India For Humanity Campaign- Launched

India for Humanity is a noble initiative launched by India’s External Affairs Ministry on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and a soft power tool to connect with the international community.

To launch India for Humanity the Ministry of External Affairs, in partnership with Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti better known by its trademark ‘Jaipur Foot’, this week started year-long initiative to reach those around the world, and transform their lives.

Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti is the largest organization in the world for the fitment of artificial limbs, and more so, it provides its services completely free of charge. Its iconic Jaipur Foot costs a fraction of what similar products cost produced by leading multinationals making artificial limbs, and is also much lighter than all others.  In fact, the United Nations organized a special Conference and an Exhibition to commemorate 50 years of Jaipur Foot at its headquarters in New York last May.

Among the seven sins published by Mahatma Gandhi in his weekly Young India in 1925, one of the seven sins was “Science without Humanity”. Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti has proved to the world that when science is combined with humanity, it could bring in huge changes. Mahatma Gandhi’s life is an inspiration for all. He led the world in its struggle for freedom from colonization, slavery, poverty, discrimination and above all, from human failings.

Mahatma Gandhi’s values of humanism were themselves inspired by the spiritual ethos of ancient India emanating from the deep wisdom of Indian scriptures as well as other great teachings. Foreign policy is not merely about fostering better relations between countries. It is also about sharing what a country has with others. It is about reaching out to people in other countries to see whether India can make a difference to their lives. It is about empowering peoples’ lives.

It is about coming together to collectively find solutions to problems that plague world. It is important not to forget that behind every policy that is made, behind every step and behind every initiative is launched, there is a human being at the end who will and should stand to benefit.

Since the current government took charge, it has tried to inject a sense of caring, personal touch and compassion in foreign policy by reaching out to stakeholders both in India and abroad, especially those who may have otherwise had difficulty to get themselves heard and their needs addressed.  Be it an Indian woman deserted by her spouse abroad or a foreigner urgently needing a visa to get medical treatment in India or an Indian citizen who has suddenly realized that his passport has to be renewed immediately.

External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, inaugurating the India for Humanity campaign said, it was the great Indian philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda who said
“The land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness – it is India.” Mrs. Swaraj also said that Mahatma Gandhi had devoted his life for the service of humanity. The Indian Minister observed that it was this service of humanity that dominated Gandhiji’s life and motivated him to take up different causes in his life – political freedom of India being only one of them.

She said, the government has spared no efforts in the evacuation of Indian citizens from crisis spots, and in this, it did not limit itself to just Indian nationals, but extend our hands to help people of all nationalities.

India for Humanity will touch the lives of thousands of people who are in need of such assistance and will span over one year covering several countries. These camps will be initially held in 12 countries identified through Indian Missions with financial support of the government. The larger aim is to provide for the physical, economic and social rehabilitation of the differently-abled around the world by helping them regain their mobility and dignity to become self-respecting and productive members.  India for Humanity will provide that hope for the future.

Script: Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, Diplomatic Correspondent