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The David Young Pilgrim Programme

Saturday, 31. July 2021 - 10:30


After 100 years of connections with India, most memorably through his life and work with IofC, David Young sought a way in which the spiritual and cultural exchange that he had valued throughout his life could be available to future generations. He decided to start a fund from his savings to enable it. This is how the David Young Pilgrim Programme came into being.

The Purpose of the David Young Pilgrim Programme

To facilitate an exchange between India and the UK of ‘pilgrims’ wishing to deepen their practice of the essence of IofC and to use this to build deeper connections and community, both in, and between, the two countries. The purpose is for each pilgrim to learn from the country they visit, and also to share their own conviction and experience of IofC.

An Overview

  • One or two pilgrims visit the other country.
  • They are hosted by the local team, including by future pilgrims from that country.
  • They spend at least a month – a rough programme would be outlined for them, however this would probably be flexible, with the onus on each pilgrim to make the visit one of personal significance and meaning to them (rather than a strictly regimented month, organized by an organizing team).

David’s bequest will help make it possible for others in the future to venture on such pilgrimages.

While the Covid-19 pandemic means that physical travel will not be possible for the foreseeable future, the exchange will begin online, with a series of gatherings which will explore how this new initiative – the David Young Pilgrim Programme – will develop in the months and years to come.

The 31st of July 2021 marks the centenary of David Young’s birth, and it is his wish that this new programme of exchange between India and the UK be launched on that very day.

We hope you will join us, to celebrate David’s centenary, and the launch of the David Young Pilgrim Programme (DYPP)! 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

at 10:30 AM GMT, 11:30 AM BST, 4:00 PM IST

For details on how to join, please visit this page on the xChange.


Should you have any questions about the event on 31st of July, thoughts about the DYPP, or if you’d like to share a story about your connection with David Young, please write to us at



David YoungAbout David Young

David Young’s association with India dates back to soon after his birth in Dundee on 31st July 1921, when his mother returned with him to Delhi to continue her work at Lady Hardinge Medical College. He was sent back to the UK to go to school, but subsequently found himself serving as a Royal Engineer with the Bombay Sappers in the second World War. Soon after joining MRA, he returned to India on the group’s first major visit there in 1952. India was to be his home for the next five years, but his most lasting achievement may have come in his role leading the creation of the centre at Panchgani in the 1960s. He did not return to the UK for good till the mid 1970s, but after that made a number of return visits, predominantly to the centre at Panchgani. He was Chief Guest at the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Asia Plateau, in 2018.