The story goes back to 1984 when a group of students led by Dr.R.Balasubramaniam from the Government Medical College, Mysuru(in Karnataka State,India), with a radically different outlook on their future career and life, launched the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) for the service of their poor and marginalized fellow-beings. e movement was inspired by the ideals and spirit of Swami Vivekananda, the patriot-saint and youth-icon of modern India. e medicos made humble beginnings by offering free medicines, blood ,consultation & counselling to poor patients. They later started weekly clinics in the nearby rural areas. In 1987, they were drawn to one of the most backward belts of Karnataka, Heggadadevanakote (HD Kote) taluk of Mysuru district with a considerable population of displaced and dispossessed communities of indigenous tribes. These people were living under highly distressing conditions that impacted the young doctors and gave them the mission of their lives.
A defining moment
Shifting to HD Kote proved to be a defining moment in the Movement, as it was from here that SVYM got all the nourishment to reach its present 3 standing. e founder doctors naturally chose health as their entry point and started a tribal hospital in January 1987 at Brahmagiri, a tiny hamlet in the tribal belt. Soon, they added a mobile health unit to reach out to distant tribal colonies. At this juncture, their service spirit and medical skills were their only assets and they had to overcome serious challenges to establish themselves in a wholly alien environment. But their perseverance and performance saw them through all their teething troubles.
Evolution without end
Gradually, the doctors discovered that they needed to integrate their medical services with solutions to other basic problems of the local populace, particularly poverty and illiteracy. They also found out that beyond the tribal belt, the rural poor of HD Kote taluk as a whole needed their services desperately. These eyeopeners triggered the explosion of the doctors’ mission into a mighty movement that spans a whole cluster of institutions and a broad spectrum of development programmes today. SVYM has emerged as a holistic development organization, engaged in building human and social capital in India through its work from the grassroots levels, right through to policy-level action in Health, Education and Community Development. Today, the programs directly and indirectly impact more than 1.5 million people across the state of Karnataka.
Vivekananda Memorial Hospital (VMH), Sargur offers 24X7 multi-specialty services to a population of 300 thousand from HD Kote taluk and neighbouring taluks of Hunsur, Nanjangud and Mysuru.
Hospital focuses on delivering care to the following sections of community: tribal population; women & children through its RCH services; people suffering from infectious illnesses like tuberculosis & AIDS; people with diabetes and other chronic health conditions; children with disability; and people and family affected by mental health illnesses, substance abuse mainly alcoholism.
Vivekananda Memorial Hospital, Kenchanahalli has a target population of about 16,000 encompassing all age groups within a radius of 15 kilometres which also includes indigenous tribal population.
Palliative Care program is working towards creating a collaborative platform for a patient-centric community-based integrated model that adopts a life-span approach to management of chronically ill.
Reproductive and Child Health program-“Vatsalya Vahini” intends to improve the maternal and child health status of forest based tribes in H.D.Kote taluk through direct and facilitatory intervention. Tribal women in the reproductive age, pregnant mothers, children below 5 years and adolescents are the target group of this initiative.
Rehab initiative for people with disability was initiated with children affected with Cerebral Palsy (CP) & differently abled people as the target community. e programme provides comprehensive rehabilitation services for this target community in H D Kote and the surrounding rural areas inclusive of institution-based rehabilitation facilities as well as awareness and behaviour change in the community, leading to improved quality of life and empowerment.
SVYM’s approach to HIV/AIDs Care & Control programs are multi-focal, involving counselling, distribution of antiretroviral drugs, training of caregivers, prevention and advocacy in the community.
VMH, Saragur is one of the very few private hospitals in India offering holistic treatment for HIV which includes counseling and testing services. e hospital is running a 10 bedded Community Care Center in VMH, Saragur.
WASH Project aimed to address the issues of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene environment in a Holistic way through multiple activities including Awareness generation, Behaviour Change Communication, Capacity Building and Advocacy since 1999.
In pursuit of its goal of a just and equitable society, SVYM has accorded prime importance to education. It provides and facilitates quality education through joyful, experiential and child-centric means to children between the age group of 6-15 years. e education system focuses on human values, literacy, numeracy and vocational training.
Viveka Tribal Center for Learning (VTCL) was started with an aim to provide access to quality education for the rst generation learners and create agents of social change among the indigenous tribal community. VTCL is a affiated to the Karnataka Secondary Education Board.
Viveka School of Excellence (VSOE) was started to provide affordable quality education for the students in rural areas of H D Kote taluk. VSOE is affliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
Vivekananda Teacher Training and Research Center (VTTRC) was established to create a community of competent and value based teachers to bring about a qualitative change in the present education system with a special focus on tribal education. e college offers a 2 year Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed).
Premavidya envisions breaking the cycle of poverty for families by improving the quality of education at the school level through technology aided learning and encouraging students to pursue higher education.
Science Education Program (Vijnana Vahini) aims at promoting scienti c temperament among students and community at large in rural areas. e program includes Mobile Science labs, Science Exploratory Park, Science resource center and science promotion programs through the community radio.
Vijnana Vedike – a forum of science teachers of the taluk to share ideas, facilitate capacity building and conduct monthly science promotion programs was formed in March 2015.
Vidyodhaya is a program to support the elementary education of the girls from marginalised community studying in the 5 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas in Mysuru district. e program aims to empower the girl children to lead a self-reliant life with dignity and honour through academic inputs, development of life skills (including leadership and nancial literacy) and promotion of awareness of health and hygiene.
Viveka Scholar Program identifies, nurtures and empowers meritorious students passed out of government high schools or those studying in government PU Colleges to excel in their board and competitive exams.
SEEP (earlier known as Community Development Services) supports tribal people in improving their health status by addressing social and economic determinants.
Janadhwani, the community radio station aims to provide the community with key information and knowledge in diverse aspects of everyday life, and thereby improve the quality of life of people.
Pradhan Mantri Graam Sadak Yojana consultancy project aims at awareness generation and promoting the participation of citizens in monitoring the quality of roads constructed under the PMGSY.
Nammuru is a weekly program focusing on addressing the developmental issues of HD Kote taluk through live phone-in programs with Government o cials and community representatives. Issues discussed and resolved through the program include supply of safe drinking water, quality of road construction, shutting down of illegal arrack shops, provision of bus facilities to remote villages and deputation of teachers & doctors to schools and PHCs in need.
V-LEAD is a premier Training and Research centre dedicated to the mission of building managerial and leadership capabilities for sustainable development. It o ers a variety of training programmes to government institutions, nonpro t organizations, corporates and youth.
VLEAD has initiated a 2 yrs post graduate program, Masters in Development Management (MDM). is specialized course for the development sector is a blend of social work, management and eld work. MDM is recognized by University of Mysore and is rst of its kind in India.
Vivekananda Institute of Indian Studies (VIIS) aims to expand human and social capital in order to create global citizenship to make the world a better place. It also aims to create a platform for mutual learning and understanding between people among international community. It facilitates and creates educational, immersion, and experiential opportunities for students across the globe.
(Source : Annual Report of Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement 2015-2016)