Swami Vivekananda’s main emphasis was on man-making, total and holistic development of human personality. His memorable words were: “The aim of this institution is to make men. …You must have this new method — the method of man-making. The true man is he who is strong as strength itself and yet possesses a woman’s heart. You must feel for the millions of beings around you, and yet you must be strong and inflexible and you must also possess obedience; though it may seem a little paradoxical — you must possess these apparently conflicting virtues. …You must be free as the air, and as obedient as this plant and the dog.”
Swamiji’s vision of an ideal human personality was the harmonious development of the faculties of feeling, thinking and willing—heart, head and hand: “heart to feel, brains to conceive, hands to work.” He wanted this man-making programme particularly for the youth of our country so that we would have strong, energetic, young men and women, sincere to the backbone, of impeccable character and unimpeachable integrity. He wrote: “What I want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which dwells a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made.”
It was to put into practice Swamiji’s views on man-making education that Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission started school, colleges and hostels in many of its branch centres. There was, however, a need to have a separate centre devoted to the study and propagation of basic principles of Human Excellence in the light of Swamiji’s message.
Legal Aspect and Support
from the Government of West Bengal
The State Cabinet in its meeting held on 09.09.2013, decided to approve the allotment of 5 (five) acre plot of land in New Town, Kolkata in favour of the Ramakrishna Mission for setting up a Centre for Human Excellence and Social Sciences on usual terms and conditions. Accordingly, a registered deed of Lease was executed on 28th May 2014 between the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (HIDCO) and the Ramakrishna Mission.
Therefore, when the Government of West Bengal, at the initiative of its Chief Minister, proposed that a centre for Human Excellence and Social Sciences for research and educational activities at various levels in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences with special emphasis on Value Education, man-making and character-building education as enunciated by Swami Vivekananda, be started at Rajarhat in Kolkata, the Ramakrishna Mission accepted the proposal. The Mission requested the Govt. of West Bengal in writing (letter dated 19.08.2013) for allotment of a plot of land at a concessional price.
Actualization of Swamiji's Vision
Some Concrete Steps Contemplated in the Proposed Centre
The proposed Centre, christened “Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centre for Human Excellence and Social Sciences”, will be a humble attempt to actualize the great vision of Swami Vivekananda by creating the machinery by which the excellences inherent in a human being, the Perfection and Divinity already present in man, become fully manifest and flow out as a torrent for the welfare of the world.
Architectural Plan of the Project
With this end in view, following buildings/departments are slated to come up at Viveka Tirtha: (i) An off campus of Vivekananda University, (ii) Centre for Value Education for the people of all walks of life, (iii) A school of languages with language laboratory, (iv) A computer institute, (v) A digital library, (vi) Deptartment of Citizenship Training, (vii) A conference hall, (viii) An auditorium, (ix) An Exhibition hall, and (ix) Separate quarters for guest faculties and staff etc. One distinguishing feature of the campus is that the central building of the entire campus of Viveka Tirtha will resemble the Art Institute at Chicago, USA, where Swami Vivekananda delivered his world-famous addresses in the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893. This Art Institute gave the World a new civilization befitting the culture of East and the West. The other buildings will be named after the Western disciples who served Swamiji in his Mission in the West as well as in India.
The construction of the entire campus of Viveka Tirtha is estimated to cost 172 crore rupees
and the targeted time of completion is 5 years.
Financial Aspect and Appeal
As a charitable organization, Ramakrishna Mission depends entirely on the generous donations from the public and financial support from the Government for running all its service activities. Especially, a project of this magnitude cannot be materialized without the active support from the Government, Corporate Bodies and generous people. The Ramakrishna Mission is appealing to the corporate houses to support the project financially and be part of a noble cause. The Corporate houses under their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) are taking a lot of initiatives for building our nation, and starting an Institution of this kind will no doubt strengthen the cardinal objectives of their mission.
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