: Experience of South Africa
Subject: Experience of South Africa
I returned to my home country Nepal on Sunday, April 2 after a week long tour of South Africa (SA). It was a great opportunity for me to get a chance to visit SA at the invitation of UNICEF, ROSA and South Asia Inter-Religious Council on HIV/AIDS. Thanks a lot to Ian D.Macleod (Regoinal HIV/AIDS Advisor), Prof. A. Wassey (E. Secretary of the Council) UN-team in SA and all the wonderful members of the study tour.
As it was my first visit to SA, I naturally became excited. The progress and development the country has made seems so amazing. I had never thought that SA would be so well developed. Especially, the cities such as Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria etc are not less developed than any other cities of the developed countries. Marvelous!!! It's the country which I feel like I have an inner connection with as Mahatma Gandhi had started his actual journey from this country. There is still the train station with an inscription along with the picture of Gandhi where he was thrown out of the train in charge of traveling in the first class. Fortunately, it's the country where the religious harmony seems to be flourishing and where the racial discrimination doesn't exist now any more. A long awaited dream has come true.
But, it is so sad to state that I was terribly shocked to have witnessed the devastation and panic caused by HIV/AIDS. Nearly 6 million people are detected to have got infected by this fatal disease. Poverty, and gap between haves and have nots are still grave problems that have so badly affected the country. Many innocent children are born with HIV positive; Grandparents are taking care of their grandchildren, as their parents have died or infected by AIDS. What a terrible scene. I was extremely shocked by this very terrifying and shocking play of death. Throughout my visit only a question kept banging on my head - WHY ? WHY ?? WHY ???
A few terrible questions have taken away my sleep. Can we stop our responsibility just by blaming upon the youths? Is it the failure only of the government? Is it only SA suffering by HIV/AIDS? What's the duty that the religious leaders should take very earnestly? What should the social workers do collectively? Can we leave these youngsters and children helpless just to await death? What do they really need? The spiritual awareness or moral classes? Financial support or physical comfort? The training of life or the opportunity of living? A sustainable and just society? Or, what else?
MY FRIENDS, LET'S THINK IN TIME NOT ONLY FOR SOUTH AFRICA BUT FOR OUR FUTURE, FOR OUR NEW HUMAN GENERATION, FOR OUR PLANET AND VERY ESPECIALLY FOR OUR TRUE DHARMA. CAN WE CLOSE OUR EYES AND LET PEOPLE DIE SO MISERABLY???
What terrifies me a lot these days is that may be Nepal is also going to face almost the same type of problem. May be in a small scale now, but there is a fear that the spark of this fatal disease has already lit which seems to be gutting the Nepalese society at an alarming rate. As we know that a small spark can destroy the entire forest in case the preventive measures are not taken cautiously and timely. Nepal is a very tiny Himalayan country with fascinating nature and soul touching culture which has to be protected for its own new generation and for those good people of the world who unconditionally love Nepal and want to experience her spiritual gorgeousness and flavor.
As I'm writing this, I'm missing the tiny pure eyes of the children who even don't know that they are here only for a few years more. No more years to laugh. So please let's listen the call of time and work hand-in-hand. Let's walk together for a healthy human society; let's create a friendly society – the society filled with love, trust and respect for each other. Never think that you are safe while the next house is burning. It may turn towards you at any time. SO ARISE, AWAKE, STOP NOT TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED.
Love + Peace + Service
Dr. C. M. Yogi
Principal - Hindu Vidya Peeth-Nepal (HVP)
Founder - Shanti Sewa Ashram ( SSA )
Patron - Youth Society for Peace (YSP)
Po.Box: 6807, Kathmandu, Nepal , Ph. 00977- 1- 5527924 /5 , [url=]www.hvp-nepal.org[/url]