Monday, October 9, 2017


Last Saturday, I was at the Installation Ceremony of the new Board of Samraat Club Curchorem. The event was in the hall of a school called Sarvodaya. A colleague asked me for the meaning. It was used by Mahatma Gandhi as the title of his 1908 translation of John Ruskin's tract on political economy, Unto This Last. Gandhi came to use the term for the ideal of his own political philosophy.

The word has two roots: sarva (all) and udaya (uplift)… literally meaning the uplift of all or the welfare of all. Ruskin's outlook extended from three central tenets: (1) the good of the individual is contained in the good of all. (2) a lawyer's work has the same value as the barber's in as much as all have the same right of earning their livelihood from their work. (3) a life of labour is a life worth living.

Incidentally, many centuries before, Buddha had spoken about the same approach as ‘Bahujan Hitay, Bahujan Sukhay’ (in the interest of all, in the happiness of all). It is a useful compass for all of us who work in organisations that strive for making a positive impact on and with the people of the world.

Of course, we must start with the people around. We must extend regard and respect for everyone we meet. We must recognise the dignity in labour and participate in it. We must value every human being and recognise that equality comes about only when we are all uplifted to the same plane of self-respect. When we rise together, we truly rise!

Together we can rise, together we should
Sarvodaya is about the common good…

~ Pravin Sabnis

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