The Regional Team of North Zone India, under the guidance and support of our respected global trustee Swamini Adityananda Sarawati and National Coordinator Biswadeb Chakraborty, along with the divine blessings of Pujya Swami Chidanand Maharaj and Sri Chaturvedi Swamigal, conducted their first regional assembly at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India from 6-9th April 2016.
There was limited Cooperation Circle participation of twelve Cooperation Circle members due to sudden clashing of dates with an important Hindu festival. However, as enlightened by Maharaj, the limited numbers equaled thousands due to the commitment and passion they held for the cause and constructiveness of the event.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Sarawati Maharaj performed the lighting of the lamp and cultural opening at the famous Ganga Aaarti on the banks of the Holy Ganges in the presence of more than 200 people. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati with her divine words inaugurated the ceremony and introduced URI to all people present. Rise of Hope Newsletter by North Zone, edition 2, was also released during the inauguration.
The following day of the assembly involved interactive sessions held by the National Coordinator, Regional Coordinator and Liaison Officer on gathering remarks from the past year and planning for the future. Sessions like the Appreciative Interview, story-telling and need of technology were some of the few that not only helped getting insights of the grassroots needs, but also the strength and weakness of each Cooperation Circle. Furthermore, an active session was held on fundraising through government schemes by one of our upcoming Cooperation Circle members.
Swamini Adityananda Sarawati, with emphasis on the conjunction between action and peace-building, closed the event.
We are indebted to all our mentors’ and global staff members’ presence, both close and far away, for guiding us through and helping us all along. We are also grateful to our dear Cooperation Circle members for devoting their time, commitment and enthusiasm to the welfare of society and to the URI community at large.
After the regional assembly, I visited our Shanti Van Cooperation Circle at Uttar Kashi UK India. Barmhanand (a Cooperation Circle member) and I planted a Rudraksha tree (holy tree) at the Ashram campus. The tree was gifted by our pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati Parmarth Niketan Rishikesh.