Vivekananda Kendra, a Spiritually-oriented Service Mission, headquartered at Kanyakumari was founded in 1972 by Mananeeya Shri Eknathji Ranade as a logical sequel to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, situated off Kanyakumari. Dedicated to the task of National Regeration as envisaged by the patriot-Saint, Swami Vivekananda, the Kendra currently works in twenty-one states through 225 branch centers and Projects. Ever since its inception, it has undertaken a number of service activities in NE inida.
A splendorous region with a rich cultural heritage, the North-Eastern, in all walks of life, always expressed the great truth of Indian Culture Unity in variety.
But …..THE daunting Challenges : Geographical, Demographic, Ideological & Intellectual:
- 4,500 km- long international border with Six foreign countries- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, China and Nepal
- A mere 22-kilometre land corridor connects it with the rest of India
- Sparse population
- The Chinese claim Arunachal Pradesh and of late, Sikkim
- Indigenous faith and culture under siege due to Infiltration, anti-national and terrorist movements
- Harmonious traditional inter-community and inter-regional relationships, strained
- West-centric theories of isolationism & separatism
- Westernization in the garb of Modernisation
- Diversity/Variety misinterpreted as separateness
Communities of the Northeast, torn by attack on its traditional faith and culture, on its land, on its people, on its way of life, on its family and community bonds needed the healing touch – a healing touch to understand itself, to live purposefully with self respect and self worth; in short, a healing touch to intellectually understand itself as a whole.
Therefore….The Response ...
Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture
A Project of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, the Vivekananda Kendra Institute of Culture (VKIC) was established in 1993 at Guwahati to nurture roots through Seminars, Research, Documentation and publications on the Northeast of India to:
- Understand the richness of our traditional systems
- Identify the unifying elements that bind us
- Provide meaningful continuity to these practices in a fast-changing complex lifestyle and
- To be relevant in time – hence Development through Culture.
True empowerment: As Prof AC Bhagabati, Former Vice Chancellor Arunachal University [now Rajiv Gandhi University] and Member,Research Council, VKIC, puts its “VKIC combines conventional methods of investigation with participatory research….. People become researchers of their own tradition to identify their own genius.. They themselves evolve the methodology for continuity.”
Thus far a total of 212 Seminars, Symposium, guest lectures, research and documentation projects have been taken up by which the whole community is invigorated
And Hence ….The VKIC is emerging as the Intellectual Fountainhead of Northeast India, by its very Basic service
To the communities - That reflects in their
a] initiative for developmental work
b] protection of family and society bonds – thus enhancing social capital
VKIC nurtures the roots unseen and the Tree of Development flourishes
Such work has no glamour of service but it is a very basic SEVA because communities regain confidence to move in time, developing through culture.