Young members of SHAFA family experienced altogether different vibes on Dussehra day (Indian festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil).
In the junior house (at Delhi) the newly joined residents showed great excitement and seemed to be totally absorbed in the celebrations. It was surprising to see how junior residents came up with a wonderful program. Role play depicting the epic Ramayana was performed. Some disguised as Ravana, some as Sita, the atmosphere was spiritually motivated. It was astonishing to see that residents have so much of potential. After the function which was directed, coordinated and performed by residents themselves, the aura of positivity was felt. One of the young members said ‘I never realised that I can perform in front of so many people without being high on drugs. I never felt so confident’. Similar words by residents conveyed hope and happiness for other residents.
In the senior house (kotdwar) month long hard work was visible. 60 feet Ravana made by none other than SHAFA residents seemed to be touching the sky. The 'Ramlila' (an enactment of the life of Lord Rama) was performed for 9 days every evening, giving residents to work on their involvement and confidence building. All these enactment have a therapeutic purpose. For example, while performing any character (ex. Lord Rama) the resident does ‘act as if’ of the value, the character had. He talks about responsibility, accountability, standing for the truth, being honest and so on. So when the resident speaks these words, there is a change within. He understands the kind of person he could have been, had he followed those values. Bonfires and fireworks alleviate everyone to a festive mood.
The residents bear in mind the example of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways. Hence, the burning of effigies of Ravana is symbolic of burning the evil from within for the residents and thus they follow the path of truth and goodness.