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Reddy: Join Government’s Effort To Better Fiji

Reddy: Join Government’s Effort To Better Fiji
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy (second from left), with guests during the 58th Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji - Youth Night at Korovuto College in Nadi on July 1, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
July 03
12:25 2017

The following is Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy’s during the Sanatan Youth Night at Korovuto College, Nadi.

The National President, Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji: Sarju Prasad; The General Secretary, Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji: Virendra Lal; The Sanatan members from the various districts in Fiji and abroad; other invited guests and members of the community; and ladies and gentlemen. Good

Evening, Namaste, Ni Sa Bula Vinaá! and Warm Greetings!

Ladies and gentlemen, I foremost take this opportunity to applaud the efforts of Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji, towards promoting the key Sanatan values. For any organisation to prosper and reach the pinnacle of their set objectives and vision, the vital elements of solidarity and passion are mandatory. The Sanatan organisation over the years has certainly shown this commitment and that is the very reason this organisation has grown in size, stature and importance.

I also impart my sincere gratitude to the forefathers of this esteemed organisation. Their dedication and sacrifice is what you all are enjoying today and that effort can never be measured. The vision towards which the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji was  founded upon has become a beacon of light for many and I thank all members, groups, and organisations who along the way contributed to this progress.

I would fail if I do not applaud the efforts of the Sanatan Youth who have continued with the rich traditions. Youth involvement in organisations bolsters cultural sustainability and becomes a cornerstone for future progress and the Sanatan Youth group is certainly flourishing.

Ladies and gentlemen, under the Bainimarama Government, Fiji is quickly becoming the economic and knowledge ‘hub’ of the Pacific. The vision of the FijiFirst Government is based on the core goal of national unity founded through the fundamentals of democracy, common and equal citizenry, fairness, appreciation of all including the disadvantaged and less fortunate, good governance, transparency and accountability and a just society.

We have enshrined this in all aspects of the 2013 Constitution of the Republic of Fiji. The Government of the Day has spearheaded the campaign to root-out all past racial and discriminatory ideologies, practices and policies and unite all Fijians for the common goal of peace and prosperity. Therefore, we need you, the youths of this nation to join us in this concerted effort towards creating a better Fiji for all, including our future generation.

What is Sanatanship

Sanatan is about solidarity. It is about a ‘big universal family’ whereby people share human values and use that to define and aid their growth and development. It is about people who share a common end vision of peace and progress. The Sanatan family has got the refined values of truth, justice, love, care, kindness, help, hard work, respect, and acceptance deeply embedded into all aspects of its day to day living. These values were there for everyone to see after Tropical Cyclone Winston, when the Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha, Fiji took a lead role in assisting and supporting people affected by the Disaster.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Annual Sanatan Convention is not only about sports or the entertainment sake of it. This Convention is the family spirit that each one of you, young and elderly brings to this gathering. It is about sharing and connectivity. It is about keeping our rich traditions and customs alive and passing it onto our children. It is about interaction and integration to promote human values and appreciate each other’s existence. Therefore, each one of your presence at this Convention is equally as important as the other person beside you. You all make the Sanatan Organisation what it is today; an Organisation which has excelled in promoting and protecting Sanatan values.

Role towards our future generation: Our children

Ladies and gentlemen, our children or youths are the engine room of our nation. The proper nourishment of our youths not only in terms of health and nutrition but also in terms of knowledge and education is mandatory for a healthy and robust nation. No longer can we keep our youths on the sidelines when trying to counter contemporary issues. We need to collaborate with youths and train them to take the new challenges head on and deliver successful solutions. One of the ways that we are doing this in Fiji at the current time is by ensuring that all Fijians have all the opportunities to education which they deserve and which is clearly enshrined in the Constitution.

Today, I stand before you and make a calling to all parents, guardians, community members and leaders, that we require your input in our national aspirations. I have re-iterated this time and again that rich parental engagement in education is the catalyst for a ‘knowledge based society’ and today I am making the same call to all those present here. In Fiji, we are blessed that many schools are looked after by faith based organisations. The rich values and virtues of these organisations form the solid foundation upon which the operations of the school roll.

The Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha, Fiji is certainly one of those organisations which have carved a respectable name for itself when it comes to education in Fiji. We have to inspire our children to learn through the values on offer and nurture lifelong lessons through education. Communities need to create a ‘culture of education’ in its locality and work together to eliminate issues affecting children. Then only we can achieve the exemplary society that we all aspire to have.

2017 Convention Theme: Promoting Goodwill and Harmony through Religion

Ladies and gentlemen, the theme for the 2017 Convention: Promoting Goodwill and Harmony through Religion is certainly apt given the importance of religion in this era and how it can be used to shape a person’s thinking, behaviour and attitude towards events, activities and other people. Our beloved nation is blessed with people of various ethnicities who enjoy their rich culture and ways of life. Religion teaches us values and virtues which assist us to unite and respect each other to attain peace and harmony.

Ladies and gentlemen, my philosophy towards religion is that it must be properly implanted in our children. Technology, digitisation, modernisation and globalisation has its own set of benefits and issues, but if we are steadfast to teach our children the religious aspects which will support them growing up, then no disturbance can hinder that decision. We find very less children giving time for religious preachings and prayer occasions which signals to us, not their change but perhaps our failure in succumbing to the demands of the contemporary world. Therefore, it is our duty to first: take time out for our children and second: to impart our religious teachings to them.

Conclusion

Finally, I urge all of you gathered together this evening to always nurture the ‘true Sanatan spirit’. Be proud of your identity and mould our children to become exemplary citizens of this beloved nation.

I wish all participating teams for the various sports activities all the very best. I am certain that the cultural events are much looked forward to and I wish you all the best in enjoying a thoroughly enriching experience and a great fun-filled Convention.

Thank you.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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