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Smile World- A March Towards Peace, Happiness, Social and Youth Development

By Subham Swabhiman

As Milton Berle states, “If opportunity doesn't knock- build a door.” Surya Narayan Gouda exemplifies the quote. He is a writer, tutor, social activist and founder cum chairman of SMILE WORLD, a Virtue Awakening Campaign that mainly aims at promoting national integration, Social Peace and Youth Development. It was established on 27th September 2010 and was registered with the Indian Trust Act, 1882 at DSR, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

Smile World founder Surya Narayan Gouda presenting an award to one of its members.

Source: File Photo of Smile World

Surya was born into a poor family in Ganjam district of Odisha, India. He lost his father when he was only 10 months old. After his father’s demise, his family shifted to Bhubaneswar in 1987 in search of better amenities and livelihood. Initially, the family struggled to find a place to live in the city as it migrated from one place to another but finally settled in Dumduma, Bhubaneswar. As a young child, Surya was enthusiastic to learn and admired to be a student. However, circumstances were not in his favor as his family members did not understand the importance of education and overlooked it. Luckily, he got the opportunity when a school opened near his house and one of the teachers happened to visit Surya’s residence and convinced the family to send him to school. The rest is history.

Surya not only became a meritorious student but also a person of high moral values & ethics. One of the incidents which happened during school time was when he got discriminated while playing with the kids on the basis that he was the son of a laborer. This had a huge toll on Surya’s mind. Surya understood the meaning of suffering and loneliness from a very young age due to which he had a strong desire to contribute something towards the society. He had a strong group of friends who were always with him through thick and thin. He combined all his education, experience, efforts along with support and guidance from his friends and companions to establish a humanitarian society where people will have love and affection for each other and smile can be generated. He took the initiative declaring inclusion of large numbers of youth and senior citizens which led to the formation of Smile World.

Smile World is a group of persons formed to achieve Sustainability along with economic prosperity. It includes three major groups which are formed to serve different purposes of Smile World namely, Smile World Yuva Bahini, Smile World Senior Citizens Unit and Smile World Students Association. The role of Smile World Yuva Bahini or Youth Force is that the members in their respective areas or region shall constitute a youth unit where they shall organize sports, arts, science fairs, computer and education-related programs. They also conduct youth camps, blood donation camps, plantation, free health checkup camps and seminars.

A Blood Donation Camp conducted in Sambalpur, Odisha

Source: File Photo of Smile World

The Smile World Senior Citizens unit’s purpose is to take care of the helpless old people neglected in their families or left alone suffering in mental pain in their neighbourhood by spending some time with the elderly so as to make them feel less lonely and more loved. It also provides basic food, cloth and medicines to the needy. The Smile World Students’ Association goal is to provide education and coaching to the dropouts, facilitate half-educated to give open schooling examination in their free time.

Smile World also conducts Satsangs or Sermons at least once in a month where all religions prayers are performed through units being united together anywhere under any open roof or space. This is done to maintain communal harmony among members. Smile World believes in respecting all religions but following one religion i.e. Humanity. It also provides mobile library services where members can issue books of various subjects from the library, keep it with them in their respective homes and return it within a specified time. The library has no permanent building and it gets shifted from place to place and person to person.

A Plantation Drive done by Smile World members at Bhubanesawar, Odisha

Source: File Photo of Smile World

Smile world raises funds from various sources such as the members, corporate body, individuals, organizations, etc. It utilizes these funds in camp expenses such as food, accommodation, teaching materials, office costs, teaching and dearness allowances for campers and volunteers, etc. Though Smile World originated in Bhubaneswar, Odisha it has been spread in states like UP, Rajasthan, AP, Sikkim, Delhi, Tripura and Chhattisgarh. In the first action plan around 1000 youth students of different educational background & streams from Bhubaneswar united together to perform a peace rally to spread the message of harmony, humanity and brotherhood. Till date, the Campaign has conducted 100+ programs. Smile World has impacted over 90,000 people from 2010 to 2019.

However, Surya faced a lot of challenges during 2010-17. Initially, he felt difficulties in making people understand the motto of his campaign. He made this possible by demonstrating his work on a regular basis and made people believe in his vision. Secondly, as he was from a poor family, he had to deal with financial constraints for the campaign as it was quite impossible for a single individual to arrange all the money. Fortunately, he had the strong support of his friends and a good network due to which he overcame it.

A Seminar organised by Smile World

Source: File Photo of Smile World

All in All, Smile World is planning to establish play-schools, clinics, orphanages and cottage industries in its respective regions for the upcoming years. It has also aimed in its next project to publish its own journal and newspaper. Further, a target has been taken to impact at least 10 million lives in the subsequent 20 years.

Surya states, “Once a man becomes good at heart and finds peace within him, there is no requirement of any law or order to bind him and he automatically becomes law-abiding. Therefore we need our soul to be purified, our vision to be clear and our aim to be taintless in order to achieve anything we want.”


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