27 September, 2022

SCI India West Bengal group celebrating International Peace Day 2022

By SCI India, West Bengal State Group

If you want to make Peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner – Nelson Mandela

Like every year, this year also SCI India, West Bengal State Group, organised a seminar on peace to observe the peace day. It was joyfully inaugurated by a hymn followed by a song of Rabindranath Tagore: “The sky is full of stars, the universe is full of energy, amidst it I find my existence, I am amazed and composed the song…” The audience was engrossed.

A speaker on the podium

Tapas welcomed the participants and narrated a brief history of SCI and its present activities. He also requested the audience to become a member of our organization. He said not to learn everything through a dictionary and list vocabulary, be receptive to your intuitions. Write your own dictionary with passion and see your thoughts manifested in the real world. You become an instrument in the hand of time and space doing your duties. Make this planet a better place for our children. The supreme consciousness will provide you energy. Your aura will expand, your domain will expand. Voluntarism is the way. Join us. Find a different way of life with SCI.

The welcome speech was followed by a dance of disadvantaged children of a slum called Lalkuthi.

Children dancing

The audience

The audience

The following oath was read out by Soumyadip Sur and repeated by all:

On this International Day of Peace, I declare my commitment to, and my local participation in the global efforts to usher in the Culture of Peace.

For my commitment to be strong and my participation effective:

I will actively practice peace and non-violence in my daily life.

I will respect the thinking, beliefs and culture of all human beings.

I will treat everyone with equality and tolerance, and foster mutual understanding and sharing.

I will introduce the concept of culture of peace through constructive action and encourage others’ participation.

I will support organisations working to bring a social change toward peace, non-violence, understanding and sharing.

I will strive relentlessly to firm my courage, patience, and motivation.

I am aware that peace is not a one-time goal, but a continuous process.

I also realise that, while replacing the culture of war with the culture of peace is not an easy task, millions of people through thousands of organisations are working across the world to bring about this change. 

I would request you all to repeat a few lines after me. Thank you.

In solidarity with these global efforts, I take a solemn oath to fulfil the promises in the aforesaid declaration with courage and a clear conscience, and without any pressure or prejudice.  May my efforts, and this life-long journey on the path of peace, succeed.

Amities, Thank you.

Speaker on the podium

6 guest speakers were felicitated with flowers and mementoes. Then the guest speakers express their views on.

Mrs. Swapna Chaudhury, educationist and writer said peace is a small word but it has a great depth. To promote peace everyone has to take initiatives. The conflict and war takes place through a complex process. At present as per every 4 seconds 1 person is dying out of hunger. There is a severe food crisis in Africa. India is in 101 positions in the index of hunger. We have to be rational and limit our wants. In daily life we face conflicts often due to lack of morality and honesty. We have to improve our behaviour and tolerance.

Speaker on podium talking

Mrs. Jonaki Banerjee, Principal, said we need to be satisfied with our own resources. He said if we suddenly find 99 coins, we get busy making 100. This is our nature and this causes many conflicts. We also need to be open minded and courageous. We need to learn to accept others and be pluralistic.

Dr. Kunal Sen, Economist, said once we had strong community sense, we used to use our wealth collectively but now we are highly self centred and losing the sense of community. The difference between rich and poor is stiffly growing higher. Corona has tremendously hit the economy, the poor people have lost their jobs, on the other hand with the war the petroleum cost is so high that transport cost is increasing by leaps and bounds and there have been a hike in cost of food and daily life supporting material. Hence the common people are under tremendous pressure. Different religions of the world have been preaching for peace for a very long time but yet we are far from a peaceful world. War and insurgency are going on in different parts of the world. However as per the appeal of UNO there should be no fight today, at least there should be peace in the world for today. He said Gandhi introduced the non-violence, Tagore spoke about internationalism and humanity. But still we are in this subcontinent far from peace in South East Asia. He further mentioned about the domestic violence and exploitation of women in the workplace. There are a large number of rapes reported. To have peace we have to be always alert so that a single case can’t escape the attention of legal consequences and we have to empower the woman. 

A group of people on the podium reciting potery

Katha, Leander, Malte and jointly Luisa recited 4 poetries on Peace

Prof. Rathindranath Chaudhury said that war is not the only aspect that disrupts peace, the natural calamities, the unjust social conditions, illness, poverty and corruption in the society also cause lots of tension in our life. We have to improve our administration, we need to be courageous, patient but determined to have a just society so that the quality of life can be improved and be peaceful. This year the theme of Peace day is End Racism. Build peace. The racism is still persisting, many times we see it manifested in different parts of the world. We have to eradicate it. 

Dr. Swapan Sur, Veterinary surgeon, said so long there will be poverty and hunger there will be no peace in people’s minds. He said in a country like India, the difference between rich and poor is increasing. Where 35% of people are not educated, how can you expect peace? So we must take care of education and life skill generation.

Tapas Sur thanked him for his help to run a goat rearing project which was quite beneficial for so many poor villagers.

The president Mr. Bikash Chal, thanked everybody for their time and participation in the peace day programme.

A speaker

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