Sejal Parmar Interview
Where are you from?
I'm from Gujarat.
Since how many years have you been in YLTP?
Since 5 years in AOL & since 1 1/2 years in YLTP.
In which area do you work & what work do you do?
Basically, I'm from Bhavnagar but at present I'm staying & doing full time seva here. We start our work at 9.00 a.m. & finish at around 12.30 - 1.00a.m. We start on time but the time we complete is not fixed.The administrative dept. of the Gujarat YLTP office & all the projects of YLTP of whole of Gujarat are handled by me.The projects include Broom Project, Sewing Classes, Self-help Project, the Project for banning plastic bags & encouraging the use of cloth bags.
Besides that, we run a school in tribal area - Ved Vigyan Mahavidyalaya.
What's youe experience in YLTP? What was your inner eexperience when you did the course?
I joined AOL thr' the Basic Course.
Then I went for TTC-1.
Thereafter YLTP was organised in my home town Bhavnagar. A YLTP teacher, Ketakiji had come.
She worked hard moving around for one month but nothing happened. I came to know that this lady has come, is trying but in vain.
So I told her that I'll support her & we will have YLTP here.
That was the first time YLTP was organised in Bhavnagar District. We moved around for one month; travelled about 400 kms. gathering youth.
We could enrol 20 boys, that was the first time YLTP took place. I directly assisted that YLTP. I had never done the YLTP course. I didn't know the contents of the course.
I enjoyed so much! When a boy enters here, he is a mere villager & when he comes out as a leader form here. The kind who have no self-confidence, who cannot even speak & put their demands
to his own family come to YLTP.They are so naive when they come for the course, but when they come out they become leaders. We don't have to assign them any responsibility; they explore the seva activity in their village & take it up.
When I saw all this I realised that if you want to understand & work for Guruji's aim & purpose for which Guruji has come on this earth, it is YLTP.
I experienced; I've done all the courses - right from the Basic to TTC. After TTC I came to YLTP. Then I understood that it took all these Courses right from the Basic Course to Phase-1for me to feel Guruji's Grace; whereas in YLTP, people start experiencing Guru's Grace within just 8 days.
Then I realised that YLTP is the best bet to feel Guruji's Grace, understand Guruji's vision & to contribute to His work.
The Yuvacharyas are the invisible roots of the blossomed tree you see as the Art of Living.
When did the first YLTP take pllace in Gujarat?
In Gujarat the work is going on since last 8 to 9 years. Ever since Mr. Hiteshbhai has taken oer as the co-ordinator 2 years ago; the program has picked up very well.
It's not only about conducting YLTP & creating Yuvachryas; we also provide them with everything necessary in their personal lives.For example as a villgre he does not know English.
He can speak about Post Office but he stands near a Railway Station or a Post Office totally unaware because he doesn't know how to read.
They encounter many such challenges. For that we make them attend English classes every month in the Ashram free of charge.
Some of our devotees who are professors conduct these classes. Besides, we counsel them about how to come up in life & consider the challenges related thereto.
We dont talk about it directly with the Yuvacharyas else they will be tempted to come here for wrong reasons. We try to probe into their problems through other sources.
We do not want them to come here out of some greed that here we get all these things so let us join. We make him like a king! Besides we wish to retain their self-respect so that they can be proud of themselves.
We work for their economic development too. There are HR heads such as Nandaben & Mrudulaben who are associated with big companies in Gujarat.
They give talks to these Yuvacharyas on vocational guidance. We conduct a one-day workshop for all the Yuvacharyas so that they come & discover their potential.
After they have chosen their field of work we give thempractice in that particular area & see them through till their financial indepandence.
What is the secret of YLTP according to you? You say that it gives them personal development & social upliftment.
The secret is Guruji & Sudarshan Kriya. We have been watching a number of NGOs that are workiong since decades for the upliftment of society & youth.
A lot of work is being done in the name of development like making roads, contructing toilets, pucca houses, etc. Even after doing all this, if they do not know how to use it;
how can you call it development? In many villages constructed toilts are used to stack logs of wood & such due to lack of awareness.
This kind of awareness cannot be taught in school or by one-to-one talk.
It is only in Art of Living where there id Sudarshan Kriya, Padma Sadhana & Guruji's Grace which instills devotion in them. This devotion makes them assertive & as a result they turn to the right path.
The secret of Art of Living & YLTP is Sudarshan Kriya through which people's lives, mentality & even thoughts can be transformed.
What is your source of motivation since you are a full-time in YLTP.
Sometimes I do feel exhausted or fed up & feel like quitting. This is due to some problems like when in spite of we putting in a lot of energy; people do not understand or accept.
Then we surrender it to Guruji & feel that is is not we who are holding AOL & YLTP, but there is an unseen power which binds us to itself & that is one & only Guru Shakti.
Guruji is my idol. He says - "Whenever we get something, we should make it better before we leave it." These words had quite an impact on me. I thought I've got this Universe,
let me contribute something to it to make it better. I left my Govt. job to perform full-time seva here. Before, on waking I used to ask myself - why have I come on this earth, why have I taken birth. But today when we sleep, we are satisfied that we have brought transformation in someone's life.
Can you remember any example regarding someone's transformation?
Yes there are many.There is a lady, Madhuben from Kukawati with physically challenged limbs. We met her yesterday. She attended YLTP 4 years back.
Naswadi Taluka was handed over to me to develop. I suggested to meet the existing Yuvacharyas & find out about their opinions, achievements & future plans.
While travellingthrough different villages,I met this woman, Madhuben. She was elated to see me as a representative of Guruji after 4 years. I saw her family's condition
& felt like doing something for them.Then we thought of starting a financial development project here. Today she is a full time Yuvacharya, travelling villages, conducting Nav Chetna Shibir.
Some time ago her family had to take care of her. Today she looks after the whole village.The whole village seeks her advice before beginning anything. She got employment ..............
There are 30 women & 5 men who work under her, resulting into employment for 35 people. They propose to start '0' Budget Farming in her village. This is a story of a big transformation.
I am glad that I was the instrument for it.
Translated & Transcribed By Preity Thomas