Public service workshop sees individual’s idea as changer
KOHIMA, MAY 17: It was a program about public service and governance but the essential lesson from it all was motivational: unless the individual changes, the society cannot, according a recent workshop that was conducted in the capital town.
‘Everyone wants to see changes in the society, but is anyone willing to change himself/herself first?’ The query was the crux of discussions during a workshop on effective services and good governance that was conducted for public service providers, on Tuesday in Kohima town.
The event was organized by the Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) in collaboration with a nongovernmental organization called the Pathfinders.
The workshop, conducted in the NSLSA’s conference hall, was facilitated by another nongovernmental organization the Initiatives of Change from Panchgani.
Initiatives of Change tout itself to be a worldwide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through ‘change in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.’
Leading a session during the program, dubbed ‘inner change and better public service,’ a volunteer from Initiative of Change from Fiji, Suresh Khatri, talked about ‘finding release within oneself’ by being completely honest to one-self and finding his ‘true purpose in life.’
‘Once the purpose in life is realized,’ he said, “Our mission” will become clearer and enhanced; the traits of tolerance, trustworthy and truthfulness will increase.
Khatri also maintained that only when a person starts to put the concern of others before his own, there would be integrity and change in the society.
However, this change will not happen on a large scale, he said. ‘Individual introspection’ is required to translate the change into a
Another Initiative of Change volunteer, Anup Pawar, an engineer by profession, challenged the participants to ‘introspect’ if they really stood for what they believe.
Stating corruption to be a widespread concern everywhere, the resource person pointed out that people have the habit of complaining about corruption and blaming the government. However, he said, the people themselves are not doing anything about it.
Also, Pawar said that having a just society would require having the quality of ‘inner listening and truth in every sphere.’
Maintaining that an effective tool for effective service is listening to the “inner voice,” he elaborated that a person’s thoughts were not just for oneself but for the community at large directly or indirectly.
“Therefore, a happy mind at home will create a positive environment outside,” he said.
For Tibetan artist and Initiative of Change volunteer, Wangyal Damko, who came to live in India at the age of 6, he grew up harbouring deep bitterness at the Chinese. In his narration, Damko explained that he had always blamed the latter for all the struggles that the Tibetans had gone through. Until one day, he said, when he decided to ‘introspect,’ that he realized that harbouring hatred was only compounding the problem.
Now, he tries to talk to the Chinese about ‘the truth,’ but only through love and friendship.
“When you take a step to genuinely do something right, the universal powers step in to give you aid,” he maintained.
‘You are rewarded with a deep sense of contentment and a willingness to do more good.’
During a group exercise session of the day, the participants were asked to share “honestly” the concerns they have as public service givers and the type of services system they envision for Nagaland.
With a majority of the participants from the legal background, the views that were shared included having a legal system that the poor
and the weaker sections of the society can reach for, the need for respect of law and rules and regulations, independence of the judiciary system and the need for judicial credibility etc.
Other topics that were discussed during the workshop included building relationships, looking beyond personal change and vision for Nagaland, and team building exercises.