The Young Brothers of the Indian Delegation organized an “Exposure program”, one day trip to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, India. It included a visit to one of the Sri Lankan refugee camps and paying homage to the memorial place of the beloved Former President and Greatest Scientist of India. It was a good experience for each Brother in relation to his life-journey as a teacher and as a religious.
The refugee camp was filled with groups of refugees from our neighboring country, Sri Lanka, who have been in the camp since the time of the war, well back to 1980. The personal encounter with the refugees offered the young Brothers a sense of the great loss the people had experienced by losing their own sense of belonging to one’s native land, closeness to relatives and other people and the very spirit of one’s heritage and culture. It was a quiet and tranquil place with scattered houses, with people living there seemingly without hope, struggling with their daily lives; the Brothers were able to see how the people were conditioned and limited in their movements almost prevented from getting out of the area. In fact, during their visit, the Brothers were watched by the police and well instructed by the Parish Priest not to visit the people in their homes; they were told just to have a casual chat on the street. That restricted them to a minimum of interaction with the refugees.
This time in the camp was followed by a short visit to the memorial place of the former President ABJ Abdul Kalam, the greatest scientist of India. The community paid homage at his grave and honored him for the great commitment that he showed to the people of India, especially to the younger generation. It inspired the Brothers a great deal because he was not only a scientist but also a great teacher who loved his students and was loved by them.
Thanks to Brother President, the Young Brothers Coordinator, and the Secretary for their good accompaniment and for arranging this “Exposure program” full of meaning and good lessons for all.
Br. Gabriel Jeri