Sangam World Centre

Sangam World Centre (Devanāgarī: संगम) is one of the five World Centres of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Located on the banks of the Mula River in Pune.

Sangam World Centre
OwnerWAGGGS
LocationMula River, Pune
CountryIndia
Founded1966
Website
http://www.sangamworldcentre.org/

The word Sangam means ‘coming together’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit. The centre serves as a place for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world to come together to share their experiences, as well as the culture and traditions of their homelands and Member Organizations.

Four other WAGGGS World Centers are Our Chalet in Switzerland, Our Cabaña in Mexico, Pax Lodge in England, and Kusafiri in Africa.

Location

The Sangam World Centre is situated 190 km (120 mi) from Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra, India.

History

Sangam was first imagined at the 1956 WAGGGS International Commissioners’ meeting in New Delhi. The idea to build a World Centre in the Asia Pacific Region was proposed.

A year later, at the World Conference, the decision to build the new Centre in India was finalised, thanks to the determination and hard work of Lakhshmi Mazumdar, the National Commissioner of the Indian WAGGGS Member Organization Bharat Scouts and Guides, and the state of Maharashtra's generous donation of 7¾ acres of land to be used as the World Centre's site. The city of Pune, located in the state of Maharashtra in India, was selected because of its temperate climate, rich cultural history, strong tradition in education, and proximity to Bombay (now Mumbai).

In 1963, the building plans were approved at the World Conference in Denmark. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world raised over 50 per cent of the construction funds, and the foundation stone was laid in 1964.

The center was designed by the Bombay architectural firm Messrs Mody and Colgan and the construction was supervised by Mrs. Lakhshmi Mazumdar, the National Commissioner of the Indian WAGGGS Member Organization Bharat Scouts and Guides. On 16 October 1966 The World Chief Guide, Lady Olave Baden-Powell, inaugurated the center.

The years that followed have seen many Guides and Girl Scouts from around the world pass through the front doors as participants, guests, campers, staff and volunteers. Whether visiting for a few hours or staying several years, the voices, smiles and energy of these people have given Sangam its spirit.

Over this time, Sangam has grown and changed with the times as new amenities, buildings and modern equipment have been added thanks to the hard work and generosity of supporters from around the world. Despite these changes, this unique Centre for international friendship and understanding has never strayed from its purpose as a place for new experiences and exploration of our world through Guiding and Scouting.

50th Anniversary

In 2015, as an early celebration for Sangam's 50th anniversary a new pool was opened. On August 15th the Chair of the World Board Nicola Grinstead officially inaugurated the new pool during the "Free Being Me" festival.

On October 16th, 2016 Sangam celebrated their 50th Birthday season with two Celebrate, Create, Change Events which included the splitting of 51 coconuts and blessing, a pool party, 50 challenges for participants and a birthday party for 900 people in the campgrounds. The Sangam Cookbook was also revealed for the occasion as well as the new slogan for the World Centre: "When We Shine".

Influential women

Lakshmi Mazumdar

As head of the Sangam Planning Committee she secured a promise of land and funding from the government of Maharashtra. She was the first women to have been the National Commissioner of the Bharat Scouts and Guides. She was also the first Chairman of the Sangam Committee. Mazumdar received the Padma Shri (4th highest award in India) in 1965 and was awarded the Bronze Wolf from the World Scout Committee.

Anu Karkare

She was the first Guider-in-Charge at Sangam. She presided over every Welcome Ceremony until she was no longer able to. She is known at Sangam for her wise words: "I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again".

Armaity Dastur

She was instrumental in forming the Friends of Sangam Mumbai group, and sat on the managing committee. She has also been a member of the Sangam Committee and Centre Team. She was also a District Commissioner for Bharat Scouts and Guides and enjoyed Girl Guiding throughout her life and was of great assistance to Sangam in forging connections with National Bharat Scouts and Guides

Tehmina Barma

Supporter of Sangam from the beginning. She held a position of Vice-president of the Pune Bharat Scouts and Guides. She was also Sangam Committee Chairman from 1973 to 1978, and "Chief Guest" at the 20th birthday.

Involvement in the Community

From 1973 onwards, community development began to feature strongly in the programmes. The Phulenagar Service Project, based opposite Sangam, was set up to organise activities. It became the root of future projects featuring training for local women, adolescent girls and children. Children's holidays were soon a regular feature of the event schedule. Many projects in the Pune area have been, and continue to be, assisted by Sangam's staff, participants and friends.

Over the years, as Sangam grew so did the opportunity to lend a hand to other organisations. The centre started to work closely with other new community partners in Pune. Participants started to visit and share the work of partners. Then Sangam started to work together with partners on projects. The partnerships still exist today and Sangam continues to work with and support many organisations. Today, all participants visit at least one community partner during their event.

Events

Sangam offers five kinds of international events: Leadership, Cultural, Celebratory, Wellness and World Bureau-Led events. Each provides the opportunity to explore India's exciting culture and traditions and interact with Sangam's community partner organisations.

Leadership Events

Leadership events emphasise intercultural learning and personal growth through interaction with Sangam's community partner organisations and exposure to the means and methods of creating change

Be the change;global goals leadership events also conducting here.

Cultural Events

Cultural events introduce you to India, a country of ancient customs brimming with modern  innovations. Try your hand at rangoli or mehendi, and enjoy Indian dance. Take in the sights, the sounds, the smells and the spicy sensations, and enjoy a cross-cultural adventure you will never forget!

Celebratory Events

Celebratory events honor international Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. You will explore the history and traditions of WAGGGS and its Member Organisations, and learn about the latest projects and plans for the future - all in the company of Guides and Scouts from around the world.

Wellness Events

Wellness events honour the goddess/god within you! They are designed specifically with your health and wellbeing in mind. Spend time at the birthplace of yoga exploring your physical, mental and emotional self and discover a new point of balance in sessions designed to expand and enrich your life.

World Bureau-Led Events

World Bureau-Led events give you the opportunity to delve into an international issue that you are passionate about. These intense but enriching events focus on key global topics and provide training and self-development using the non-formal educational method of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

Volunteering at Sangam

Sangam World Centre offers longer-term experiences than an Event at Sangam, such as Volunteering Programmes as an opportunity for self-development and the chance to live abroad, gain personal and professional experience, work in a multicultural environment, and enjoy the friendship and fun of international Guiding and Scouting.

Sangam Volunteer

Sangam Volunteers are responsible for the delivery of Sangam's international events. They run sessions on Indian culture and the latest WAGGGS developments, and lead tours around the local neighbourhood and Pune city centre.

Our volunteers also contribute to community action work at Sangam's Community Partner organisations; support the day-to-day running of the World Centre; and, throughout all these tasks, serve as representatives of Sangam and the Sangam experience to the many international guests who visit.

Intern

Sangam interns bring their ideas and talents to Sangam and contribute to the management and development of the World Centre.

Interns at Sangam have the opportunity to explore Indian culture, experience international Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, and develop personal and professional abilities. They also will also develop skills in all areas at Sangam.

Community Programme

Since 1966, Sangam World Centre has partnered with a variety of non-governmental organizations striving to better the lives of people in Pune. Today, Sangam is affiliated with more than twenty organizations, which work in a number of fields: medicine, education, environmental sustainability, women's empowerment, and more.

During events, participants visit Sangam's Community Partners, and are given the chance to witness community leadership and advocacy in action, while participating in dialogue with the partner organizations and the children, women, and men they assist. These connections often result in partnerships between event participants and Community Partners, helping to build the capacity of these organizations.

Friends of Sangam

A special donor group is set up for supporters of Sangam. Their donations ensure that girls from around the world can access and enjoy self-development, learning and adventure at Sangam.

Friends of Sangam WAGGGS is open to any individual who supports the Mission and Vision of Sangam and WAGGGS and donates £40 or more. There are 4 levels, all of which are based on your lifetime giving to Sangam, so once you're eligible for one of our levels, you can be a Friend for life!

Friends of Sangam provide vital funding for Sangam's programmes, activities and work with girls, are kept up to date with the latest news and information on projects and campaigns and receive a special pin and certificate.

References

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