Vivekananda's warriors in the times of Covid-19 pandemic: What is Young India doing during lockdown?

    19-May-2020
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Swami Vivekananda as a beacon is guiding all of us through his writings, which are very much relevant even after 121 years, the young warriors will keep contributing to society in these tough times and motivating society to fight the Covid-19 pandemic happily and fearlessly
 
Rahul Chaudhary
 
Since time immemorial, sufferings have been part of human life. Even the Gods and greatest of men born on the planet have faced hardships and inspired generations to emerge triumphant after times of distress. The outbreak of novel Coronavirus and subsequently its declaration as a global pandemic created unrest all over the world. Since this epidemical virus affects individuals with comparative weak immunity system, international bodies and countries have been looking forward hopefully towards the youth to come out and support their governments in this fight considering their higher immunity strength.
 
When India started detecting more Covid-19 positive cases the government decided to go under a complete lockdown given the density of population in cities and a large population size which makes every resource looks little while dealing with a contagious disease. India is also a home to nearly 600 Millions young population which is the biggest resource this country possesses. On March 16th 2020, the national magazine 'the Organiser' published the 'PLAGUE MANIFESTO' written by Swami Vivekananda during the Bengal Famine. It is not arcane knowledge that Swami Vivekananda is idealized as a source of inspiration by Indian Youth. The re-publication of the manifesto spread widely and young India obtained better clarity gradually on how they can contribute in the fight against coronavirus.
 
The announcement of 21 days Lockdown was not perceived by anyone which left a lot of people stranded at their places. Everyone eventually understood that this necessary and unavoidable lockdown will add to mass sufferings of people so it casts even more responsibility on everyone to serve our countrymen including students & daily wage labourers away from their homes and with no source of income to feed them with even one square meal every day, medical urgencies etc. etc.
 
Young India acknowledged this call to the nation and prepared itself to tackle the issues that may pop up while enforcing the Lockdown. On the very next day of announcement of Lockdown, we could see thousands of youngsters, across the country, out on road with masks and gloves to distribute food and ration kits to indigent people and feed stray animals also. They not only distributed food items but also taught people on how to wash hands effectively and the created awareness about the need to stay clean and hygienic to win over this disease.
 
WHO guidelines and our government emphasized on the use of masks to contain the spread of the virus. As soon as this news came out, there was panic amongst citizens on availability of masks and the inability to afford masks. The 'Young Maatra Shakti' of this country took charge and started stitching cloth masks at home which was soon a national phenomenon. These 3 layer masks are washable and reusable any number of times. These were distributed to the most vulnerable section who are on streets and living in slum areas. This implies that the Yuva Bharat envisioned the panic it can create and acting on manifesto they worked to contain the fear of the people and ensured them you are not alone in this fight we will fight this challenging time together.
 
50,000 cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC) have so far volunteered to contribute to the ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’. 2000 Cadets have been engaged as 'Corona Warriors'. The National Service Scheme (NSS) has issued a list of officers in every state who are co-ordinating with local administration and State Governments. In Indore, which is one of the major hotspots in the country, 120 Karyakartas from AkhilBhartiyaVidyarthiParishad (ABVP) have been trained by the administration to assist in carrying out day to day relief activities.
 
The fight is not only on the ground but on digital platforms too. A lot of Miscreants float misinformation and sometimes fake news which dismays the senior citizens and family members the young brigade is working effectively and tirelessly to counter the propaganda and cheering up all seniors by clearing the cloud of distress.
 
Young India is not only contributing through physical service but also donated out of their earnings, savings and pocket money whatever amount they could in the PM CARES Fund, State CM Relief Fund etc. Junior golfer ArjunBhati auctioned his Golf Shoes and Trophies that he has won till date and donated the amount he raised. ABVP Gauhati unit karyakarta, Rima Ghosh, donated the savings for her marriage in Assam Government Relief Fund, this is the level of motivation to fight this pandemic that these youth warriors are not even thinking before giving up anything that is so emotionally dear to them.
 
There are many young individuals and youth organisations, students organisations who have been contributing at their level in every way with there cadre strength and capacity. Research scholars and M.Sc. students from Department of Chemistry, Manipur University manufactured hand sanitizers based on the WHO formula and distributed more than 12500 Bottles of 100ml each. This was supported by Manipur University and Government of Manipur.
 
More importantly, the young medical –paramedical staff, security forces, health workers have been working tirelessly which we all collectively must not only acknowledge but also appreciate and raise a cheer for our 'Corona Warriors' for their round the clock word to support the motherland in adverse time.
 
ABVP being the world’s largest students organisation with its unique working style has gone one step further and it has not only carried out 'Seva Activities' (service to the nation) but also created digital platforms through which students have been not only learning through online lecture series of academicians, professionals, policymakers etc but also they are demonstrating their talents through online competitions like Poster Making, Speech Delivery, Nail Art Painting, Quiz and many more. Jharkhand State Unit of ABVP is running online competition classes, ABVP Shimla has taken up traditional dress competition. The youngsters from across the country are participating in large numbers which not helps them in improving skills but it has been helpful in making this shutdown period cheerful.
 
In a glimpse, ABVP is carrying out Seva activities in more than 610 Districts, 11464 Places with help of 104247 Volunteers. 4800 ABVP Volunteers have donated Blood in different states and all state units of ABVP have contributed an amount of Rs 88,50,613/- in the PM CARES Fund. Till date, ABVP has attended 65741 Helpline Calls and delivered ration kits and Food to 13,29,551 beneficiaries.
 
With this spirit, the fight is on at all fronts and Swami Vivekananda as a beacon guiding all of us through his writings which are very much relevant even after 121 years, the young warriors will keep contributing in these tough times without fearing the consequences and motivate society to fight happily and fearlessly.