LET US COMMIT TO BE GOOD CITIZENS
The government of India has declared November 26 as the Constitution Day.
Perhaps very few people know its significance. Most people would say that the Constituent Assembly had adopted the Constitution of India on this day in 1949. This came to be enforced on January 26, 1950 which we commemorate as the Republic Day.
But we would like to emphasise that November 26, 1949 is the most significant day in the history of this country. Our people were subjects in their respective kingdoms under the kings prior to Independence. After the British left, our kings formally joined the Indian Union.
Few moments before the constitution was adopted in the Constituent Assembly , the people of India were declared as supreme and sovereign owners of this country on November 26, 1949.
This is the reason why the preamble started with “WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA” and the last line read “IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, this 26th day of November, 1949 do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION”
But hardly any effort has been made in this country to tell the people that they being owners of this country have a responsibility to protect, preserve and promote it in their own benefit.
Therefore, we few volunteers of Build India Group, a registered civil society in Delhi, undertook a responsibility of reaching out to educational institutions to spread citizenry consciousness with Article 51 A of the Constitution of India as its foundation among students and youth since 2008.
It took the colour of a celebration called Pledge Festival which many educational institutions organised along with us on the third Saturday of January every year. We thought of a day and not a date as we wanted that it must not coincide with any individual’s birthday or martyrdom day. We believe that the country is bigger than any individual.
Keeping in view the bad weather conditions, we thought of November 26 as a befitting day for this purpose and since 2012, started demanding with the government to declare this day as the Citizen’s Day or National Pledge Day.
The pledge has been drafted and circulated by us since 2010 in 15 languages keeping in view the spirit of Article 51 A of the Constitution. We drafted it in all languages in the simplest possible format as illiterate people can understand the contents of it.
With this pledge, we have done several experiments. Earlier we had a write-recite-commit protocol. Students were writing the pledge, reciting them in unison in a charged ambiance in the schools and putting their signatures on their solemn documents.
This country has over 30 crore students right from primary school level to the 12th standard. Imagine if students write the pledge and obtain the signatures of their parents, what could be the outreach?
It would involve at least 80 crore people. When a student writes the pledge, he internalises the content. When parents sign it, they wish to know the contents. Hence it leads to a discussion at home. It is a simple step forward but imagine how meaningful it is.
This is one more experiment of Build India Group to promote oneness- one India- indivisible forever.
If you like this idea, kindly join us in this exercise and share with us the experience. We will certainly value it as true citizens of this country. That is our commitment.
The second book of Biraja Mahapatra, it delves into his vision for a brighter future for us Indians.
These are all the Schools that have celebrated the Pledge Festival, organized by Chapter (State)
Invitation for National Water Convention
‘Water conservation and river rejuvenation for drought-free India’
As you know, we all met in Bijapur Karnataka on August 16-18,2017 where we brought people working on water and environment of 101 river basins of the country on one platform. During this national convention, we held detailed discussions about water, environment and river rejuvenation for three days. Delegates from across the country accepted the fact that the climate change impact is aggravating day by day. While on one hand, many parts of the country are struggling with floods, on the other, many places are continuously witnessing severe droughts.
Farmers and labourers are being badly affected due to the changing weather patterns. The effects of unfavourable weather conditions are continuously worsening. Due to the intensifying water-crisis, people are forced to migrate from the rural to the urban areas. The villages are left with no scope for employment and livelihood and now, the rural populations are also being deprived of water. As such, people are looking for ways out from this crisis. So far, both the government and the society have looked careless to find a permanent solution to this situation.
Today, India is witnessing 10 percent more drought and 8 percent more floods as compared to the Independence period. Most of the rivers in the country are flowing at their lowest-strength. In some regions, the issues of droughts and floods are so grave that people are finding it extremely tough to survive. Government, society, voluntary organisations and other civil society members need to come together and work to reduce the magnitude of the destructions due to floods and droughts in these regions. In this context, a national water convention is being organized on the subject, ‘Drought, famine and river rejuvenation’ at Khajuraho in Bundelkhand on December 2-3, 2017. The convention would see the participation of political leaders, bureaucrats, social workers and others who would brain-storm for making the roadmaps to find long-term solutions for the issues like droughts and floods.
The national event is being organized in the most deprived regions of the country, Bundelkhand. This region is suffering from severe climate change challenges for the last two decades. This national water convention is being organized as a part of the series of programmes being undertaken to make India drought and famine-free by fighting the climate change problems.
The food and accommodation to you all would be provided by the local Bundelkhand people. You are kindly requested to bear the expense of the travel on your own. Please, mark the above-mentioned dates in your journal and ensure your presence in the national event at Khajuraho.
Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan
Registration Link: http://psss.jaljanjodoabhiyan.org/forms/registration/
Shilpgram, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh 471606 .
This work is dedicated to you all Indians who love this
country. This is the reason why the book begins with a personal
letter to you with an expectation that you will join us start a new
movement for the greater glory of this land.
Click here to view the pdf: My Call – by Biraja Mahapatra, Founder, Build India Group
Citizenship Day will be celebrated across India on 26th November 2017. In preparation for this, we are planning to:
- Release of new book Audacity of Dreams
- Launch of new website
- Create PACT platform to meet our Education Goals
- Make a model Society in one other city than Delhi before taking it across India
- Promote Pledge Festival and Aikyataan.
Team BIG Meeting held at India Islamic Cultural Centre on May 12, 2017 to form Strategy for “Ekya Taan”, the “Symphony of Harmony”, the pilot programme in Delhi involving all citizens to say “No” to terrorism and violence with sounds in Unison.
Aikyataan was successfully conducted on 9th July 2017 in apartments across Delhi.
Build India Group celebrating “Citizenship Day” on Nov 26,2016
Students, Teachers and School Staffs taking Pledge for a Dutiful Citizen on the Citizen’s Day in Western Odisha at Nishamani High School, Baragarh
Sh A V Swamy MP, Biraja Mahapatra, and V K Sharma also met Union Minister T C Gehlaut at his office to apprise him of the idea of citizenry building.