On August 12th, 2023, a four-hour session held at the Saiier conference hall in Tamil Nadu set out to explore these very issues. Facilitated by the experienced Muthukumaran, this event was grounded in the principles of Radical Transformational Leadership, offering a transformative experience for the 25 participants hailing from diverse backgrounds, including local villages like Mooratandi, Annai Nagar, Edayanchavadi, Kottakarai, as well as attendees from Auroville and Isaiambalam school.
One of the central themes of this session was the notion of sourcing inner capacity and transcending fears. Muthukumaran guided the participants towards understanding the incredible reservoir of strength that lies within them. Operating from a wisdom profile, rather than dwelling in exclusion and separation, emerged as another pivotal concept. Participants learned how embracing their unique wisdom profiles could foster connections and inclusion, fostering a sense of unity rather than division.
The session delved into the world of background conversations, those internal dialogues that often hold us back in life. Participants were challenged to recognize and dissect these conversations, understanding how they could have similar conversations about others, fostering empathy and understanding.
A significant part of the program involved participants identifying their current life challenges and placing them within the framework of WHO parameters for well-being. By categorizing their challenges into emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions, the youth gained valuable insights into their holistic well-being.
The transformative journey did not stop at identifying challenges. Participants were encouraged to design projects that would not only help them overcome these obstacles but also enhance their lives. This process fostered clarity and actionable steps, enabling them to initiate positive changes immediately, in the short term, and in the long term.
The participants’ responses shed light on the common challenges faced by today’s youth. These challenges majorly included difficulties in finding relevant work, issues in interpersonal relationships, and concerns about health and mental well-being. It was evident that these issues were not unique to a single individual but resonated across the group, reinforcing the importance of addressing them collectively.
The youth were introduced to systems thinking and project design, empowering them to create actionable plans to address their challenges. This exercise helped participants identify the shifts they wanted to make in their lives and the necessary steps to achieve these changes. The emphasis on immediate, short-term, and long-term goals provided a holistic approach to personal growth.
The session’s impact extended beyond its four-hour duration. Plans were set in motion to invite the youth to the upcoming RTL “Here and Now” session in September, where they could continue their transformative journey.
In addition to the youth session, the Thamarai team has also engaged with the Annai Nagar women’s groups and Panchayat. This collaboration provides invaluable insights and generative ideas to optimize Thamarai’s services. Discussions during the women’s group meeting also introduced livelihood initiatives by visiting organizations, fostering community development.