Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini, a saga of Bhagawan’s concept of integral education held its 4th Annual Convention of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini Schools on 10th February 2017 in Sai Kulwant Hall with deliberations to be held in the SSSIHL Institute auditorium for the next two days. The theme of this year is “Growth Mindset – Steps To Becoming A Lighthouse School”.
After Sri Satyajit Salian’s introduction, Sri K Chakravarthi, Member Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust gave a brief overview of the programme. Sri Chakravarthi said that Bhagawan’s concept of integral education needs the participation of students, teachers and parents also. It is a misconception that education should confine only to secular education. He said education is a continuous process and there are no artificial barriers. The erudite speaker concluded with the hope that in the coming days everyone involved in the programme would be enlightened in the various aspects of integral education.
After his speech, mementoes were presented to active partners of this programme, who have been giving a helping hand in achieving the larger goals that this programme is envisioned with – Sri Kalyana Sundaram from Digital Deloitte, Vijay Kumar, TCS, Smt Archana Raghuram, Global head of Cognizant Technologies Outreach Programme.
The next speaker Smt Archana Raghuram outlined the concept of volunteerism. Smt Raghuram, who has been involved with Cognizant for more than 20 years launched this social outreach programme in their company 11 years back with the idea of giving back to society what it has given. Smt Raghuram said that she was really impressed with such a big organisation being run in Prasanthi Nilayam by volunteers. 1,00,000 volunteers in more than 20 countries have been working tirelessly. Started partnering with underprivileged children, at first there were no classrooms, built classrooms, no teachers in computer science department, leveled playground, and in the first year, all the students successfully passed. The company has been working with 140 schools across India. The concept of holistic education is defined succinctly by the Vidya Vahini programme said the learned speaker.
Sri Kalyana Sundaram, the next speaker spoke on the voluntary initiatives undertaken by their company Deloitte. 8,00,000 lives have been touched by their programme. Speaking again on the concept of volunteerism and the challenges involved, Sri Sundaram said that sometimes the concept seems to taper after the initial enthusiasm, people seem to think how much time has to be devoted, will it affect my education, these questions do linger in people’s minds. Speaking on Vidya Vahini’s vision of touching the lives of students in 950 schools by the 95th Birthday, the speaker said that Bhagawan’s maxim, “Service to man is service to God” is the easiest way to make an impact in the lives of people. He concluded by saying that more and more corporate need to pitch in to expand the horizons of this programme.
The last speaker of the day, Prof Yoginder Verma, Pro Vice Chancellor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh and the Chief Guest of today’s function has multifarious professional achievements to his credit. He has produced 11 Ph.D., students, and been a Seva Dal in Sri Sathya Sai Organisations for more than quarter of a century. The learned speaker, when he came with a group of professors on Bhagawan’s 65th Birthday, was impressed by Bhagawan’s statement that Politics and Education should never mix. He said that Sri Sathya Sai Avatar is unique because no Avatar started a system of Education. This Education has its roots embedded in spirituality. Bhagawan is giving Education, which is completely free. This cannot be thought of, in the outside world, where students have to shell out crores of rupees to get admitted in professional courses. Speaking on a school started with humble beginnings in Dharmashala with only 15 students, now has 180 students drawn from poor rungs of society. These students pass with 1st class in their final exams. The erudite speaker made a revealing statement that if you are criticized, feel important, go ahead unfazed because all good work face with difficulties. We ask villagers to become self-sufficient, develop your own roads, said Prof Verma. He said along with technology students should be exposed to Nature. The Chief Guest ended his speech by saying that parents in partnership with teachers should come together.
Sri Satyajit outlined explained the deliberations for the next two days.