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Goa Sudharop Community Development Inc. USA in association with C.E.S. College of Arts and Commerce, Cuncolim, Salcete, Goa, organised a one-day seminar on 4th September 2010, on the topic “Goan Volunteer Spirit”. The seminar was hosted by the Personality Development School of the college in the audio-visual hall of the college. In all, around 200 students participated in the Seminar.
Smt. Pooja Prabhudessai compered the function and, in her introduction, stated that human values seem to be getting eroded and the world was slowly becoming inhuman. Consequently, the need of the hour is to inculcate and build a community volunteer spirit among the new generation.
In his welcome address, Principal Dr. Laximan G. Naik lauded Mr. Ibonio D’Souza for the efforts he has made in his capacity as the Executive Director of Goa Sudharop, towards providing students with seminars and workshops such as these. While highlighting the capability and expertise of the faculty that was to address the students, Dr. Laximan G. Naik also urged the students to learn something from the seminar. He emphasized that students needed to develop time management and communication skills and also needed to pick up soft skills and basic knowledge in different fields. He said that students were leaders in their own capacity and that having these skills would enable them to develop and bring out the best in themselves.
After lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries, Mr. Ibonio D’Souza outlined the objectives of Goa Sudharop, a diaspora organisation whose aim is to work for the development of Goa and Goans through its annual theme-based programmes. He appreciated the support from the C.E.S. College in this regard and said that Goa Sudharop’s intention was to help youth make a difference by developing their social and spiritual acumen. He stressed on the importance of the volunteer spirit saying, “Giving means receiving. A river receives water and flows along, nourishing everything in its course. If it stops flowing, it will stagnate and dry up and eventually cause the extinction of all that it nourished. In the same way, when we receive so many blessings we must share them with others. If we do not, then we too will stagnate and stop receiving because we have stopped the flow”.
Shri Anand Dessai, member of the Personality Development School, introduced the resource person for the first session, Acharya Prahlad Chaitanyaji from the Chinmaya Mission, Margao who spoke on the topic “Serve and Deserve”. Starting the session with a prayer, Acharya Prahlad stressed on the importance of ‘Time Management’. He also explained that worldly disturbances are caused by human beings themselves and can be avoided through a positive mindset and humane behaviour. He emphasized, “If one has gained something from society and yet has never given back, one loses the right to ask again”.
The resource person for the second session was Rev. Fr. Kyriel D’Souza, Provincial Superior of the Pilar Seminary. Speaking on the topic “Making a Difference”, Fr. Kyriel explained that we should always try to view things positively and look for something good in every situation and in everyone around us, adding “If we can just see the good in others, it will help immensely”. He said that it is imperative to put one’s best foot forward in every situation and just as every lock has a key, so too there is a solution for every problem. Life is full of blessings but we are sometimes blind to them. For this we need to believe, have faith and face any challenges, with the implicit trust that the good we do we can make a difference.
Shri Ramlal Vernekar introduced the third speaker, Mr. Pravin Sabnis, HR trainer and motivational coach of Unlearning Unlimited, who spoke on the topic “Be the Change”. The session was enlivened with audio clips and games which also helped drive home important messages on the subject. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, Mr. Sabnis said that whilst undertaking any endeavour, we need to adopt a positive attitude because positive thoughts enable us to move ahead with a determination that will certainly ensure success. He concluded, “The best way to ensure success is not to wait for opportunities to come to one’s door but to reach out for any available opportunities and make the best use of them”.
The last session was conducted by Mr. Savio Fernandes who spoke on the subject “Care of Mother Earth”, emphasising on the need to protect nature and preserve it for posterity. He also screened a small audio-visual clip showing a 12-year old girl, Severn Suzuki, speaking at a UN Earth Summit some years ago about safeguarding the environment. The clip made a powerful impact on the viewers as they watched Severn Suzuki’s emotional plea to the delegates at the summit to think about the environment and about the world that they would ultimately be bequeathing to their children.
In his Valedictory address, Principal Dr. Laximan G.Naik appreciated the efforts of the Co-ordinator of the Personality Development School, Dr. Sarala V. Katageri, in helping to organise this seminar. Dr. Sharon D’Cruz presented an overview of the day’s proceedings. This was followed by distribution of certificates to the participants. Mr. Kevin D’Souza (T.Y.B Com) was adjudged as the best student participant. Co-ordinator Dr. Sarala V. Katageri proposed the vote of thanks.
To view pictures of this event click here