The Sanskrit phrase Vasudhaiva Kutumbaka, or “the world is one family,” has been a touchstone of Indian spirituality for millennia. Taken from the Upanishads, among India’s most sacred scriptures, the principle is being integrated into GPF India’s ongoing youth leadership program, Connecting the Lines: From Escape to Engage.
The program connects Vasudhaiva Kutumbaka with cultivating leadership skills and exploring practical solutions to social issues and conflicts. Even during the pandemic, the program held its sixth session online, with 21 interns from July 2 to August 4, 2021.
Connecting the Lines combines different fields of knowledge: literature, peace, religion, science, social science, and technology. The curriculum covers topics such as world religions, shared values, and communication, cultivating practical application through activities like discussions to promote social cohesion, family activities, movie screenings, and service projects.
Connecting the Lines seeks to bring people together, cultivate ethical leadership and advance innovative solutions based on universal values and the understanding that humanity is one family.
Interns learned practical approaches to address social conflicts and strengthen family ties, communication, and project development. “I believe my learning will help me in daily life,” said intern Gautam. “I can use diplomacy or mediation to resolve my own disputes or conflicts. It can help me educate societies, youth, children about the importance of peace.”