Halma 2020 – Awaking our inner Bhagirath
By Chirag Rajyaguru
Nature tends to balance chaos and harmony, negative and positive and destruction and Creation. Amid the current situation of the country where there are protests, fights, epidemics, etc., we could see the dawn of hopes and future possibilities in “Halma” – a tribal tradition in Jhabua district (Madhya Pradesh). The common thread of tribal could be their nature of working together for each other and betterment of the surroundings. It is common in all the tribal communities. The same tradition can be seen in the Bhil Tribal community in Jhabua. But they have been doing it not for the sake of that particular community; they are doing it for the whole of humanity. Working for the community is an innate nature of all the tribe but working for higher purpose ”Parmarth” where tangible actions are leading to achieving the most elevated and most significant purpose for the whole world. Half a million people all over the world come and pass away without asking a single question of their existence upon the earth and what they owe from the mother earth. Here you find a completely new paradigm where a community is well aware of their purpose and working for the noblest vision of solving the pain of the whole humanity and the earth.
It has been a question for everyone, “how can I contribute to the work so that it helps everyone?”, the answer is straightforward and given in the many religious literatures in different forms, and that’s “Work selflessly”. I witnessed this approach working, understood and lived during the visit of “Halma 2020”. Everyone came together for the one cause of making trenches on ‘Hathipava Pahadi’ so that when the rain falls, it will get accumulated in the trenches and thus increase the overall water level. When we say everyone, it includes children, elders, husband-wife, literate -illiterate, local-outsiders, students-teachers, common people-social workers-saints, businessmen-employees, farmers-doctors-engineers-designers, just all.
Many times we have visited Jhabua and heard stories of Halma. It was the first time most of us could get the chance to take part in the Halma. As design students, we are always curious to learn by doing and try to see through the things. Here we got so much learning about cultural aspects of tribal people, traditions and lifestyle, dressing and pieces of jewellery, family structure and community, food and festival, belief and vision. Halma brings all this diversity to one place. From a system study point of view, it is always interesting to see how different kinds of parts come together and a whole emerges out of it and simultaneously how a whole binds everyone together. Here, parts are all the human beings, nature and resources; the whole is a bigger purpose “Parmarth”.
Shivganga has subtly brought everyone together and connected their contribution of work with ‘Parmarth’, leading by example. Shri Maheshji does not believe in enabling people by giving short term incentives but empowering people so that they individually become Bhagirath and work collectively to identify and understand the wicked problems of the world. Mahesh Ji, Harsh Ji and Rajaram Ji are pioneers who make this moment live and in action. So in a way, Shivganga is a laboratory of simulations and prototyping solutions related to world challenges. This program, Halma, is not an event of a day or two; it is a real-time service to humankind and mother nature. A collaboration of ideas and people (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam), creation of activities which leads to positive outcomes which would give an impactful and joyful experience of contribution and the whole process is sustainable. It has been continuously running from past many years. So this could be seen as 3Cs: Collaboration-Creation-Consistent.
“Halma is an event where you meet your real family members, nothing strange and an inner connection is there; everybody is selflessly working for the higher cause.”