The third National EMRS Cultural Fest kicked off at the Art of Living International Center on Monday. The three-day event is organized by The Art of Living and National Education Society for Tribal Students in partnership with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, and Ministry of Social Welfare Government of Karnataka.
The event will witness cultural and sports competitions with 1,648 participants from Eklavya Model Residential Schools from across the country. These schools are run by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to impart quality education to children from Scheduled Tribes in remote areas and provide them opportunities in high and professional educational courses and get employment in various sectors.
The event coincided with National Unity Day, and everyone present on the occasion took the Pledge of Unity, re-committing to preserving the unity, integrity, and security of the nation. The pledge was followed by addresses from the dignitaries including Renuka Singh Saruta, Minister of State Ministry Of Tribal Affairs Government of India, Kota Shrinivas Poojari, Minister for Social Welfare and Backward Class Welfare Department, Government of Karnataka in the presence of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, global humanitarian and founder of The Art of Living.
"We need to be proud of our state, language, land and water. Different regions of our country has specific cultural fabric. Our villages have their own culture, folk lore, literature and wisdom which needs to be preserved alongside modern development. Today, we do not have anyone who can reject you. You are held by both hands and embraced, motivating you to go ahead," Gurudev said.
Renuka Singh Saruta, Hon'ble Minister of State Ministry Of Tribal Affairs, Government of India cited various success stories of successful tribal women in India's recent history in the field of sports, education, and administration and encouraged students to take inspiration from them, saying today no tribal girl is held back from studying and making progress due to her gender.
Speaking on the occasion, Renuka Singh Saruta said, "This competition will reflect the diversity in culture of our nation. My suggestions to the children is to keep the spirit of introspection on, ask yourself questions and meditate. This will help you become better decision makers. Have bigger goals in life, a bigger goal will lead to bigger achievements too."
Kota Shrinivas Poojari spoke about the dreams of Dr. B R Ambedkar to absorb the backward sections of society into the mainstream. Speaking about Eklavya schools, he said that 831 schools have been established in Karnataka itself, each school housing 250 students.
"The children brought to these schools do not have to pay anything till they pass out of PUC and degree. Our wish is to train them to become doctors and engineers in the future. It is of great happiness to us that 14 students out of these schools have reached the level of IIT and institutions of such level," Poojari said.
He also congratulated Gurudev and The Art of Living for running 982 free schools across the country that provide high-quality holistic education to more than 80,000 children from economically weaker sections. Majority of these children being first generation learners.