Nagaland-I-Care programme at Dimapur
‘Sense of responsibility is lacking, our failure in not helping them to build on this’, said Er. Petehetuo Miasalhou, principal of National Tool Room & Training Centre in an interaction with the Initiatives of Change for Life team before the start of the ‘Nagaland-I-Care’ programme on the 12 May 2016.
The IfL (Initiatives of Change for Life) team in collaboration with Pathfinders, an NGO run by Vitono Haralu in Nagaland, were invited by the National Tool Room & Training Centre (NTTC) to conduct a one day programme with the students who are in their fourth and sixth semesters of their diploma course. We were taken on a tour of the campus by the principal, we saw the students getting practical experience of their subject matter. In inviting the team to interact with its students, the management has shown immense interest in the all-round development of the person, the head and the heart.
The classroom was packed with students and staff (approximately 56) on the morning of the interaction, there was energy in the air that we felt the minute we entered the room. Though quite reserved, the students exhibited an eagerness to reach out and take in what they heard and saw. The idea of Initiatives of Change was introduced through two skits, one which gives the message that my child’s behaviour is a reflection of what the way I act, and the other that the world is made up of people, and when the person is put right, the world will become right. The theme for the day was set when Gaurav Sah shared the thought which started this movement 108 years ago, of how Frank Buchman would be used to remake the world and how apology leads one further on the path to finding one's purpose. Through sharing our experiences with listening to the Inner Voice and talking about the absolute standards of honesty, purity, unselfishness and love, we invited the participants to do their own experiment for 10 minuntes. Some thoughts that were shared were as follows:
‘I think sometimes I tend to shop a lot and sometimes it's things that are not required, when I see things I just feel like taking more. I think I need to stop, try to lessen that. Sometimes I tend to waste food maybe, and the resources, I can use the resources for something better.’
‘I use a lot of swear words, I should be careful with my language.’
‘I don’t know how to make use of time and money.’
‘Among my friends I find it difficult to stay quiet, I get rather restless from within, I need to try this (Quiet Time) from today.’
‘I find it difficult to choose what to do; I need to find a direction in my life.’
‘I need good friends and self-control.’
‘I hate some people, I will try to control myself and not hate people.’
To stand up among your friends and share a thought takes immense courage, especially in a world where peer pressure and trying to fit in has become the norm. It was suggested that those who shared, and others, take time to listen together from now on. In the words of Freddy Bodmer, ‘You log in in the morning and then try to stay tuned. I tell you it can save lives. This is the beginning what you just did, you will transform this place. You are on to a big adventure and this tool room, this centre, can spark out to the whole north east. Here is China, there is the rest of India, but you have the potential to make them listen to you.’
Tribalism is a huge problem here in Nagaland, but even in the metropolitan areas division exists, be it in the name of religion, caste or economic status. With the help of a game, the participants were made to see that many a time and sometimes unintentionally, we create divides. No matter how small, it is the differences we find among each other. In order to create a world where people share and live harmoniously we need to see our similarities, we need to see the things that units us rather than divide us. A person, who has a bitter feeling, will transmit it in everyday life, to whoever they meet. So when you’re on your own and no one helps you, you can become very dangerous.
Wangyal (member of the IfL team) spoke about the character that each of us add to the Character Bank of India (CBI) to be specific, and how the decisions we take today will create a society for our children, the future generation. He urged the participants to deposit a decision in the CBI. Some decisions were as follows:
‘I will not spit or throw waste here and there.’
‘I will not drive without proper license.’
‘I will guide uneducated persons.’
‘I will keep unity among people.’
‘I will save wildlife.’
‘I will plant a tree every year.’
‘I will try my best to create a safer world.’
‘I will change myself to change another.’
As students, we often feel that our performance is our potential. When we are asked or told to improve our performance, we stick to the fact that this is all we are capable of. In short, each of us has created Life Sentences that stop us from truly exploring our real potential. Anup Pawar spoke of how, if we are able to recognise what our life sentence is, we can take constructive steps. He also shared how because of conditioning, there are filters which create obstacles in life. And once we recognise our own filters, we are more aware of our behaviour and character.
We cannot address the needs of the world, if our focus is only to be good people. Real change is brought about by going beyond one self and doing something for another. The story of Irene Laure of bridging the gap between France and Germany through her apology, and the video of Australia Sorry Day, brought to light how small steps of correction in personal life and conviction and passion can bring about change at the national level. Putting right the wrongs of the past is one piece of the puzzle, but it’s the starting piece that triggers a series of events, that can only be traced backwards. NTTC now plans to add this programme model into their curriculum in the near future.