Wednesday, June 8, 2011
DEVOTEE CARE COMMITTEE PROMOTES THE CULTURE OF CARE
The Devotee Care Committee (DCC) met during the GBC Strategic Planning Meeting held in Mumbai from 15-23 October 2008. Interestingly, the Devotees Care Committee was born of the Preaching Committee. Members of the Preaching Committees reflected that if the devotees are not well taken care then preaching would not have any lasting effect. They understood that preaching can attract people but it doesn't keep them.
The GBC body recognized the need to care for devotees individually and collectively and thus formulated the DCC. The first Committee members included Jayapataka Swami, Kavicandra Swami, Bir Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Purshottama Swami, Revati Ramana Das, Prasanta Devi Dasi, Achutya Priya Das and Chandrashekhar Das. Now there are many more.
Members of DCC realize that caring for devotees is a matter of consciousness and culture where every devotee is concerned about the needs of another devotee. In ISKCON we aim to promote higher understanding of the Absolute Truth and if devotees are unhappy then they would extend a similar spirit to the society at large. Vaishnava culture is a culture for caring and the DCC strives to create facilities through which devotees can access help whenever they need it.
The DCC plans to connect with devotees requiring assistance in various ways. The Committee will soon host a website which will include exhaustive information, resource guide and references of devotees and projects in various parts of the world. The DCC hopes to collect information and give access to the various resources available for devotees' needs.
The prime focus of the DCC is to instill and implement the idea that every devotee is cared for within the Vaishnava community. Sometimes devotees are insensitive to other devotees while in some cases devotees don't' want to express their concerns for whatever reasons. Either they think 'I don't want to complain to anyone' or they feel that nobody is interested.
There are examples were devotees don't feel cared for. For instance, devotees feel the Temple President doesn't care for them, wives think that the husbands don't care for them, some full-time devotees feel insecure about the future and the practical aspects of dealing with hospitalization, old age, etc. The DCC plans to address these and many more concerns of the devotees.
His Holiness Kavicandra Maharaja, a member of the DCC said, "Lord Caitanya stressed that Vaishnava seva is really important. We want to gradually work towards caring for devotees. When devotees realize that we care for them they feel a sense of belonging and can express what they feel and what they need. We want to realize this goal and work on every level possible to make it a reality. We want devotees to know that they are most important and projects is a result of people".
Devotee Care wesbite will soon be up at this link:
And here is a Devotee Care website of South Africa: