Sukhi Parivaar – A historical account
The Sukhi Parivaar movement was launched with a campaign to awaken the interests of parents, and make them aware of their duties and responsibilities in the face of growing violence. It took place on Sunday 12th November 2006 morning at 09.30 hours in Gayatri Bhavan, Riche Mare, in the presence of important personalities, including the then Minister of family affairs, Hon. Indira Seebun.
It was registered as an NGO on 18th January 2008, over a year after it had started its work. After promoting the innovative concept of ensuring daily communication amongst family members, with each one recounting the day’s event in a frank manner, the movement won the recognition of the UNDP and received a grant that gave a boost to its activities that relied only on volunteers.
Over seventy seminars and workshops in different villages and towns have been organized. These involved qualified sociologists and stakeholders like youth leaders, teachers, rectors, presidents and members of socio-religious and socio-cultural organizations, chairmen of district and village councils, parent-teacher associations. In the seminars, families were awakened to their role as the first educators of their children, and to the need to transmit proper values so as to promote harmony and solidarity, with peace and happiness in the family. It is recognized that if families are united and happy, the society as a whole reflects the same characteristics.
At its General Assembly on 1st August 2009 the new Executive was elected as follows:
President: Prof.Soodursun Jugessur.
V.Presidents Mr. Lindsay Morvan, and Ms. Vimi Dookhun ,
Secretary: Mr. Haymant Ramgobin,
Asst. Sec: Mr. Chris Gunnoo,
Treasurer: Mr. Philippe Tse rai Wai,
Asst. Treasurer, Mr. Premchund Jeetun,
PRO. Mr. Vijaye Kumar Beeharry,
Asst: Mr. Pandit Dewanan Bhunjun.
Members: Dr. Ibrahim Koodorut, Mr. Shyam Hurbungs, Mr. Amrit Putty, Dr. Ravhee Bholah.
With UNDP funds, the first task was to recruit, through open competition, a project officer in the name of Mrs. Lakshmi Gunessee, an experienced office and social worker. Five persons applied. The selection was done in the office of Mr. Lindsay Morvan in Port Louis.
The movement received a further moral boost when an article in the June 2010 issue of Readers Digest, brought to our attention by our PRO Mr. Vijay Kumar Beeharry, highlighted a similar program in the USA, where President Obama was seen conducting a similar exercise within his family, sacrificing everything to devote three evenings every week, during which they recounted their problems and successes. He has called his program ‘Thorns and Roses.’This then appeared as a feature article in the new weekly Impact, where Dr. Ms. Catherine Boudet spoke of our movement and its similarity with President Obama’s Thorns and Roses.
The Committee organized a series of Awareness talks with the assistance of the National Women’s Council, the Mauritius Alliance of Women, and other regional organizations. As examples we can cite sessions organized in Triolet Community Center, presentations in QEC, Lalmatie SSS, Rose Belle SSS, Marathi Centre, Reduit, Marie Mariott Center, Quatre Bornes, Idriss Goomani Center, Port Louis, Mare d’Albert Telegu Temple, Roche Bois Community Center, Cité Vallegie Community center, Baie du Tombeau Community Center, Gold Nest Hotel, Neergheen Bhavan, Sir Kher Jagatsingh SSS, Beau Bassin, Quatre Bornes, with the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare, Creve Coeur Community Center (two sessions), Montagne Longue Community Center, Grand Gaube Village Hall, Plaine Magnien Social Welfare center, Rose Belle Social Welfare Center, Camp Berthaud, Britannia Community Center, and Quatre Bornes Mauritius Alliance of Women Center. Since many of the sessions were during working hours, only few of our members could attend and motivate the sessions. Besides myself, the Project Officer, Mr. Lindsay Morvan and Mr. Hurbungs were the presenters. Each session was followed by questions and answers which highlighted the problems families are facing. Sometimes parents reacted back later to ask for advice on specific family issues like adolescent behaviour or alcoholism.
The talks covered a whole range of global and local issues concerning families and their position in a fast developing materialistic environment. Stress was laid on eternal values and the primary roles of parents who can exercise their duties when they arrange to meet regularly with their children.
The program was also presented at TV shows in Creole and Hindustani, in the form of discussions around the table. A few members also participated in radio talks on Sukhi Parivaar. The demand for such radio and TV presentations is high, and this is pointed out at most of the sessions we have conducted. During most of the sessions in the different parts of the country, the majority participation is by female parents. That is why they insist on TV presentations for the benefit of the male parents.
We liased with Macoss, of which we are a registered member. Mr. Shyam Hurbungs also represented the association during a special program of Youth Excellence Awards 2009 organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, during which our Association gave four shields to four winners in the competition on Youth and Family Life.
During 2010, further sessions were held in different parts of the country. In 2011, Sukhi Parivaar, launched its website (www.sukhiparivaar.org ) in the presence of relevant Minister. Hon. Sheila Bappoo at the Municipal Council of Port Louis on 1st March 2011, where a Seminar on ‘The crucial role of parents’ was organized. MBC covered it as a news item of the day. We also organized an awareness session in Rose Belle, Mme. Lolo Road, on Weds 18th May at 14.30 hours. The Muslim community hall was packed with over 300 men, women and old people of all religious communities. It was a joint meeting of the southern region women’s association, and the elderly people around.
The President, Prof. S.Jugessur was the chief guest, and he elaborated on the state of society now and how the Sukhi Parivaar program can remedy the situation and prepare the new generation for a value-based living. The talk was followed by questions from the floor and clarifications were given. The Sukhi Parivaar pamphlet was distributed to the participants.
Two dramas highlighting the message of Sukhi Parivaar, one in Creole and one in Hindustani, are being put up with expert guidance, and these will be shown within this year. This will have greater impact on the viewers.
The program is constantly receiving wide recognition internationally through its website, because of its innovative approach to tackle social and family issues.