A New Philosophy of Work:
Swami Vivekananda has given a new philosophy of work for the modern world. All work in the Ramakrishna Math and Mission is done according to this philosophy of work, which is based on the following principles:
a) According to Vedanta, the physical universe is a manifestation of God known as Virat. Hence, as Sister Nivedita has stated, there is ‘no distinction between the sacred and the secular’. What this statement means is that all work is sacred. Even menial work such as sweeping the floor or mending shoes is to be done with as much attention and devotion as work in the shrine.
b) The Gita (18.46 & 9.24) states that the all-pervading God is the ultimate source of all work and the enjoyer of the fruits of all sacrifice. Hence all work is to be done as worship and the fruits of actions are to be offered to the Lord.
c) One of the important principles Swami Vivekananda learned from his Master was Shiva Jnane Jiva Seva, ‘to serve Jiva as Shiva’. Since man is potentially Divine, service to man is indeed service to God. Instead of looking upon a needy person as an object of pity, he is looked upon as an object of worship. Such an attitude elevates both the giver and the recipient.
d) Swami Vivekananda was the first religious leader in India to speak for the poor and the downtrodden and to state boldly, ‘He who sees Shiva in the poor, in the weak and the diseased, really worships Shiva; and … with him Shiva is more pleased than with the man who sees Him only in temples.’ It was Swamiji who coined the word daridra-narayana to refer to the poor. Swamiji’s love and concern for the poor continues as a directive principle in Ramakrishna Mission’s service programmes.
e) When work, any work, is done fulfilling the above conditions, it becomes a spiritual discipline: the mind gets purified and the potential Divinity of the soul manifests itself more and more. Thus work done as worshipful service benefits the doer himself spiritually: it becomes a spiritual discipline or Yoga. It is with this understanding of work as a spiritual discipline (Karma Yoga) that all the service activities of the Ramakrishna Mission, such as giving food and clothing to the poor, nursing the sick etc, are undertaken. Thus service done as worship of God in man helps in two ways: it helps physically or mentally the person who is served, and it helps spiritually the person who serves.
This two-fold aim of service activities, indeed the whole ideology of Ramakrishna Math and Mission, has been put in a nutshell in the MOTTO of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission,
Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha,
‘For one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the world’, formulated by Swami Vivekananda.
When journey was on
Swami Vivekananda visualized regeneration of India through mingling of oriental spirituality with occidental science & technology. He emphasized on impartment of education on history, geography, science & technology along with higher truths of religions. With that vision in mind this institute named as “Ramakrishna Mission Samaj Sevak Sikshan Mandir” embarked on its ambitious journey in the year 1986 under the aegis of Ramakrishna Mission Saradapitha, a branch centre of Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math, Howrah, West Bengal.
Objectives & characteristics
- Impairment of appropriate need based technology & moral upliftment of unemployed youth through a residential training programme of 10 months’ duration.
- Focus on backward communities
- Generation of confidence & determination among the trainees to venture enterprise for self-employment after training at their respective villages.
- Continuous patronisation and support to the ex-trainees, so that, their self-employment venture is set on success.
Turning events during long passage of journey
- In the year 2007-08 (17th March 2008) the institute entered into a tie-up with UBI (United Bank of India) and NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development) to act as a RUDSETI (Rural Development & Self Employment Training Institute) type institute for conducting various training programmes under joint venture of three organisation on equal cost sharing basis.
- Core training programmes of 10 months duration renamed as REDP (Rural Entrepreneurship Development Programme), subsequently conjoined with various employment generation off-campus training programmes a short duration scattered in districts of West Bengal which are nomenclature as SDI (Skill Development Initiative). SDI programmes are generally non-residential – on various trades in farm & non-farm sectors – sponsored by various agencies viz. Central & State Govt., NABARD, UBI & Horticulture Mission etc.
- It further entered into a new phase of turning point in the 2011-12. It has been recognised as “RSETI” and graded “AA” by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Govt. of India vis-à-vis National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR) on the basis of its performance during the year 2012-13.
- Principal of the institute has been invited to attend Trainers’ Training Programme (TTP) meant for RSETIs Directors at Bengaluru, Karnataka, during the year, sponsored by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India
Salient features of restructured methodology & modules
- Short-courses ranging from 15 days to 60 days linkup with multifacet income generating trades
- Training modules as per “NAR” norms are EDP oriented on practical view points
- Full fledged infrastructural facilities are ensured.
Under the core programme the institute has been conducting free residential consolidated training course of 10 months duration for about 36 educated unemployed rural youth, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Besides, short duration EDP training courses on various trades under farm & non-farm sectors are conducted. Detailed course programmes are elaborated hereinafter.
RURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (REDP):
The selected youths emanating from remote rural areas spanning over in different districts responding paper advertisement & passing through selection process enter into a new vibrant life style. Their daily routine is bound by hours & minutes between 5-00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Apparently it is rigid but joyful too. Prayer twice a day, “Sramadan” for up-keeping of the wide spread campus, on-job training in the agricultural field, physical exercise in the gymnasium, musical class, outdoor games – all together form the essential fabric of the daily routine – leaving apart attending the subject specific theoretical classes. With the progress of the training course – the trainees get themselves more and more joyfully involved in the day-to-day activities.
Training curriculum includes both in-house training and field placements. Training disciplines, inter alia, include Agri-Horticultural practices, Poultry Keeping, Duck Rearing, Pisciculture including Ornamental Fish Cultivation, Animal Husbandry & Animal Health Care, Apiculture, Aviculture, Mushroom cultivation & spawn culture, Vermiculture & Vermicomposting, Food Processing etc. along with Environment & Sanitation, Primary Health Care, Agricultural Extension, Entrepreneurship Development, Social Studies, Organisation building, Basic Computer & Value Education.
EDP SHORT DURATION COURSES:
As per norms & methodology stipulated by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Govt. of India & NAR there are various short duration courses on Farm & Non-farm sectors conducted within and outsides campus of the institute.
SPECIAL STATUS : – AGRICULTURAL TRAINING CENTRE
The Department of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal has recognised Ramakrishna Mission Samaj Sevak Sikshan Mandir as a resource centre for training of farmers and is sponsoring different training programmes for groups of farmers from different districts of West Bengal. 16 nos. of training programmes for the farmers sponsored by the department were conducted during the year.
The two storied fulgent building with 7500 Sq. ft. covered space of the institute inaugurated in the year 2011 coinciding celebration of its 25th Anniversary, is looking over a sprawling flowery and greenery outskirt. It eventually represents a very convenient residential centre of mounting convergence of trainees sponsored by various govt. departments & agencies, besides those enrolled under statutory RSETI short duration EDP training programmes. The building contains a number of spacious class rooms, dormitories, staff rooms, monk room, office rooms, guest rooms, meeting and counselling room, conference hall, computer lab, gymnasium, library, besides a numbers of toilets & long corridor. At present residential training for more than 100 trainees can be organised simultaneously at the institute. The institute reiterates its earnest thanks to the Dept. of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal for providing grant-assistance in phased manner across three consecutive years for construction of the building under Rastriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY).