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Freedom’s Core: Unity, Service, and 76 Years: Joseph Mathias

Freedoms Core Unity Service and 76 Years Joseph Mathias
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Mangaluru: Since our country gained independence 76 years ago, it indeed fills us with pride that our nation stands as one of the largest democracies in the world. However, the question arises: How free are we truly today? As incidents of rape, robbery, murder, and corruption continue to plague our nation, it’s inadequate to merely extol the achievements of freedom. The annual flag hoisting alone fails to confer true value on our freedom.

Primarily, we need to internalize our rights and cultivate genuine regard for the rights of others. Self-examination must precede the scrutiny of others. It’s crucial to distance ourselves from negative behaviours and shift our focus towards contemplating what we can contribute to the country rather than tallying what the country has done for us. This is the only path to infusing our freedom with meaningful essence,” expressed Joseph Mathias, a singer, actor, and philanthropist, underscoring the key points of his perspective.

He addressed the audience following his role as the head of the proceedings during the 2023 Independence Day festivities, which were arranged by Ashok Nagar Youth Association, the recipient of the Sri Mathias Dakshina Kannada District Best Youth Group award. The event took place on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at Ashoknagar Higher Primary School. During the event, medical aid was provided to those in need, school uniforms were distributed to students, and traditional clothing in the form of sarees and dhotis was given to senior citizens.

For the last 16 years, Joseph Mathias has been a dedicated supporter of the initiative aimed at providing medical aid, school uniforms, sarees, dhotis, as well as wheelchairs, bicycles, and sewing machines for livelihood to senior citizens through Ashoknagar Youth Association (R). Following the passing of Henry D’Souza, who was involved in the project’s inception, Joseph Mathias took on the complete sponsorship of the project. He carries on this distribution effort in memory of his parents, Mary Mathias and Lawrence Mathias.

The Ashoknagar Youth Association (R), founded in 1961 and officially registered in 1991, marked its silver jubilee in 1986 and celebrated its golden jubilee in 2011. In 2013, it was honoured with the Dakshina Kannada District’s Best Yuva Mandal Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Mangaluru.

Over the past 26 years, the association has been actively engaged in providing essential support such as medical aid, wheelchairs, school uniforms, and sarees for senior citizens, as well as dhotis and bicycles for livelihood, which include activities like distributing sewing machines. Chetan Kumar elaborated on the social initiatives undertaken by The Ashoknagar Youth Association (R), He highlighted that Joseph Mathias has been actively engaged in this project for the last 16 years, and every year on August 15, he travels from Dubai to Mangalore to participate in the event.

Entrepreneur, social worker, and renowned philanthropist Leslie Rego from Bendur, who arrived as the chief guest, and Entrepreneur, social worker, and religious leader A. Damodar, along with honoured guests, singer Arun Danti from Pernal, poet Roshan Sequiera from Bajpe, Entrepreneur, social worker Jayakumar, and journalist Hechem Pernal, were introduced to the gathering. They were warmly welcomed with a bouquet and shawl.

The program commenced with the prayer of the students of Ashoknagar Higher Primary School. The inaugural was performed by Chief Guest Leslie Rego, Chief Guest A. Damodar, and Joseph Mathias, who chaired the event. Along with the dignitaries, the President of the association, Joseph Lobo, and the Chairman, Jayaram Deep, illuminated the event by lighting a lamp.

The event witnessed the distribution of medical assistance to 5 recipients, sarees and dhotis for approximately 20 senior citizens, and uniforms for 7th-grade students from Balwadi. The president, inaugurator, chief guest, and guest of honour all participated in this distribution. Chetan Kumar shared that even though details regarding beneficiaries in need of wheelchairs, bicycles, and sewing machines weren’t accessible to the Association this time, these items couldn’t be handed out during the event. However, a plan has been arranged for Association officials to personally visit the beneficiaries’ homes once the necessary information becomes available.

“The true essence of freedom is unity,” said Leslie Rego, A philanthropist, social worker, and renowned actor, who addressed everyone present at the event. Reflecting on his childhood days, he extended warm wishes for the occasion of Independence Day and shared, “Back then, society wasn’t divided by caste and religion as it is today. In an open space without the barriers of caste, religion, and creed, we all celebrated festivals like Diwali, Bakrid, and Christmas, embracing the spirit of freedom. Despite the worries that this cherished freedom might be fading away, today’s event brings hope and joy. Seeing an organization that works as a bridge between these two realms and promotes unity and acceptance uplifts the spirit.

Rego added, “It’s indeed justifiable to take pride in the passage of 76 years since our country gained independence. However, has the vision of attaining true freedom materialized? The essence of freedom resonates in disseminating joy – in actively participating in the act of sharing. The core of genuine patriotism thrives in unity. Authentic liberty manifests as the coexistence of harmony,” he conveyed his opinion and extended congratulations to the Joseph Mathias family.

Rego expressed, “It’s true to take pride in the fact that we have achieved 76 years of independence. However, has the dream of freedom been realized? The essence of freedom lies in spreading happiness and engaging in service, in contributing to the betterment of society. True nationalism lies in unity. True freedom is the coexistence of harmony he conveyed his opinion and extended congratulations to the Joseph Mathias family.

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