Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Noting that spiritual principles are interwoven into the lives of ordinary people, Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya vice-chancellor Prof Renu Jain on Tuesday said that the significance of spiritual principles became more prominent due to Covid-19 crisis.
“The spiritual values help us face adversities and develop resilience. They helped us develop trust and hope for the future,” she said while addressing an international symposium organised jointly by Bahá’í Chair for Studies in Development and School of Economics on Tuesday.
The theme of the symposium was ‘Hope and Resilience: The Application of Spiritual Principles to Community Life’.
The speakers included Stephanie Pirroni, director of Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity at USA, Urban Health Resource Centre director Siddharth Agarwal, Padma Shri Janak Palta McGilligan and School of Economics head Prof Kanhaiya Ahuja.
Pirroni said that ordinary people such as those living in urban informal settlements or slums apply spiritual principles in various aspects of their lives.
“The learning that they generate from such a process is also knowledge but it needs to be acknowledged and valued by development policy-makers. There is need for new research methodologies that capture the knowledge that ordinary people generate in their lives,” she said.
Arash Fazli, head, Bahá’í Chair said, “Development thinking is dominated by the assumption that human beings have only a material nature with unlimited wants.”
McGilligan said, “Our purpose of life is to sustain all forms of creation and to serve humanity. Spirituality makes us sensitive to the interconnectedness of all life and the need to live in a way that is sustainable for each other and for the planet.”
Agarwal gave many examples from the work of UHRC in urban slums.
Ahujasaid, “Without spiritual principles as their guiding principles, economic growth will only result in increasing the problems we face as a society. Spiritual values must guide development efforts to lead to just and equitable progress.”
During the symposium, a new book titled ‘Hope and Resilience’ was launched by the VC which was based on a study carried out by the Bahá’í Chair in two slum areas in Indore – North Toda and Kabutar Khana.
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