Ahmedabad: In the current challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic, which forced lockdowns globally causing miseries to millions, Bharat Vikas Parishad (BVP), has not only stood its ground but also come out to help the poorest of the poor and empower them morally as part of its larger plan to help build a New India.

At a time when the world is being devastated by the unfolding pandemic and the panicked people are crying for moral support and well-being, BVP has come forward in a big way. Established in 1963, it is service-cum-moral support, non-political, socio-cultural voluntary organization. At present, its volunteers are distributing self-made masks, and essential items like food and drinking water to the migrant workers traveling on special trains. It is also inculcating moral values in the youth by organizing programs both at regional and national levels.

BVP is dedicated to the development and growth of India in all fields of human endeavor i.e. cultural, social, academic, moral, national and spiritual by promoting a sense of patriotism, national unity, and integrity.

The organization was set up by leading industrialists and social reformers like late Lala Hans Raj and Dr. Suraj Prakash and was motivated and guided by the ideals of Swami Vivekanand, said Ajitbhai Shah, National Committee Member. He is a doyen of advertising in Gujarat with over four decades in the profession.

Excerpts from an interview by Aditya Hore:

Revoi: How is the BVP contributing to a critical situation like the present pandemic?

Ajit Shah: BVP is providing kits of essential items to the needy people and also free food to patients in Civil Hospital, Rajkot, on a regular basis. We are also distributing free food and drinking water in special trains for migrant workers going towards Anjar (Kachchh district) and supporting them in every possible way. 

Q: How many branches and members do BVP has in India at present?

A: Currently, we have around 1,450 branches and 75,000 members.

Q: Is BVP planning to contribute towards the PM CARES Fund?

A: Yes, we have planned to donate to this fund. We have already collected nearly Rs. 2 crores for the purpose. We will deposit it in the Fund’s bank account.

Q: How is BVP observing the centenary of its founder Dr. Suraj Prakash?

A: We had planned several programs to mark this year but had to suspend them due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic until further notice as it involved social gatherings on large levels. We also thought of story-telling programs but it seems now we have to delay it further by at least 3-4 months. 

Q: Is BVP an organization of intellectuals striving to make India and its younger generation better by inculcating moral orientation in youth? What has it down during the nationwide pandemic>

A: On May 17, we had organized a webinar of Dr. Pankaj Raval, who is Professor at Veraval Sanskrit University. He spoke on the topic of “Rashtro Devo Bhavah” We are also planning for a webinar on upcoming Sunday about COVID-19 situation. In all, we organized 129 webinars so far.

Q: What kind of programs BVP held in Gujarat in recent times?

A: We had organized a Drawing Competition recently for our members in which we got around 350 entries from all over Gujarat. There were mainly 4 themes on which participants had to draw like “Corona Warriors”, “Do’s and Don’ts in COVID-19” etc. It was for all age groups. Then, we also organized an Essay Competition on topics like “Learning from BVP”, “What have I learned during Lockdown” etc. It was a success as well, we got around 175 essays from participants. 

Q: What message would you like to give to our younger generations?

A: I want to tell them that after earning well, indulging in economic activities and completing social responsibilities, one should strive to give back to society by serving the society and the country.

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Note: We will soon share BVP’s inspiring videos on our YouTube Channel, REVOI India. We will also be sharing video-links. Stay connected!

(Aditya)