Youth Empowerment Program
Even though, there remains no duties whatsoever for me to perform in this world, still there certainly does remain something to be done: to constantly serve with devotion the feet of my Teacher by whose Guidance alone I have gained this wisdom.
YEP is a one-year, work-study residential programme of All-India CHYK (Chinmaya Mission’s Youth Wing) for young adults (18-28 years) and aims at creating nation-builders of tomorrow. YEP provides insights to the problems faced by youngsters today and practical solutions to overcome them, empowering the young ones to Learn, Serve and Grow. ‘Yuva-veers’, as participants are called, are sent out to serve in different parts of India and the world, to apply and test what they have learned.
Across the world today, youth impact the society and have power to bring change with the right vision, life skills and sense of compassion. Especially in a nation like India where the youth are about 35% of the population, they form the country’s greatest source of ‘renewable energy’ being the youngest and largest working force.
The first seven batches of YEP have seen over 330 inspired youngsters who have not only served Chinmaya Mission in various locations and projects during the prescribed tenure of service but quite a few have even joined the Chinmaya Mission full-time, bringing with them dynamism and energy.
The success of the YEP programme thus far, has led to the initiation of the same in the US with 31 youngsters having participated in the first batch of YEP West.
“It (YEP) transformed my life by giving clarity on the purpose of this birth.”
– Shibani Khorana, YV1,
Full-time Sevak, Chinmaya Mission
The vision of YEP is to nurture the untapped potential of youth and inspire them to bring about a positive transformation in them and the nation as a whole. To achieve this goal, it empowers participants through its formula of Learn, Serve and Grow!
The first part of the training programme takes place in Chinmaya Vibhooti, in Kolwan, India. The facility covers 70 acres of serene, pictorial landscape surrounded by the Sahyadri Mountains. It is situated in India’s Kolwan Village, housed between Mumbai and Pune.
Chinmaya Vibhooti provides lodging, food, classrooms and outdoor space for activities. Students are introduced to a simple lifestyle that is conducive to learning. Medical facilities are also available on an as-needed basis.
YEP is a free of cost program for those who will serve for a year on a full-time basis. This initiative is sponsored entirely by Chinmaya Mission which takes care of all the Yuva Veers basic needs during the 12-month programme. During the service period, the Yuva Veer gets a minimum monthly stipend with which he or she can cover their basic personal needs
The initial two and a half months of YEP is the period for learning and the course is conducted at Chinmaya Mission’s Vision Centre, Chinmaya Vibhooti, in Kolwan near Pune. Participants are exposed to Vedantic studies, group discussions, adventure activities, cultural performances, movie-based workshops, games, creative teaching methodologies and so forth to realise their potential. The diverse teaching faculty consists of spiritual gurus, management and industry experts and professionals from different fields. Yuva Veers from past batches enrich the programme by sharing their experiences on how to manage life, grow and evolve.
The learning in YEP’s two and a half month intensive training course includes:
1) Bhagavad-gita (overview on each chapter)
2) Fundamentals of Vedanta through texts like Bhaja Govindam, Tattva Bodha, and Upadesh Sara
3) Devotional texts such as Hanuman Chalisa, Essence of Ramayana, Narada Bhakti Sutra and Rama Gita
4) Learning Sanskrit – reading, writing and speaking
5) How to conduct workshops on Attitude, Time and Stress Management
6) Vision on Indian culture
7) Yoga and physical training
8) Movie Workshops (on movies such as: The Matrix series, Peaceful Warrior, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Last Samurai and many more!)
“YEP has given me the strength to live independently and has given a direction to my life.”
– Raajitha K. S., YV2,
Senior Executive, Research and Development, EZ Vidya Pvt Ltd., Chennai
Subsequent to the theoretical learning in the training period, the students are placed at various Chinmaya Mission centres across the globe and responsibilities are allocated to them based on their aptitude.
The service period plays a significant role in providing practical implementation of the knowledge received during the earlier part of the course. Participants gain concrete experience in various pursuits such as organising camps, conducting youth classes, creative writing, scripting and enacting theatre plays and serving in rural parts of the country.
Yuva Veer reaches out to all age groups of citizens – from children (Bala Vihar), to youth (CHYK) and elders (through serving during Jnana Yajnas).
So far over 330 Yuva Veers from seven batches have reached out to:
1) More than 3 lakh youth through college talks, national camps, theatre and youth classes.
2) More than 2 lakh children through Bala Vihars and school camps.
Moreover, Yuva Veers have conducted over 200 competitions and Seva projects in villages through CORD, helping lakhs of underprivileged people to improve the quality of their lives.
“If not YEP, I would have been in a job without knowing my true potential. I wouldn’t have known that I enjoy empowering others. I wouldn’t have known even that I can LEAD!”
– Santhosh, YV2,
Teacher Trainer and Product Innovation, EZ Vidya Pvt. Ltd., Chennai
Upon the completion of YEP’s 12 months of training and internship programme, a Yuva Veer graduates with a clearer vision for life and a wealth of unseen assets including communication skills, self-confidence, ability to organize workshops and training programmes. Also, based on their aptitude and qualifications, participants find employment in their chosen fields.
Most importantly, their one year with YEP grants Yuva Veers the fulfilment of their main purpose: the joy and sense of satisfaction in serving their motherland.
“I can truly say that those 75 days changed my life and my outlook. Three years later, I am still reaping the benefits of the experience.”
– Raghuveer Akula
CHYK West Steering Committee/
Quality Assurance Automation Programmer, Hewlett Packard
“After having studied, you have the responsibility to teach others. You are creating your world. Just as after studying from my teacher, I have been hammering it to others-THINK! -you can do it too. You must work for the good of society. Think over how best you can do it.”
– Swami Chinmayananda
After successfully completing the course, most Yuva Veers find challenging jobs where they use their knowledge, training and skills to help their companies move ahead with their goals. A few, become successful entrepreneurs, set up their own businesses, and pursue innovative projects making optimal use of their expertise and talents. Yet others decide to serve Chinmaya Mission as full-time qualified graduates, with fresh, original ideas to enthusiastically help the Mission in its task of spreading ‘maximum happiness, to maximum people, for the maximum amount of time.’
But above all, regardless of the path Yuva Veers decide to take up, there is clarity on one thing: SERVE – serve society, serve Chinmaya Mission, serve the family, serve their nation, serve the world … Service becomes primordial in the life of a Yuva Veer, because there is no greater happiness than “to give more than what we take.”
“YEP has helped me a lot. I’ve learned many things: how to understand others and hence help needy people. It has helped me in living a disciplined life. YEP has shown me a way of life. I joined YEP because I wanted to serve the ashram and people and hence I grew into a better person.”
– Rani Dunput, YV3,
Lecturer, Mauritius Institute of Education
Chinmaya Mission West Address: Krishnalaya Retreat 83900 CA-271, Piercy, CA 95587 Quick Contact Tel: +1-707-207 5011 Fax: +1-707-247 3422 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: krishnalaya.chinmayamission.org
Pune Address: Chinmaya Viboothi Post Kolwan Taluka Mulshi Pune Maharashtra-412108 Quick Contact: Email: email@example.com website: www.yuvaveer.com Ph: +001 678-580-1534 Fax: +91-11050661090