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21 May 2006

“From Development Work to Social Change" Seminar









A ground-breaking trainer’s seminar was held in Manila, Maharlika (Philippines) on May 10-11: “From Development Work to Social Change: The Way to Establish a Proutist Society.” More than 60 participants came from each part of Maharlika and the other countries of Southeast Asia, including dadas, didis, development workers, political activists and project directors.

P.R. Sarkar (Baba) came to help all human beings develop spiritually. However people suffering absolute poverty or devastated by natural calamities are mentally unable to meditate or do other spiritual practices. Hence AMURT as well as many other service organizations set up disaster relief operations and long term development projects to help those in need.

AMURT has achieved some incredible successes recently. Following the Tsunami, it has channeled more than US$2 million into successful projects in Indonesia and earned one of the best reputations in the country. Baba’s Foundation in Mindanao island, Maharlika has provided successful microcredit loans to more than 2,000 small farmers. Similarly large development projects in Africa, Haiti and other places are extremely valuable.

Yet all the relief work on the planet is not stopping the increase of poverty. The global economy has been designed to make sure the rich get richer. For every dollar of “aid” that is given to developing countries, it is estimated that ten dollars are taken out in forms of lucrative contracts, interest payments, corruption, etc.

We need to raise consciousness about the myths that are being propagated and the reality of what the developed countries and the global financial institutions are doing. And our development work must be a stepping-stone for establishing a just society free from exploitation.

In 1988 Baba said to Dada Nirgunananda and other workers: “AMURT is the immediate solution, Prout is the long term solution. You should help the people to be economically independent. For this, Prout should start economic cooperatives. At the same time, AMURT should give immediate relief, because you cannot teach hungry people philosophy. Through selfless service, you can also attract the masses to our Ideology.”

Each presentation was followed by a discussion session in small groups to encourage questions and clarification. Then workshops based on geographical areas focused on how the proposals could be practically implemented in the field.

As this was a Trainers’ Seminar, every participant was expected to repeat the seminar, and more than 30 seminars were scheduled for the next phase throughout Southeast Asia. A CD of the presentations, background articles and additional materials was given to every participant. The Lanesra Foundation, directed by Sister Ashisa (speaking in the third photo, wearing a white blouse), paid for all the costs of the seminar.

The seminar is now being improved and will next be presented in Madhu Karuna, Wendelsheim, Germany during the three-day Prout Utilization Training Camp from Wed., July 26 to Friday, July 28, 2006 (The fee for food, accommodation and training is €50. To register, contact: maheshvarananda[at]prout.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Namaskar Dadaji,
It is always inspiring to appreciate your focus on positivity and the work of His Mission. I'm right now in Kaohsiung, South of Taiwan. please, whenever you have plan to come to this area, let me know.
pranesha@gmail.com
Congratulations for the blog. I'm also preparing to start one.
The seminar in Maharlika is a good surprise, to see it happening, because there seems to be not so many places with that maturity (or "ripening") and coordination amongst different units to start phasing a strong social movement based on the samaja concept of Ba'ba'. It can be a great example of leadership for other places in the world.

Namaskar,
Ac. Pra'n'esha Brc.