Disha Bharat is a non-profit social initiative which has been in existence since 2005. Disha Bharat works with students, teachers and parents to impart value education through activity-based workshops.
Nations don’t become great by accident. And while strong and visionary leaders and people-focused governments are important, a large chunk of responsibility for nation-building lies with its citizens. Just as a building needs a robust foundation for support, the foundation of a strong nation lies in its youth who are empowered with the right values, take pride in the country and are able and willing to contribute for its further development and growth. These values must transcend divisive silos like language, region, religion etc.; they include integrity, compassion, humanism, respect for others, and so much more. Collectively, these values must combine with skills and knowledge to enable every youth to work towards a better Bharat. Rather than simply blame the “system” for what is wrong and remain helpless bystanders, we must all strive to transform the “system” and drive positive change.
It is true that these values can be imbibed at any stage of life. However, these same values are just as vital in their future workplaces, so infusing them as our youth stand on the threshold of stepping into the real world is ideal. This is borne out by our experience of having already worked with thousands of students in the 18-21 age group studying in various colleges across India.
The right values are key to transforming youth from being complainers and blamers to agents of positive change and doers. We at Disha Bharat believe that the answers to critical questions such as the following, that are today cause for concern in our society, can also be found when the right values are inculcated in our youth. Some of these values pertain to the Self, while others relate to the System (our society, nation, culture etc.). Transforming the Self
- How can we make our younger generation emotionally and mentally stronger?
- How can we enable people face failure with more equanimity?
- Is it possible to make “yes, we can” the default thinking that helps find solutions instead of emphasizing problems or why something can’t be done?
- Can we make people more compassionate to the needs and challenges of others around them instead of viewing the world through a lens of apathy?
Transforming the System
- How can we make our fresh graduates more employable and equipped to deal with rapid change and ambiguity?
- How can we expand the notion of “success” to mean much more than just wealth or power?
- How can we help our society get rid of scourges like corruption, poverty, unemployment, social/gender inequities etc.?
In our view, an important reason for why it has become hard to find sustainable answers to the above-mentioned questions is that our education system is unidimensional; it focuses mainly on bookish knowledge that helps students get good marks/grades, but largely ignores character development. By supplementing academic learning with programs that instill the right values, students will develop a resilient mindset and strength of character. These traits will remain with them lifelong and help them transition into the “real world” with a greater sense of purpose, resolve, adaptability and commitment. While these traits are essential at all times, they are even more critical during times of extreme stress and professional challenges (or extraordinary circumstances such as the pandemic).
“Disha” is the Sanskrit word for “direction”. Disha Bharat was established in 2005 with the specific vision of partnering with educational institutions to design and deliver value education programs. The intent was to equip students with the right values, enabling individual transformation and collectively shoulder responsibility for nation-building. Think of Disha Bharat as a compass that guides our youth and supports them in their preparation for their individual life journeys.