C-20 Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam National Conference at Chintan Bhawan

Gangtok, May 13 (IPR): The C-20 National Conference – Sikkim Chapter in the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ was organized by the Chinmaya Mission, Sikkim here at Chintan Bhawan, today.
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – World is One Family’ is one of the fourteen Working Groups under C-20 India 2023 that provides space for global Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to deliberate on the application of oneness and explore paradigms of spirituality, culture, regenerative development, minimalism, conflict avoidance and environmental consciousness.
The inaugural session was attended by Governor, Shri Lakshman Prasad Acharya, as chief guest and Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Shri Arun K. Upreti, as the guest of honor, who were accompanied by Minister of Education, Shri Kunga Nima Lepcha, Minister of Roads & Bridges, Shri Samdup Lepcha, Resident Mentor, Chinmaya Mission, Chennai & national coordinator, C-20, Swami Mitranandaji, and Mentor, Chinmaya Mission Mumbai, Pujya Swami Swatmanandaji, on the dais.
Addressing the gathering of students, academicians and members of civil society, Governor, Shri Lakshman Prasad Acharya, said that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, a Sanskrit phrase that translates to ‘World is One Family’, is an ideal that resonates with Indian culture and beliefs and promotes the inclusive vision of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.
He stated that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ emphasizes the idea of universal brotherhood and the interconnectedness of all human beings, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or other social divisions. It promotes the notion of creating a united and functional world that requires a collective commitment to change and a willingness to work together towards common goals.
“It is time for us to collectively work towards handing over to our future generations a world that is not divided, fragmented and dysfunctional, but one that is united, cohesive, and functional,” he added.
He also spoke about how ‘local to global’ must be the direction of progress and further highlighted the need to prioritize sustainable practices in order to combat the global issue of climate change and protect natural resources by adopting clean energy solutions, promoting eco-friendly industries, and adopting sustainable lifestyles.
Stressing the importance of spirituality, culture, and environmental consciousness in today’s world, the Governor hoped that the deliberations of the C20 ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ will imbibe the spirit of oneness at the grassroots. He also expressed gratitude to the Chinmaya Mission and C20 team for organizing the conference in the State.
Speaker, SLA, Shri Arun K. Upreti, in his address, said that the C20 National Conference, under India’s G20 presidency, has been deliberating and incorporating the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to reinforce the unity of humanity through its various Working Groups. The spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ encourages people to transcend narrow boundaries and work towards a world where peace, love, and mutual understanding prevail, he added.
He stated that ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ has found resonance in Sikkimese society and added that the people of Sikkim have managed to maintain a harmonious society by embracing diversity, social equality, environmental consciousness, and community bonds that have contributed to Sikkim’s reputation as a place where different communities can live in harmony.
He further added that the slogan ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ from the Upanishads calls for humanity to take the universal responsibility of creating and handing over a better world to the future generation. He shared his firm belief that conferences of this nature will inspire societies around the world to move towards creating the world as one family where everyone prospers.
The Speaker extended gratitude to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his vision to promote a universal sense of oneness and to encourage concerted efforts to achieve human-centric globalization.
He also thanked Governor Shri Lakshman Prasad Acharya who has been actively engaged in getting first-hand knowledge of the State after assuming his office and expressed gratitude to Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang for his relentless efforts towards preserving and maintaining unity and oneness in the State, while ensuring social, economic and political justice to the people of Sikkim.
He congratulated and thanked the C-20 National Conference – Sikkim Chapter team for having organized this inspirational national conference that delved into essential subjects encompassing compassion and humanity to art and creativity, all harnessing the goal of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
Delivering his keynote address, Resident Mentor, Chinmaya Mission, Chennai & national coordinator, C-20, Swami Mitranandaji, emphasized fostering ‘sadbhavna’ as a means to address social divisions and promoting positive relationships, understanding, and mutual respect among individuals and communities, essential for the overall well-being and progress of society.
Highlighting the theme of the conference, he said that it is important to have a reverential attitude towards Earth and bring ancient Indian ethos into living. He urged for collective efforts from all in ensuring a more sustainable and harmonious future.
On the occasion, the Chinmaya Mission, Sikkim felicitated the chief guest and the guest of honour. Felicitations were also offered to social activists of Sikkim, Shri Lakpa Moktan and Shri Phurba Rinzing Sherpa, for their major contribution as the benevolent sponsors for the C20 National Conference – Sikkim Chapter.
The vote of thanks for the inaugural session was proposed by Executive Member, Chinmaya Mission Sikkim Centre, Shri H.P. Dhakal.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by the General Secretary, of Chinmaya Mission Sikkim, Shri S.K. Sarda.
The inaugural session was followed by three technical sessions on sub-themes – Dharma, Ecology, and Media and Entertainment.
During the first session on the sub-theme ‘Dharma (Spirituality)’, Mentor, Chinmaya Mission Mumbai, Pujya Swami Swatmanandaji, Spiritual Guru, Brahma Kumari, Pujya B.K. Sonam, and Bhutia Linguist, Dr. Tsewang Gystso Bhutia, spoke about how Dharma continues to hold significance in today’s world, providing individuals with a framework for personal growth, meaning, and ethical living.
“Narrow vision is divisive, broad vision is expansive but spirituality is all-inclusive,” said Mentor, Pujya Swami Swatmanandaji.
The second session on the sub-theme ‘Ecology’ had Environmental Scientist, Dr. Ghana Shayem Sharma, Ecologist, Ms. Priyadarshinee Shrestha, and Environmentalist, Dr. Bharat Kumar Pradhan, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and valuing the interdependence and interconnectedness of all life forms and the environment.
The final session on the sub-theme ‘Media and Entertainment’ had Film Director, Shri Ugen Chopel Bhutia, and senior journalists, Shri Karma Palzor, and Shri Nirmal Mangar, delving into the significant role played by media in shaping public perception and fostering a sense of oneness among individuals to promote unity, understanding, and empathy by amplifying diverse voices and perspectives and facilitating healthy dialogue and discussion among individuals.
The speakers were then felicitated for their invaluable insights into their respective sub-themes.
Thereafter, Pujya Swami Swatmanandaji presented a summarization of the conference and informed that the deliberations and suggestions presented by the esteemed speakers will be compiled for discussions in an interaction seminar scheduled to be held in Chennai on 27-28 May, following which the final policy draft will be prepared for submission to the government to present it to the G20 leaders.
Likewise, Executive Member, Chinmaya Mission, Sikkim & team lead, C-20 Sikkim ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, Dr. L.P. Sharma, gave an overview of the initiatives undertaken by Chinmaya Mission, Sikkim.
The programme was also addressed by Vice Chancellor, of ICFAI Sikkim, Dr. Jagannath Patnaik, wherein he shared the learnings and experiences that he gained from Swami Chinmayananda who was his childhood guru. He also spoke about how engaging in compassion and spirituality can be deeply fulfilling and enriching in one’s personal growth.

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