileged with education from kindergarten to bachelors and masters degrees. Various spontaneous interactions over the two days were the highlight of the trip though. Mika, from Hawaii inspired school boys to learn how to juggle, Carolin from France spoke to an audience of 700 students in Gujarati and a simple suggestion resulted in tribal women and girls showing the visitors how to dance!

As our group travelled from place to place, the instant love was something to be witnessed. A tribal family opened its doors to offer us fresh salad from their farm and the next day we travelled with 200 young boys in a truck to visit different organizations involved in inspiring work with their communities.

The real magic, wasn't in seeing the fantastic processes and infrastructure in place. It was in witnessing how people of diverse backgrounds and journeys connected with each other with a common goal of seeing the good in everyone. It seemed like this was only the start of a deep connection between groups of people. As a wise man once said - the real work lies in connecting the hearts of people, for the heart is one. When we see that unity through love, we suddenly realize the power of co-operation, and the illusion of scarcity is no more. 

What will manifest out of these connections is yet to be seen, but I am certain it is only the beginning of something beautiful and powerful.


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