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The annual All India Youth Camp—QUEST 2013—was organized by AUROYOUTH, the youth wing of Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS), at Puducherry from 3 to 11 January 2013. Participants at the camp included 34 youth (girls and boys) in the age group of 18–25 years from several states of India, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Objectives of the Camp
• To awaken the youth to their great future, and to help them to prepare themselves, spiritually, mentally, physically and materially, to play their true role in all aspects of individual and collective life.
• To make the youth conscious of India’s great spiritual heritage and the world’s destiny, and work for human unity in a rich and organized diversity.
• To encourage the youth to work for the evolution of a higher humanity and the advent of a new world, and to channel their talents, enthusiasm and energies into the building of a new future.
The programme for the Camp was primarily designed to provide an integral training to the youth for the overall development of their body and mind, along with the essential sense of spirituality in a multidimensional perspective. The theme of this year’s camp was ‘QUEST’, a quality innate to the spirit of youth. This made the camp all the more significant with the participants aspiring to progress for a better future for themselves and the nation. The programme involved talks, discussions, and individual and collective activities on the theme, as well as regular sessions on physical education, project work, cultural activities, nature study, etc.
The camp began with a wonderful self-introduction, followed by chanting and yogic sessions, where the participants were taught simple asanas and relaxation techniques by which the body can become more receptive to the native and natural flow of energies in and around their body. During the following days, till the end of the camp, there were continuous interactive sessions in which the participants were divided into groups handled by a resource person from SAS. These sessions included themes such as
• ‘Mind Matters’ a session on using senses for communication, metacognition and control of mind;
• ‘Body Is the Foundation’, a session through which the participants explored the body-consciousness which is the vital fort of the physical being;
• ‘Aim of Life’, a discussion to explain that our aspirations are the guiding principle of our destinies and destinations in life;
• ‘Media for Youth’ in which the resource person and the participants discussed the essential role of media in our lives and the substantial part it plays;
• ‘Secret Splendour’ was a session on Indian art and architecture, with special emphasis on the six limbs of art—distinction of forms, measurements, perspective, composition, expression and colour;
• ‘Powers Within’ was a session which explained that a complete paradigm change is not required, even a slight shift from an excessive reliance on external technological aids to a greater reliance on inner powers is all it takes to live a life of holistic progress;
• During ‘A Key to the Heart of India’ time was spent discussing about the resplendent glory and majesty of the Sanskrit—the language of the Gods—with its vast range and repertoire of vocabulary, grammar, literature, thoughts, ideas, meaning and values;
• There were sessions ‘On India’, ‘Nature Sessions’, ‘The Human Causes of Natural Destruction’, ‘The Power of Beauty’, and so on. The participants were also involved in off-campus activities such ‘Nature Expeditions’, ‘Trip to Auroville’, ‘Cycle Expedition to Lakeland’, etc.
The Camp ended with the resource persons delivering the valedictory talk to the participants. This was followed by the participants, brimming with renewed energy and focus towards life, shared their experiences enthusiastically. Over all, it was an experience to be lived and conceived for the development and evolution of human growth.