Srmd Global Youth Festival – The Virtual Edition 2021 Born out of Param Krupalu Dev’s compassion and Pujya Gurudevshri’s unconditional love; the SRMD Global Youth Festival – The Virtual Edition 2021, was a 24-hour celebration built on the holistic ‘5S’ approach of Satsang (Enlightening Wisdom), Sadhana (Spirituality Applied), Seva (Selfless Service), Sanskruti (Celebrating through Culture) and Sports (Wellbeing Inside-out). Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2021, once again saw Pujya Gurudevshri express His love for His youth with a benevolent gift. Thousands of young minds from across the globe walked together into a virtual auditorium for a cutting-edge digital fiesta – The SRMD Global Youth Festival. The Festival was designed for youth to gain profound knowledge from the most experienced and loved spiritual Masters and mentors of the world; widen their horizons through engaging talks by high-performance achievers and industry leaders; and expand on vital skillsets through a multitude of activities. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the entire festival was planned on Airmeet – a platform for virtual summits, meet ups and workshops; with a lounge to conduct breakout sessions. As soon as the announcement for the Festival was made, eager youth lined up to register for the elevating, educating and entertaining day. Over 3,700 participants from India and countries around the world such as USA, Canada, UK, France, Belgium, Finland, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand registered for the event. Proceeds from the Global Youth Festival 2021 will be utilised to support and uplift lives of tribal women of South Gujarat, through Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care’s Women Empowerment Initiatives. Spanning 24 hours the virtual event began in India at 7.30 am. As the day progressed the youth in Europe and later USA too joined in making the event accessible round-the-clock across the world. The event culminated at 10.15pm USA (Eastern time). There were sessions by saints, mentors and motivators, alternating with breakout sessions. Apart from these, there were sessions on Meditation, Yoga, an interesting fitness workout session – Barfi Bootcamp and showcasing of Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care’s projects and initiatives for the welfare of mankind, animals and the environment. The SRMD Global Youth Festival also served as a worthwhile platform for several NGOs to showcase their good work. Grameen Shramik Pratisthan, Child Rights and You (CRY), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and many more were a part of the Festival. Dynamic Discourses Several eminent saints and mentors shared their invaluable practical insights. Pujya Gyanvatsal Swami, Saint & Social Reformer from the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha spoke eloquently on ‘The Art of Spiritual Leadership’, sharing the importance of being flexible in one’s approach and ideas. Senior Rajyoga Teacher & International Motivational Speaker, Brahma Kumari Sister Shivani emphasised on the need to build up emotional immunity system during her talk on ‘Being Love’. Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP & Best-selling Author elaborated on ‘The Soul of Leadership’, providing insights on living in awareness and gratitude and responding to the Higher Calling. Idalene Kesner, Ph.D – Dean, Kelley School of Business underlined the need to put purpose into every single moment going from ‘Moment to Momentum’. An inspirational account by the World’s First Vegan to scale Mt. Everest, Kuntal Joisher; an enlivening chat between Chairman and Co-founder – upGrad and Founder Trustee – Swades Foundation, Ronnie Screwvala and Senior VP, Chief Information & Digital Officer at Eli Lilly & Company, Aarti Shah, Ph.D on ‘From Profits to Purpose’ gripped the audience; Actor, Model and Psychologist, Dr. Aditi Govitrikar’s talk on ‘Stress Management’ and Former Captain of Indian Women’s Basketball Team, Akanksha Singh’s session on ‘Mindset of a Champion’ greatly inspired the youth. The SRMD Global Youth Festival reached its pinnacle with Pujya Gurudevshri’s keynote address on ‘Power of True Love’. Elucidating on the feeling of love, the Master said that love rejuvenates, revives, transforms and elevates a person. He explained that purifying our love is spirituality. One can do it by eliminating ego and conditions, desires and demand so that love extends to the entire universe. Not only humans, but even plants and animals respond to the emotion of love because it has the power to make one feel content and secure. As a part of the Global Youth Festival celebrations, Pujya Gurudevshri launched SRMD Bhakti – the Mission’s official music channel streaming across 50+ music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, JioSaavn, Gaana, Wynk Music, SoundCloud and many more. The Master gracefully signed an autograph for the SRMD Global Youth Festival 2021 where He wrote “Love is a flow of energy that nourishes and extends.” Bustling Breakout Sessions In addition to discourses, over 500 interactive breakout sessions conducted by over 90 facilitators allowed the participants to have virtual interactions with like-minded peers from around the world, enter into healthy discussions and thought-provoking debates, cultivate inner stillness as well as enjoy games. Participants could click into a session of their choice for a live digital workshop. Themed Meditation and Minutes of Mindfulness sessions taught the youth ways to cultivate mindfulness in routine activities like drinking water and folding a T-Shirt. Other Breakout sessions included experience sharing, tips on balancing spirituality at work, goal setting, time management, eliminating procrastination, making better resumes and presentations. There were sessions on brain gym and the youngsters could also engage in fascinating games like pictionary, charades, brain teasers, trivia and codenames. Sessions on 5-minute recipes and stand-up comedy too were enjoyed by the youngsters. Connecting Cultural Carnival Stirring every heart, a soulful evening concert by exceptionally talented musical artists added a devotional dimension to the festival. Renditions by noted singers like Kailash Kher, Radhika Sood Nayak, Indira Naik and Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café evoked feelings of love and divine longing within the youngsters. Transcending time and space the session moistened their eyes and tugged at their heart strings. The dedications by the Global Youth expressed the love and gratitude they were experiencing for Pujya Gurudevshri. Massive Media Coverage The SRMD Global Youth Festival received widespread coverage in print, electronic and online media. The Mission was invited to speak on the vision for Youth development and highlights of the SRMD Global Youth Festival 2021 on DD Girnar’s talk show ‘Aapna Mudda Aapni Vaat’. The Festival was widely covered in English, Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi media like The Times of India, News 18 Gujarati, Dainik Jagran, Sandesh, Divya Bhaskar, Maharashtra Times among others. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter were flooded with hits and responses. Huge hoardings at key locations across Mumbai and announcements on prominent Radio Stations added to the popularity of the festival. Saluting the Selfless Sevaks The Global Youth Committee Members comprising of Dr Alok Shah, India; Ria Nisar, India; Soham Shah, USA; Parima Shah, USA; Amar Raval, Canada; Roushabh Mehta, UK; Palak Mody, UAE and Rikhil Bakhda, Singapore along with the core team members were led by Atmarpit Nemiji in research, planning, organising and implementing of the entire SRMD Global Youth Festival. Atmarpit Nemiji stood by them as their constant pillar of strength and support. Pujya Gurudevshri lovingly commended all of them for their contribution towards the success of this event. Instilling in the Youth the value of pure love, Pujya Gurudevshri expressed, “I bless you all with pure love to dissolve in the Supreme, in the Divine. Bless You”.