Speech of President Krishna Athal at Launching Ceremony of YUVA District Port Louis

Lord Mayor, Jenito Seedoo
Chairman of MACOSS, Girish Bucktowarsing
Representative of Canadian Consulate, Timon
YUVA District Port Louis President, Joyvani Rose
YUVANs, distinguished guests, ladies & gentlemen

Good afternoon!

Today we embark in a journey that will soon become an exemplary platform for the people of the Port Louis District to experience volunteerism, social work and modern political thought.

This launching ceremony, in the presence of dignified personalities, is just a modest event, which however undeniably increases the responsibilities of every local YUVA being launched today. I always believe that when your values are clear, your decisions become easy. I thank the YUVA District President Joyvani Rose who has taken the lead to implement the guiding principles of YUVA Mauritius in Port Louis.

In my address to you today, I would like to focus on the essence of SERVICE, which these YUVANs truly signify and which I think society should take pride from.

All the members who form part of YUVA operate entirely on a voluntary basis and this is a value that we should treasure and convey to society.

Undoubtedly, Mauritius can pride itself of having them as a vibrant youth society with a strong sense of civic duty and engagement. Although much of this service is mostly carried out in silence and behind the scenes, it is felt and appreciated by society at large through a better quality of life.

Service… Of humblest ladies and gentlemen, bright Creature! Service is like the Daisy flower. The Daisy, by the shadow that it casts, protects the lingering dewdrops from the piercing sun.

Look in the early morning (I don’t know how many of you get up before the sun rises), if you go for a walk, you’ll find so much of beautiful and tender dewdrops sitting on all places. And the sun comes up and destroys them, burns them out.

However, this little Daisy flower doesn’t brag or sing its own praises; but it just fulfils its duty of opening up in the morning. And what it does in return? It just throws a shadow around and this protects the lingering dewdrops for some time. In Economics we call it “externality” – you do something, and something else happens.

Ultimately, what did the Daisy do? It just did its duty! According to me, the greatest service you can do is to give a good example to the society. We can move around with all types of big and famous organisations to try to become a good man, but we don’t have the guarantee.

Nevertheless, you can take an oath standing on this protest – “I’ll be a better man tomorrow, than what I’m today.” I’m sure of one thing, that there will be one ignorant youngster less in this world.

It’s so easy to live by sharing. I believe, service is love-made-visible, kindness is love-made-tangible, but sharing is love-made-believable.

There are many philanthropists across the island, and we often see them on the television or in newspapers. But are they really philanthropists? When we go deep into it, we often find that most of them have hidden agendas.

I appeal to every YUVAN present here today to “walk the talk”. If you want to do right, then do the right thing. To serve is more than any occupation! Every life has got a purpose and it has to serve its worthiness at some point of life, simply to justify its existence. But, we don’t serve the society to gain its acceptance; we are accepted so we serve the society.

Our problem is that we all talk about service but not practicing it in the real sense. Please think about it. I don’t want you to do anything except think and go deeper into it and find out its real significance. Everybody can be great… Because anybody can serve!

You don’t have to have a university degree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s “Theory of relativity” to serve. You don’t have to know the second law of “Thermal dynamics” to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love, and you can be that servant.

Modern leadership emphases on collaboration! In unity we can do many things for this country. United are we that stand together for any cause! We can change the face of the world, into heaven, provided each of us become “homo-altruisticus”.

I’ll take you to a short story, since there are different ways of saying things…

Inspired by movies and discipline, from an early age I wanted to join military. But my mom happened to convince me not to join military after school, but rather first go for my first degree at the university. On my first semester of my university, my friends and I went on a mountain-climbing trip, where I met a troop of the Special Mobile Force. That day, I asked the officer in charge so many questions about army life that he soon realised my fanaticism for the field.

He then told me something that really changed my whole life. I don’t remember the person’s name and face, but what I remember are the exact words that he told me. If I distort the words, I’ll take the essence of his message away. He told me:

The ways you embrace and opt to serve your country are very important. Do you want to join in the SMF, take out your gun every day, clean it and put it back in the safe? Or, would you like to become an exemplary citizen of Mauritius, serve the country with such great actions in society that every move of yours would be equal to a bullet fired from a real gun?

That marked me!

Last thing I want to tell you, dear young friends, is that let it be from day to day that all can see what you have to offer the world, even when no one is paying attention, there will always be room to grow for the day in which you are the voice of the people, the day you are the growth of the people.

Thank you.

– KRISHNA ATHAL
YUVA President

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YUVA

Registered in February 2015, YUVA started as a group of enthusiastic individuals, and today it has mobilised thousands of young people with a simple aim of creating a better future for children and youth of Mauritius. At the heart of YUVA’s duty lies the conviction that the collective destinies of the human race are bound together.

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