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Updated: March 26, 2014 15:15 IST

Engaging youth in social reformation

R. Keerthana
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Writer Tamilaruvi Manian. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj
THE HINDU Writer Tamilaruvi Manian. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

Gandhiya Arasiyal Iyakkam strives to bring about a change in society.

How relevant is Mahatma Gandhi today, wonders one considering the forces that dominate society, especially the youth. But Thamizharuvi Manian, scholar-writer, is positive about bringing about a change in society as well as the political scenario with the power of youth.

Junior Vikatan's ‘Enge Pogirom Naam' fame writer started the organisation Gandhiya Arasiyal Iyakkam in 2009 to take Mahatma Gandhi's recipe for politics to the young blood of rural areas of Tamil Nadu. According to him, it is a peaceful movement which will ‘infuse the confidence that the youth can change a corrupt society.'

And Manian had a taste of politics as the former general secretary of Tamil Nadu Congress, former member of AICC, Planning Commission and High Power Committee of Panchayati Raj Department.

There is no space for honesty, dedication, sincerity in politics and it is no more public-oriented, he says, adding, “The movement will work from the roots.”

“The aim is not to criticise the evils of politics but to invent a constructive programme to eliminate the social and economic evils,” he says. He has been conducting workshops throughout the State to create an awareness about the Indian economic and political scene and to urge youth to adopt Gandhian principles for empowerment.

Equating politics to selfless service, Thamizharuvi Manian says that one does not have to be active in politics to serve the people. The movement targets 10 young people from each Panchayat, who in turn will work on illiteracy, agriculture, cottage industry, health and hygiene, abolishing alcoholism, women, children and elderly care. The team will also create an awareness among women about their rights, political knowledge and self-employment.

The movement also concentrates on stressing education through the mother tongue. According to Mr. Manian, one's creativity is enriched only through the mother tongue.

The movement will promote co-operation instead of competition and insist on reducing one's needs and desires, says Manian. The youth will stand against injustice through non-cooperation and non-violence. Stating that the movement will not contest in elections, he says that it will do everything which the elected representatives are supposed to do in a small way with the support of the public.

The workshop was started on October 2, 2009 in Chennai. Since then, the team has visited Madurai, Namakkal and Tiruchi addressing the youth. Feeling happy about the response for the meetings from the youth, he says that youngsters are frustrated about the system and they are looking for an alternative.

The crusader does not suspect doubt about the commitment of today's youth to social cause. He says, “We are not looking at full-time party workers but all that is expected of youngsters is sharing the excess and sparing an hour for every 40 hours for a social requirement.”

The workshops will be conducted in all the 12,600 local bodies and 10 youngsters will be identified to empower their locality. All that they need to do is share money, knowledge and labour for the people. “Through every youngster, an enormous human network can be formed,” he assures.

A confident Manian clarifies, “The change will not happen in a day. It may even take 20 years. But I am confident that it will happen in my lifetime.”

Being inspired by Gandhian ideals and Kamaraj's way of life, Manian wants to take their messages to the youth through the movement. The organisation does not accept donation.

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Workshops & EducationMay 14, 2012

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