In the months of September and October – 2007, youths of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) successfully conducted Speaker on Campus project in several US Universities. Various students from different universities came together and felt a need for bringing more awareness on campus about Hindu way of life. It is but surprising that even in the current state of world, people have overlooked social model which propagated the thought of “World is but one family” and “Let all be happy, prosperous, and healthy”.
The students felt that this is their responsibility and took up the project to bring forth such a stream of thoughts. SoC is not only a platform for awareness about Hindu way of life but also a forum for people to come together and share their thoughts about it. More than thirty Universities in fifteen states with a large number of young professionals and faculty staff actively participated in this project. Some of the Universities participated were, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, University of Illinois, Chicago, Millikin University, Decatur, Bradley University, Peoria , University of Texas, Arlington, University of Texas, Austin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ,North Carolina State University, Raleigh, University of Georgia, Atlanta, University of Florida, Gainsville, Newyork University, New York, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, University of Washington, Seattle, Stanford University, University of California, Davis, University of California, Berkeley, California State University, Long Beach. Local media too, while participating in this lecture series appreciated the theme.
There were total five eminent speakers who gave speeches on various aspects of Hinduism to the diverse crowd of University intelligentsia. These speakers include: Shri. Ravi Kumar ji, Joint International Coordinator for Sewa International and is based in Mumbai; Dr. Vimal Patel, a researcher and former professor in the Pathology Department of the School of Medicine at the IUPUI for over thirty years and President and CEO of Health Synergy Inc., the Company he founded to provide integrative treatment strategies for chronic diseases; Shri. Vijay Swami,a researcher, social worker, author, and film-maker all rolled into one; Dr. Shrinivas Tilak, an independent research scholar based in Montreal, Canada; and Professor Sreenath is the Director of Case Systems Biology Initiative (Case SBI), and, a Co-Director of UNESCO Global Issues Education Network Initiative (GENIe), a recipient of NIH-National Cancer Institute (NCI) Research Career Award in 2004.
At each campus, after initial introduction, the respected speaker delivered a thoughtful lecture on his expertise from social science to vedic math to ancient medical techniques of Ayurveda. Enthusiastic participation was observed after the speech during question and answer session as well as during vedic math lectures where students were excited to find divisions of number such as 1 by 29 to 20 digits after the decimal point within 20 seconds without the use of calculator.
It was common experience of the local organizers that attendees were expressing similar lecture series in the near future to present the multifaceted aspects of Hinduism to western academic intelligentsia and share the ancient knowledge and wisdom.
While the universities in the United States provide the encouraging environment for awareness and practice of various cultures and traditions, rarely do we see events held specifically about Hindu Culture on the campuses. Speaker On Campus series is one step taken in this direction. In conclusion, everywhere, SOC was met with great enthusiasm and appreciation from students, faculty, and the local community.
SOC 07 Photos