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About RKMVM,Vadodara -

Before going to USA to participate in the Chicago Parliament of Religions, Swami

Vivekananda had travelled all over India as a Parivrajaka for about three years, out of which
perhaps the longest period was spent in Gujarat. After visiting Ahmedabad, Limbdi,
Junagadh, Dwarka, Somnath, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Bhuj, Narayan Sarovar, Bhavnagar,
Palitana, Nadiad and other places he finally came to Vadodara in April 1892 and stayed as a
guest of Shri Manilal J., the Dewan of Vadodara who was then staying in Dilaram
Bungalow. He was a man of piety and great character and was an intimate friend of Shri
Haridas Viharidas Desai, Dewan of Junagadh who was very close to Swami Vivekananda.
During his stay at Vadodara, Swami Vivekananda spent some time with Shri Manilal J.,
Dewan of Vadodara in discussing about the educational system of the state.
He also saw the library and the pictures by Ravi Varma in the Laxmivilas Palace and then left
for Mumbai, probably on 26th April 1892 he wrote a letter to Diwanji Saheb, (Shri Haridas
Viharidas Desai) ,

Curiously enough, there is no mention about Swamiji's meeting with Maharaja Sayajirao
Gaekwad in the above letter. Swamiji had told Prince Martand Varma at Trivandrum that of
all the ruling price he had met, he had been most impressed with the capacity, patriotism,
energy and foresight of H.H. the Gaekwad of Baroda. Swamiji was also perhaps impressed
with the Maharani of Baroda because he wrote on 17.02.1901 to Miss Macleod from Belur
Math, "I hope you will go to Baroda and see the Maharani". However, the state records
reveal the Maharaja was not in Baroda at that time, but had gone to a place called
Lonavali. In all probability, Swamiji met him while he was in Mahabalweshwar or
Poona. After his return from the West, Swamiji wanted to visit Vadodara and meet the
Maharaja but it did not materialize.

It is a matter of great joy that the historic Dilaram Bungalow, sanctified by the stay of Swami
Vivekananda in 1892 has been handed over by the Government of Gujarat to the
Ramakrishna Mission on 30 years' lease at a token rent of Re.1/- for converting it into a
benefiting Memorial of Swami Vivekananda. A new branch centre of Ramakrishna Mission
has also been started there. At present there are more than 150 branches of Ramakrishna
Math & Mission spread all over the world out of which three centres are in Gujarat, Rajkot,
Limbdi and Porbandar. Now the fourth one has been started at Vadodara. Many educational,
medical and welfare activities will be undertaken through this branch centre, keeping in view
the message of Swami Vivekananda of worshipping the divine in human beings. Thus a long
cherished dream of numerous devotees and friends has been fulfilled.

The Concept:
One of the most important components of the Special Youth Programmes under Swami
Vivekanandas 150th birth anniversary celebrations is the setting up of Vivekananda Centres
for Youth Counselling in major cities in India. One more vital aspect of these Centres will be
the addressing of the psychological needs of the youththeir hopes and aspirations, their
anxieties and fears, their depressions and agonies. The latest thinking in this direction is the
concept of mental health promotion through pro-active rather than reactive approach,
community based approach rather than one on one counselling to deal with negative emotions
per se through psychiatric treatment. In this context, we may do well to quote the words of a
leading psychiatrist delineating the new thinking in this area.
There has been a paradigm shift in counseling practice in recent years. The new thinking,
which is now widely accepted, is to move away from the morbidity, medical model towards a
community based approach for promotion of mental health. This is a mass approach and not a
room-based one-on-one approach. The aim is to prevent mental illness by promoting mental
health with the ideal Prevention is better than cure. This approach is proactive rather than
reactive. The beneficiaries are all youths, not just those who are already disturbed.
Psychiatrists, counselors and monks would reach out to schools, colleges and universities and
conduct workshops and seminars which would spread awareness and build life skills. The
term used today is Life Skills Education. This includes self-awareness building, empathy,
problem solving, decision making, interpersonal relationships etc. Besides the youth
themselves, there will be sessions for teachers and guardians. We can reach a large number of
people in this way within the allotted period of two years. Volume generation would be much
higher than in the morbidity model.
Apart from this, our youth should be engaged in positive action, service-oriented and
beneficial to society. The formation of such positive goal-oriented and value-based groups
that may be called Vivekananda Service Corps in our educational institutions and youth
movements would go a long way in not only countering the menace of negative thinking
among the youth, but also create, what Swami Vivekananda called a lever for the good of
humanity. Senior teachers, monks, mature parents successful in various professions of their
own, etc., may be mobilized to act as resource persons, besides trained psychologists, psycho-
analysts, doctors, psychiatrists and professional counsellors. The time is now come to
seriously attend to the psychological needs of the youth who are looking eagerly up the elders
in society to give them the proper direction to help them actualize their aims and goals by
manifesting their true potential.
The suggested functioning:
1. Voluntary membership will be sought from students, faculty, staff or whoever is
interested from among the institutions community. There will be no membership fee,
but a token (one-time) registration fee of, say, Rs.100/- may be charged.
2. These members may borrow books (say, 2 at a time) from the library.
3. These members will meet at frequent intervals, say, once a week or once a fortnight.
The date of these meetings may be fixed in consultation with all the members
attending the meetings, as far as practicable. The teacher-coordinator or a student-
assistant coordinator should also inform all the members.
4. The members may form an email group for easy and effective communication.
5. There could be reading from an inspiring book, say, Swami Vivekanandas books, for
about 20 minutes, followed by discussions and interactions among the participants.
6. The participants may also be encouraged to come prepared with a particular topic and
present their views followed by discussions.
7. Periodically, some prominent persons (say, monks of Ramakrishna Order, social
service activist, eminent persons from various walks of life) may be invited for these
meetings to share their views and answer the students questions.
8. Those who seek individual counselling or discussion with a senior person may be
provided such opportunity. The services of trained counsellors (psychologists,
psychiatrists, etc) may be requisitioned for this purpose. If needed, woman
counsellors may also be inducted.
9. Outreach counselling camps may be conducted by the Centre periodically in various
educational institutions. This may be of two types: (i) general awareness programmes
on personality development, mental health and wellbeing, stress management, time
management, etc., and (ii) individual counselling session conducted by trained
counsellors as may be required. Inspiring books, CDs, and other literature may be
distributed to the students during these sessions.
10. The Centre may also consider some training courses for prospective counsellors,
preferably, from among the teacher education trainees and teacher educators.
11. Proper documentation of the activities of the Centre, including the individual
counselling sessions, should be maintained. These should contain, among other
things, the number of students benefited with details of their names, gender, age,
counsellor, etc., the names of participant students in interactive sessions, the names of
faculty, etc.
12. Periodical feedbacks (say, once in three months) should be taken from all the
13. The functioning of the Centre may be reviewed periodically and suggestions invited
from all concerned for its improvement.

National Implementation Committee Approves Rs. 100 Crore Worth Swami
Vivekananda Values Education Project
Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has highlighted the relevance of the
teachings and values of Swami Vivekananda in todays competitive environment. Shri
Pranab Mukherjee was addressing the first meeting of the National Implementation
Committee constituted to commemorate the 150
Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The meeting was attended by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for Health and Family
Welfare,Smt. Ambika Soni, Minister of I&B, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource
Development, Prof. Mrinal Miri, representatives of Ramakrishna Mission & Ramakrishna
Math, Shri Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Ms. Deepali Khanna, AS & FA,
Ministry of Culture among others.
Government of India had earlier decided to commemorate the 150
Birth Anniversary of
Swami Vivekananda in a befitting manner. A National Committee has been constituted
under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for the purpose. Pursuant to
decision taken by the aforesaid National Committee on 20
May 2010, the National
Implementation Committee was constituted and notified on 23 July 2010, with 10 Members.
The National Implementation Committee in todays meeting chaired by Union Finance
Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has approved in principle Swami Vivekananda Values
Education Project at the cost of Rs.100 crore with the following objectives:
To emphasize upon inculcation of Swami Vivekanadas values among the
students of different schools and colleges all over the country who are busy in
highly competitive environment at the cost of other aspects of life.
Involving the youth through competitions, essays, discussions and study circles.
Publishing Swami Vivekanandas complete work in different languages.
Emphasis on Swamis ideals in colleges and universities as well as setting up
of Swami Vivekanandas Chairs in different universities and Centers.
International programmes including conferences, seminars and lectures abroad in
overseas universities.
Focusing on Vivekanandas teachings on Yoga to develop its proper
understanding and establish standard for it.
Utilizing the electronic media for prorogating of Swamis message through All
India Radio, Television, CDs, DVDs, Internet, Website and Films on

Encouraging research on religion and harmony, interfaith dialogue and bringing
Swamis ideals into current scope.
Commemorating his CHICAGO Address about Indian culture through an
Endowment for an Annual Lecture.
Involving States and different organizations in commemorating CHICAGO
travels throughout India and to preserve some important heritage sites.
Creating a campaign through catch word or phrase or logo and involving fresh
ideas through press and competitions.
Under the Print Media programmes various publication activities will be taken
up including distribution of complete work of Swamijis to the libraries of 311
Indian universities , 465 government approved libraries and 100 Indian
Embassies in different countries.

Under Electronic Media programme, two feature films on Swami Vivekanandas life &
activities and Swami Vivekanandss Call to the Nation, two animated films for children, TV
programme entilted Swami Vivekanandas Answers will be produced and made available
at subsidized rates, besides producing 3-4 audio-DVDs on selected works of Swami
Under the Youth Programme, Vivekananda Centre for Youth Counselling will be set up in
9 major cities for counseling to groups and invidividuals, two National Youth Conventions
with the themes National Growth/Development and Religious Harmony, five Regional
Youth camps and a number of youth camps at State level will be held.
Under the Special Service Activities, a project titled Gadadhar Abhyudaya Prakalpa
named after the child Ramakrishna will be taken up for development of neglected children by
providing food, dress, basic education and health care at 150 places.
Under the Cultural Programmes, two International Seminars on Indias role in building
terror-free society and Swmai Vivekanandas vision of the future of Mankind, 10 National
Seminars on Swami Vivekanandas relevance in 21
Century, 16 State level seminars on
Indian culture beside an exhibition on national integration will be organized.

Besides above, the National Implementation Committee also approved the following
proposals in principle:
The Committee approved to assist Kolkata Municipal Corporation in converting Sister
Niveditas residence in Baghbazar into a befitting memorial. Archeological Survey of India
(ASI) would undertake work for restoration of aforesaid building while Ministry of Culture,
Government of India would support to set up a Museum as part of Vivekananda Memorial
The Committee also approved in principle to extend necessary support to Ramakrishna
Mission, Barrackpore, West Bengal which is involved in propagating and disseminating the
ideals and teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
The Committee approved commemoration of CHICAGO Address of Swamijis in 1893
through a memorable programme and an Endowment for an Annual Lecture among others.
Besides above, the Committee also agreed in principle to design Logo and issue
commemorate Coins on the occasion of the 150
Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Union Minister for Health and Family & Family Welfare suggested to name District
Wellness Centres for propagating Yoga to be renamed as Swami Vivekananda District
Wellness Centre to mark the occasion. He suggested that 150 such District Wellness Centres
will be set up in the first year followed by 75 such centers each in next two years. Thereby,
the total 300 such centers will be setup in the country in next three years.