BENGALURU: Social activist Madhuri Sahasrabudhe wanted to find solutions for certain problems in the society, like how to bring a broken family together, but ended up making people across the world realise the importance of Indian family values. As a result, 32 mothers from seven countries, as part of the Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam programme, have travelled to India to get a first-hand experience of traditional Indian values. The group was hosted by the wife of late Union minister Ananth Kumar, Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, at Adamya Chetana in Gavipuram on Sunday. The brain behind the programme, Sahasrabudhe says, “The India trip for these mothers started from Delhi, covering Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Pune and is finally going to end in Mumbai. I wanted to give them an experience from different parts of the country.”
On reaching the venue, all the dignitaries were welcomed with traditional South Indian food, along with vermilion and glass bangles. To get a first-hand experience of the Indian family system, the delegates are staying with various families in Bengaluru. Being overwhelmed with Indian culture, Zinka Genova, 34-year-old mother from Bulgaria, says, “I am enjoying my stay in the city so far. I stayed with a lovely couple whose children are in the USA now. I love the fact that even if all the family members stay in different part of the world, they still are united at heart.”
It all started around 14 months ago in September 2018, when Madhuri and three of her friends did a 60-day road trip to London, travelling through 22 countries. She realised that many people are curious about the joint family system in India. Upon her return, she planned for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. She says she wanted to focus on mothers and broaden their horizon. “I travelled extensively through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and more. The women there come from extremely conservative families. If we work with them, they can work towards having a better family life and spread the word in their own community,” says 58-year-old Sahasrabudhe.
But planning this programme has not been easy for Sahasrabudhe financially. Being a social activist in the education space, she reached out to various educational institutions and to her luck, help arrived from various quarters.
“In Bengaluru, we got huge support from Nagarjuna College Of Engineering and Technology. They have been quite helpful in arranging the stay and transport for all the delegates. We also got some support from UGC,” she says. Sahasrabudhe adds that after this programme, she will go on a road trip to Australia, taking the route through the Middle East, to spread the same message.