Dr. Vartika Nanda A Communication
Consultant

WHAT IS GIVE BACK TO INDIA?

There are two important events in your life: (1) when you are born and (2) when you realize that you are born with a purpose. The real importance of the first you realize when you become conscious of the second one. For us, this driving PURPOSE is a secret zeal to give back to society we were born in. On this realization, instantly, we also realized that we are not alone to carry this dream. Every person, big or small, having crossed his two meals stage in life, desires to give back to the society and to the country that gave him an identity and a sense of worthiness.

It was at this moment of realization that the 3 of us - Dr. Vartika Nanda (a voluntarily retired IPS officer turned Communication Consultant), Ashutosh Pathak (an ex-TV journalist turned media entrepreneur), and Manindra Thakur (a professor at JNU's Political Science department) - decided to take the first step in March 2015 by forming a socio-political body and named it as Give Back to India (GBI). We found the name powerful because it has a strong emotional appeal. It connects India as a whole, and also to all Indians across the world. It was formally registered as a Trust on 16th of April 2015.

The idea caught up soon, especially with some eminent Denizens having a track record of public service. A senior Supreme Court lawyer, known for undertaking public interest causes in the highest court, Umesh Sharma has undertaken the role of being the legal convener of GBI and a public interest spirited doctor, Anil Goel, better known as a dynamic leader of Delhi Medical Association, has voluntarily undertaken the role of medical convener of GBI.

So it was the time we consciously decided to give up the thinking that politics is a bad thing. We realized we needed to come out of the grip of old cliches such as 'politics is the last resort of scoundrels', 'politicians सारे चोर होते हैं', 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' and so on. We now believe that 'power' for public good is a great motivator. It can give you a purpose and direction in life. It also gives you a scale. It can be a great propeller if we pursue power not for CONTROL, but for सेवा or PUBLIC SERVICE. Power can turn out to be a bad chase if you are pursuing it just for the heck of it or for your personal interest. But it can prove to be a great pursuit, if driven by larger public interest. Politics - which is CLEAN and ACCOUNTABLE - is a means to pursue that end. So if good and public spirited people do not join politics, bad, ugly and awkward would fill the vacuum. In other words we feel, and we are sure you too do, that only right people will make politics right. We desire that good men must win in life and they would surely win if they not just live for themselves but devote some part of their life in larger social good. If you think your heart is in right place and if you think it bleeds for the last man in the row, joining GBI may turn out to be a good beginning. Ask yourself, DO YOU HAVE IT IN YOU - fire and the grit - to change the society in India for better and you are ready to spare your bit of time, energy and resources for it. If the answer is yes, join this voyage GIVE BACK TO INDIA (GBI) is a socio-political organization set up in February 2015 to pursue an alternative politics through a pan Indian socio-political two-tier activities at the centre and state level in India. We thought we will start a social organization first and move forward through a series of public spirited activities and membership campaign. 'Give Back to India' is that social organization. Once we acquire a critical mass of members, we will upscale it to a political party. We will name it when we form one.

In other words, we intend to start with constructive work (रचनात्मक काम) first, move on to movements on larger social and political issues (अान्दोलन) and then get into electoral politics (चुनाव). So, we don't want to treat politics merely as an event management to be organized DURING elections only; we desire to pursue it BETWEEN elections too. For us politics is not just about fighting elections to become Councillor, MLA, MP, Minister; that may be one important thing to do, for us politics is equally crucial for pushing the boundaries of its definition and broaden the realm of involvement of citizenry in handling our collective life, our resources, our concerns and about struggling to make them right where they are not. So our definition of politics would therefore include, besides electoral politics during elections, the politics of environment, of societal wealth, of education, of health, of language, of gender, of aesthetics, of beauty, of social ills, of social relationships between the period between two elections. The list could be endless as you go on flagging them in the journey. Broadly, at the central level the organization will pursue electoral reforms, administrative reforms, land reforms and media reforms and at the state level, it will undertake socio-cultural, political, educational, health and human development activities with a view to deepening democracy in India.

For raising resources, each of 3 of us has taken a vow to raise clean seed money by making 100 members individually and also by motivating these 300 members to raise at least 5 members each. This way we plan to create a critical mass of about 1800 members - carrying a desire to 'give back' - by the year end. The contribution for the individual membership has been fixed @ Rs 5000 minimum and this needs to be given only by CHEQUE for the purpose of ensuring transparency and financial hygiene.Join us if you believe our credentials.

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