Bhubaneswar: Taking a unique chance to celebrate the efforts and values of volunteers across the globe, Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD), Sarvodaya International Trust –Odisha Chapter (SITOC), Regional Centre for Development Cooperation (RCDC), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), National Youth Project (NYP), CLAP-Legal Service Institute, Niyatee Foundation, SOCH (Society for Children) and Salam Jeevan jointly organized the ‘International Volunteer Day’ (IVD-2018) on Wednesday. To spread the message of Volunteerism among students and youth, IVD 2018 was themed as “Volunteerism and Gandhiji” and “Volunteers Build Resilient Communities”. Around 200 volunteers from different part of the State joined the programme and shared their experiences of being volunteers.
Two Panel discussions on “Volunteerism and Gandhi” and “Building Resilient Community : in the context of Recurrent Natural Disaster in Odisha and Disaster Risk Reduction” were held followed by a Question Answer Sessions on Volunteerism to make the programme interactive and a platform of learning for all the participants.
Encouraging the youth on Volunteerism, Shri Jagadananda, Mentor and Founder CYSD said, “The youth present here today are the enthusiastic & responsible volunteers of Nation. And these young volunteers, if follow the Gandhian path of volunteerism, could bring second Independence to the Nation.” “A good volunteer should focus on two things to bring development in the Nation that is one should give enough time to himself as well as to the society. This would make one’s life worthwhile” he added.
The dignitaries present on the occasion focused on the International Theme of UN of this year ‘Volunteers to build up resilient communities” of their respective areas. There is great role of the volunteers to play in building the localities by following Gandhian path and spirit of freedom struggle of India. This celebration is dedicated to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, added the organizers. The panelists also described 18 numbers of Gandhian Activities to be taken forward by the volunteers to construct the nation and the youths were encouraged to be aloof from seven social evils and to be guided by the spirit of Satyagraha, truth and non violence, added the Gandhians on the dais. Further, the panelists highlighted that the volunteers have to get ready for the rescue and evacuation of people at the time of disasters and prepare the community to be disaster resilient.
Among the dignitaries present in the panel discussion(s) were Gandhian Padma Shri Bhabani Charan Patnaik, Shri Abasara Beuria, Shri Jagadananda, Shri Manoranjan Mohanty, Shri Prahallad Bahi, Dr. Biswajit Ray, Shri P K Sahoo, Shri Kailash Ch. Dash and Shri Bimal Prasad Pandia.
Furthermore, ten prominent Volunteers were felicitated for their exemplary works and devotional services impacting the society in the area of Education, Health, Environment, Women Empowerment, Community Development work and Disaster Mitigation, etc.
As per the declaration made by the United Nations in 1985, International Volunteers Day (IVD) has been observed on 5th December each year worldwide for last 34 years. IVD is an opportunity for volunteers – involving organizations and individuals to promote their contributions to global development at local, national and international levels. The act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages and religions. Each year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skill to help make the lives of others. And when they volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities. Many exciting events like Presentations/ Film Shows / Panel Discussion, etc. are organized to celebrate the day.