The YMCA Orientation- The purpose of my Vizag trip was the Orientation Programme for Chairpersons and Conveners of the YMCA Women’s For a with the theme ‘Visionary Leadership with a Mission’. Unlike the previous meetings I had attended, there was no chance whatsoever, to absent myself from the meetings, either to sleep or catch the sights. Right from the Inaugural function where we heard women of substance deliver the keynote address and the Devotional message, right down to the Planning and Brainstorming sessions, every meeting was worth the while. It was an inspiration to hear women from different parts of India tell of what they were doing in their own spheres to spread Christ’s message of love and brotherhood. Some were running projects for Street children, others were working in the field of health- all social actions highlighted were deeply rooted at the very base of the social strata, addressing basic needs to those who are so often denied access.
Thoughts of social activism in Mizoram made me realise how fortunate my society is in having a strong Christian base that has been addressing such issues for as long as it has existed. It also made me think of the very culture of the Mizo people that does not permit anyone to lock themselves up in their iron castles, isolated from society. True, our curiosity can get annoying at times but I would not trade this for the indifference of other societies.
The YMCA, as also other Christian NGO’s and the Church, is striving to adopt and tackle the very things that come so naturally to a Mizo. The question now, though, is are these still natural tendencies? Or have we become so civilised that we are going to need NGO’s to tell us that you and I are to look out for our neighbours? Out of all that was said and heard, the one thing I have brought home with me is the need to participate – to hold as my own the things that affect me and my fellow human folk. To be a part of the change that I desire, to see the marginalised make way into the mainstream, to have the burden of translating Vision into reality and making it my life’s mission. The morning Devotions were a time to reflect on that very matter- on the Purpose driven life of a Christian, one whose Faith will not allow the sight of a fellow man denied his right to a global citizenship.
Our hosts, the Vishakapatnam YMCA excelled themselves- their hospitality, their extra efforts to make sure we were all comfortable, the care they put into the smallest details- their love turned Vizag into the loveliest of places.