"All revolutions are spiritual at the source. All my activities have the sole purpose of achieving a union of hearts." --Vinoba Bhave
Awakin Talks: An Evening of Inspiration
Saturday, December 23rd, 4:30-8:30PM, Matunga East, Mumbai
On December 23rd, Awakin Community in Mumbai is hosting Awakin talks, a gathering where inspiring speakers will share their stories of service and inner change. This event is offered as a gift. To RSVP, please register in the column on the right and we'll keep you posted with further details.
1. Lobsang Phuntsok
Lobsang Phuntsok was born in Arunachal Pradesh and began to study Tibetan Buddhism at a young age. He was handpicked by the Dalai Lama to receive training in translating Buddhist philosophy into English and subsequently spent a decade teaching in North America. He then felt a call to return to the region of his birth to work with children who have experienced trauma. He disrobed and set up a unique community in the foothills of the Himalayas, Jhamtse Gatsal (Tibetan for "Garden of Love and Compassion") which now provides a permanent home for 85 orphaned or abandoned children. In 2016, he was the subject of an Emmy-winning movie Tashi and the Monk.
2. Sushma Iyengar
Sushma Iyengar, chairperson of Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Gujarat, passionately believes in the power of rural communities to organize themselves against a 'dependency mentality.' Since 1989, she has been working with women's collectives in 160 villages on handicrafts, micro-credit, environment, legal aid, health, and education. In 1998, Sushma helped create Abhiyan, a network of 21 NGOs, which collaborate on disaster mitigation and drought proofing work. After doing her Masters in Literature at MS University, she studied in the US but then returned to serve women in Kutch. She has been a recipient of the Gondhia Award for Social Work in 1996 by Young Men's Gandhian Association and has garnered much other national and international recognition.
3. Chaitanya Bhai
Chaitanya Bhai is a Gandhian educator, whose idea of scale is to go from small to smaller. In a small village of Dheduki, he runs a school that is steeped in virtues, that he feels are "caught not taught." Getting creative with local resources, innovating in small ways and big, after decades of work, and building deep community ties along the way, Chaitanya Bhai is a model for social change world over. He has received recognition from countries as far away as Sweden, but when you meet him, he will opt to tell you stories of how they started their dorm by putting a flat log of wood on a treetop. In keeping with that spirit, you would be hard pressed to find material on him on the internet, but here's an account by a young man who lived with him in Dheduki for a year.
4. Uncle Niketu
Born in Phek, Nagaland in 1935, Mr. Niketu Iralu - commonly referred to as "Uncle Niketu" - is a prominent intellectual and non-violence advocate. He spent decades in different parts of India serving in various capacities with Initiatives of Change (India) formerly known as Friends of Moral Re-Armament. He and his wife returned “home” to work on peace building efforts in Nagaland and other parts of the Northeast opening up their home in Sechu-Zubza as Kerünyü Ki or House of Listening. Uncle Niketu’s journey from his days as a student in Madras to his life in Zubza are filled with inspiring stories of how learning to listen to the “still, small voice” in our personal lives is the beginning of much change.
To Stay Connected
Join us in any one of the four homes, across Mumbai, for an Awakin Circle. More on our Awakin Mumbai page.