Vidya Bharati

AKHIL BHARATIYA SHIKSHA SANSTHAN Child is the centre of all our aspirations. It is the protector of our country, Dharma (religion) and culture. The development of our culture and civilisation is implicit in the development of the child’s personality. A child today holds the key for tomorrow. To relate the child with its land and its ancestors is the direct, clear and unambiguous mandate for education. We have to achieve the all round development of the child through education and sanskar i.e. inculcation of time honoured values and traditions. First Saraswati Shishu Mandir This was the dream which, in 1952, inspired some RSS members to take up education of children as the mission of their lives. The people engaged in this noble task of nation building through proper education of the younger generation, laid the foundation of the first school at Gorakhpur in a building hired at a monthly rent of Five Rupees. After due consideration, they named their school as Saraswati Shishu Mandir – Temple of The Goddess Saraswati dedicated to the children. Thanks to their zeal, dedication and hard work that such like school began to be established in other places also. Prior to this at Kurukshetra, Gita School was established in 1946. The number of schools increased rapidly in U.P. A state level Shishu Shiksha Prabandh Samiti was formed in 1958 for their proper guidance and planned-development. Good education and sound sanskaras at the Saraswati Shishu Mandirs earned for them due honour and popularity in the society. They spread in other states also. Within a few years many schools were established in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Bihar, and other states. People began to send their children to these schools in preference to christian convent-schools which were spreading christianity and western modes. But in Saraswati Shishu Mandirs the children could learn about their Hindu Dharma and Sanskars. State level committees were set-up in other states also as the number of schools began to increase there. Punjab and Chandhigarh had a Sarvahitkari Shiksha Samiti while Haryana had Hindu Shiksha Samiti. The formation of an all India body came in 1977 as a natural corollary of this process. Thus Vidya Bharati was formed with its headquarters in Delhi. All state level committees were affiliated to this Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha sanathan. The immediate objective of Vidya Bharati was to evolve a suitable programme and develop adequate personnel and financial resources for its effective implementation. A National Academic Council was constituted with eminent educationists from all over the country to guide and advise Vidya Bharati. Vidya Bharati the greatest non-Govt. Educational Organisation Except Lakshadeep and Mizoram in the whole of the country, there are more than fifty state and Regional Committees affiliated to Vidya Bharati. Under these committees about 13,000 institutions are functioning where 17lakh students under the able guidance of 74,000 teachers attain sanskars and education. These institutions can further be split up in 15 teachers Training Colleges, 40 Degree Colleges, 2800 High and senior Secondary Schools, 8145 Pre-Primary & Primary Schools, 2000 Single teacher schools (sankar Kendras) and 7 vocational and Technical institutions. This nation wide endeavour of Vidya Bharati for the spread of education through net work of educational institutions need financial support to make them viable. Vidya Bharati institutions function under a variety of names like Shishu Vatika, Shishu Mandir, Vidya Mandir, Saraswati Vidyalaya, Higher Secondary Schools, Training Centres and Research Institutions. They are located in towns villages, tribal belts and hilly terrains and even in slum localities. The number of schools, students and teachers is continuously increasing. Consequently, contact with parents and the Hindu society at large is also growing and is progressively influencing every section of the Hindu society. Vidya Bharati is today the largest voluntary educational organisation in the country. Future Plan for the expansion of Programmes Five-year-Plan for the expansion of the programmes of Vidya Bharati is as under– (1) In every district Headquarter –At least one High School for boys & one for Girls. (2) In every Block and Municipal Committee Centre – At least one Middle School. (3) In a village of 5 thousand population or a village complex with 10 thousand population – At least one Saraswati Shishu Mandir (4) A small village with less population – Lok Shiksha Kendra & Sanskar Kendra. Basis of Vidya Bharati Educational Renaissance-Hindu Philosophy of Life Vidya Bharati is of firm opinion that education will be useful for a person and nation at large which has its roots in Hindutwa. So it is crystal clear that revival of Hindu Philosophy is the be-all and end-all of our educational Renaissance. The aim of education and the basic concepts of the development of the personality of the child are based on this philosophy. Bharatiya Psychology-the basis of Educational Training Psychological needs of the child form the very basis of any educational Training. Even after fifty years of independence the prevalent system of education in India has its roots in Western way of fulfillment of life which in other words is materialistic. But according to Hindu philosophy, the all-round development of the personality of the child is not possible without spiritual attainment. The Western philosophy based on the concepts of Darwin & Freud can’t impart fullness to life. That is why Vidya Bharati has laid maximum emphasis upon Bharatiya psychology and made it the very basis of her system of education baptised as ‘Saraswati Panchpadiya Shikshan Vidhi’. These five steps are: (1) Adhiti (2) Bodhi (3) Abhyas (4) Prayog (5) Prasar Swadhyay and Pravachan.* This philosophy has gained public esteem & appraisal in form of ‘Saraswati Shishu Mandir’ education system at primary stage and ‘Shishu Vatika’ education system at pre-primary stage. Vidya Bharati National Academic Council With a view to develop proper educational thinking and to provide a broader base to educational endeavour, National Academic Council of Vidya Bharati has been constituted with similar councils at regional and state level all over India. Some of the topmost educationists and savants of the country are honourable members of these councils. The conferences of the councils are organised to get expertise, guidance of educationists on educational topics. The council also enjoys the cooperation of the N.C.E.R.T. New Delhi. Action Plan (1) To develop an educational philosophy commensurate with Bharatiya Sanskriti and ideals which may inspire dedicated workers to proceed with conviction for the rebuilding of the nation. (2) To develop a system of education through which the national heritage of invaluable spiritual wealth, our ancestor’s experiences in the search for the ultimate truth and our glorious traditions may not only be transferred to the present generation but also enable it to enrich them. (3) Using the world’s most up-to-date knowledge and technique to develop an educational system and associated resources so that the educational aims and objectives in respect of the all round development of the child may be realised. (4) To promote among students national unity and to ensure their character and cultural development through the organisation of national syllabi for physical, moral and spiritual education, yoga, music and Sanskrit along with associated co-curricular and non-formal educational activities. (5) To organise teacher education and training programmes for continuing availability of competent and dedicated teachers of impeccable character. (6) To organise and guide fundamental and applied research and development activities and to endeavour to make Indian psychology as the basis of all educational processes. (7) To affiliate and to guide educational institutions and organisations imbued with above ideals, particularly to work for the expansion of these activities in rural, tribal and under-privileged regions and to establish pioneering projects in these areas. (8) To organise national and regional seminars and symposia through the Vidya Bharati National Academic Council, to enlist the cooperation of educationists and educational thinkers and to seek their advice. (9) To offer requisite cooperation and consultation for the national educational plans and programmes of the Government of India. (10) To establish effective liaison with educational experiments and experiments and experiences in India and abroad and to provide a conduit for interaction between them. Teacher Training Programme Teacher training programmes are separately organised throughout the country. Adarsh Vidya Mandir PostGraduate Shiksha Mahavidyalaya (Teacher Training College) Jaipur (Rajasthan) conducts training for full-time teachers of Vidya Bharati. A similar educational institute is in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Besides these, ten Teacher Training Institutes are functioning in various states. Training of teachers working in tribal areas is arranged at Ranchi in Bihar. Besides the above, state and regional level teacher-training- courses are also organised. These courses are for 10 days to 2 months duration. In fact, trained teachers constitute the back-bone for the smooth progress of all Vidya Bharati activities. Bharatiya Shiksha Shodh Sansthan (Indian Educational research Institute) Research cells have been established at Jabalpur, Ujjain, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Meerut and Varanasi to enable teachers to conduct experiments and research in new methods of teaching. An All India Educational Research Institute has been set up at Lucknow. The Institute regularly publishes ‘Bharatiya Shiksha Shodh Patrika’, a journal particularly useful for serving-teachers. Teaching technique, Indian educational psychology, measurement of aptitude and testing and evaluation of achievements are prominent activities of research work. Vidya Bharati Publication (1) ‘Vidya Bharati Pradeepika’, A quarterly Magazine published from Delhi. (2) ‘Dev Putra’, A Monthly Magazine for children printed from Indore. (3) ‘Bharatiya Shodh Patrika’, Contents-research Articles on Educational problems and innovative experiments, printed from Lucknow. (4) Besides these magazines, many books relating Sanskriti Gain Pariksha and literature are printed from Kurukshetra. NOTE: A complete list of Vidya Bharati Publications is given at the end. Vidya Bharati Educational Technology Science and Technology have made tremendous progress in modern times and progress is continuing. Education is a live, cultural enrichment process in which the teachers and educators play an important role. Machines cannot replace them. Yet, Vidya Bharati is trying to utilise modern science and technology as a teaching aid. The use of audio-visual teaching aids is being encouraged. Some audio and video cassettes have been prepared which are used for teaching of some subjects. A Cassettes and Film library has been established at Lucknow. Several proposals for the development of this department of educational technology are under consideration. Residential Schools Residential Schools affiliated to Vidya Bharati have been established all over the country. Practically every state has a model residential school. Boys studying in these schools live 24 hours in the school campus. They get up at the crack of dawn and follow a model routine till 10’O clock in the night. They grow up in an academic and moral environment. Besides attaining high proficiency in the sciences and other fields of knowledge, they are nurtured in the values of Bharatiya Sanskriti, Dharma and patriotism. Every Vidya Mandir has made a name for itself in comparison to government and other schools in the region and is continuing to do so. A significant percentage of first divisioners are from Saraswati Vidya Mandirs. Poor but meritorious students are given free education in Vidya Bharati Schools. Residential schools are growing slowly due to paucity of adequate financial resources and capable teachers. Nevertheless, it is planned to provide free education to poor students up to 10% of the enrolled strength. Most of the schools are supported entirely through public cooperation. There are more than 66 residential schools in the country. Special Projects Some residential schools have started special projects in order to provide vocational guidance to the students. PMT/CEET courses have been run successfully at Kurukshetra. During the last eight years more than three hundred students have succeeded in getting admission in various Medical & Engineering Colleges including prestigious institutions like AIIMS & IIT. This success in owed to PMT/CEET courses being run there. Similarly ‘Sanklap’ Prakalp is also started effectively by some schools. It will help not only in providing dedicated administrators to the country but lead to instilling a sense of patriotism and selfless service in the citizen of tomorrow. Some schools have established computer laboratories & started short term courses. The libraries in the above mentioned schools are equipped with the latest competitive books. COMMON NATIONAL SYLLABI FOR SELECTED SUBJECTS All subjects are taught in Saraswati Vidya Mandirs. The effort is to prepare the students so that they get highest marks in government recognised examinations. Special attention is paid to ensure a bright future for the students, thereby enhancing the reputation of the schools also. All schools are not government-recognised. Government grant-in-aid is accepted only if it is without any precondition so that our activities and innovations are not hampered. Self-reliance is the key to All our efforts. Vidya Bharati has evolved a common national syllabi for the following subjects from Primary to Higher secondary classes to be followed in all our schools:- Physical Education Children should be strong and fit, they should be good sportsmen and their physical capabilities should be adequately developed. Only such like children can become defenders of their country and their faith. All schools of Vidya Bharati have facilities and programmes for physical development of children. Classwise physical education syllabus has been developed by specialists for this purpose. Regional Physical Training Centres have been established for specialised physical training. A National Sports Body for Vidya Bharati is also being constituted. Yoga Training The science of Yoga was evolved in India in ancient times. It is now being adopted all over the world. Practice of Yoga is the best way for our physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual development. This has been proved both scientifically and by personal experience. Yoga training centres have been established in all regions of the country which impart Teacher Training and try out new experiments. The establishment of a National Yoga Training Centre is also under consideration. Moral and Spiritual Education Children are potential nation builders. The honour and growth of the country depends upon the character of her children. Vidya Bharati has accordingly developed this syllabus for inculcating moral and patriotic values and to foster proper spiritual outlook. It forms the foundation of the entire educational process. The primary aim of Vidya Bharati is to build the character and outlook of the children in accordance with Bharatiya Sanskriti, Dharma and ideals. Sanskrit Language Teaching Sanskrit is the mother of most of the languages not only of India but also of the rest of the world. Sanskrit literature contains the invaluable treasure of Indian Sanskriti and of the knowledge acquired by the ancient rishis. Unless our students learn Sanskrit language, they will remain ignorant of all this. Sanskrit is also the key to national unity. That is why Vidya Bharati has accorded high priority to the teaching of Sanskrit language in all its schools and colleges. The Sanskrit Department of Vidya Bharati is located at Kurukshetra in Haryana. This department has published text books for primary classes called ‘Dev Vani Sanskritam’ based on conversation method. This department also arranges training of Sanskrit-language-teachers. Music Teaching Music vibrates the innermost strings of our hearts. All Vidya Bharati Schools teach music to their students for awakening their noblest sentiments and for activating Sanskar learning. Audio music cassette of high quality have been prepared. Patriotic songs are reverberating throughout the country. A cassette containing songs for birthday celebration has been prepared and it has become very popular. Class-wise music syllabi have also been promulgated. Students sing songs in all languages of the country. It is an admitted fact that languages may be different but they all echo the same sentiments. Vidya Bharati ‘Sanskriti Bodh Pariyojna’ This scheme is implemented through the following programmes:- [1] All India Sanskriti Gian Pariksha The examination has been in vogue since 1980. Vidya Bharati office at Kurukshetra manages this. The preparation for this examination provides complete knowledge and information about Indian culture, religion, History, festival, Holy places, sacred rivers, mountains and national personalities to the student community in an interesting and simple method. Besides lakhs of students reading in Vidya Bharati schools, many other students, teachers and parents are benefited from this scheme. It can be asserted with pride that ‘Sanskriti Bodh Pariyojna’ is helping a lot in cultural renaissance and strengthening national bonds of unity. In the Academic year 1997-98 more than 7 lakh students appeared in this examination. Year after year the number is increasing. [2] Sanskriti Gain Pariksha For Teachers Sanskriti Gain Pariksha for teacher is also held every year. There are three stages viz ‘Prathama’, ‘Madhyama’ and ‘Uttama’ according to the standard & depth of the subject matter. Normally new teachers coming out of Teachers Training Institutes are not conversant in the cultural, historical and geographical know-how of their country. This examination provides facility for them to attain this essential knowledge. [3] Prashna Manch Programme (Quiz Competition) Prashna Manch Competitions are held on state and regional level in three stages viz primary, secondary & senior secondary. Subject matter to be tested through these quiz competitions is based on books on Sanskriti Gian (stage wise) and some other books prescribed such as on Astronomy, Freedom movement and biographies of our national heroes. [4] Essay Competition This is an all India Programme. The competition is held in three stages viz primary, Middle & senior secondary. Marking of the essays is done at state level & prizes for the best, three essays of each group are given state wise. Topics of essays are on ‘Punya Bhoomi Bharat’, Indian Culture, History, Prominent personalities in the field of science and literature. NOTE: Students belonging to tribal areas and Sanskar Kendras are supplied free material for taking part in various programmes & ‘Sanskriti Bodh Pariyojna’. No fees are charged from them. ‘Shishu Vatika’ (Pre-Primary Education) In our country, children usually commence their formal education on completing 6 years of age when they are admitted to class one of primary schools. A child usually lives with parents and other members of family until then. In earlier times when the family system was well organised in India, the child grew in the amiable environment provided by the family and received all appropriate Sanskars in the family itself. The mother of the child was also its first teacher. In modern times, however, industrial and growing influence of western civilisation has affected the family system also, particularly in the cities. Now-a-days it has become necessary to send a child to the school at an early age 2 1/2 years. The number of schools for this age group, known variously as montessori, Kindergarten or Nursery school have been steadily increasing in the cities. These schools have sprung up in every nook and corner of metropolitan and other big cities, and have become a lucrative source of earning for their organisers. For an educational point of view, these schools operating under the guise of Montessori or Kindergarten schools are doing great injustice to tender children. Heavy school bags have deprived them of their childhood. Westernisation is making rapid inroads in the name of English medium education. Vidya Bharati has taken note of the danger posed to the nation by this development and has focused its attention on pre-primary education also. An indigenous system of pre-primary education based on Bharatiya Sanskriti and our country’s environment, has been developed and given the name of ‘Shishu Vatika’ (literally meaning Kindergarten). This is a non-formal system of education aimed at physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual development of the child. The children are freed from the burden of books, notebooks, etc. imposed upon them just for acquiring literacy and numeric skills. Games, songs, story-telling, development of sensory and motor organs, language etiquette skill, science experience, creative work experience, unrestricted skill, drawing, crafts, etc. are developed through non-formal activities. The ‘Shishu Vatikas’ reverberate with children’s joyful sounds as they undertake various activities which impart education and Sanskar in a natural way. Vidya Bharati has chalked out a programme to educate the parents and other members of the families of children attending Shishu Vatikas. In the family, particularly the mother, plays an important role in the balanced growth of the child. Vidya Bharati’s programme includes training to provide an enlightened and cultured family environment to the child. A nationwide campaign under the Shishu Vatika Scheme has been lunched to create parent’s awareness of their responsibilities in providing family environment in accordance with Hindu view of life and Sanskars. All India Sports Meet Vidya Bharati started holding All India Sports Meet in the year 1988-89 in order to commemorate the birth centenary of Param Poojya Dr. Hedgewarji, the first Sar Sanghachalak of R.S.S. During these tournaments boys & girls of Middle, High & Senior Secondary classes (Bal, Kishor and Tarun) take part in separate groups. Besides Kabbadi, Kho-Kho there are about sixty items of athletics. A participant can take part in three events only. These tournaments start from schools & go up to District, Circle, State, Region & National level. Participants getting first position in Kshetra level games and athletic events take part in national tournament. It is heartening to mention that many of our young boys & girls who take part in national meets are trying to touch national record in so many events. It is a matter of pride for Vidya Bharati as well as for the nation as a whole. If our younger generation is strong, the country will be strong. While providing facilities for our youth to make their muscles strong, we should be careful about the Sanskars we give to them. “We should remember that only ‘Sanskarit’ brave boys & girls can prove an asset for the Motherland in order to protect her honour”. This sentence is the very basis of our Sports-Programmes. The most impressive aspect of our National Meets is its Mini-India stature. Our cultural essence i.e. ‘Unity in Diversity’, is visible in our national tournaments. Tree-Plantation for Environmental Purification Presently environmental pollution has endangered the survival of humanity. It is a global menace & needs international solutions. Vidya Bharati has risen to the occasion and started tree plantation in the schools as a compulsory project. The teacher, the taught & parents have realised the importance of ecological balance and love for Nature. This awareness will go a long way in saving our environment. In Uttar Pradesh & Mahakaushal, systematic steps are being taken in this direction. The students are planting trees in lakhs in these areas. It is hoped that other states will also follow suit. Sanskarksham Atmosphere in Families Visiting the families of the parents of the students & creating rapport with them is an essential step to be taken by the teachers associated with Vidya Bharati. It will help in imparting sanskarksham education to the students. There is no denying the fact that sanskars leading to cultural, religious & social awareness and being given in the schools to students will be permanent & effective only if these are practiced in families by the parents also. This is most important for ensuring the proper development of the personality of the students. Thus continuous contact between parents & teachers is a must. The book-‘Punnya Bhumi Bharat’, pictures of Shri Ram and other great men, calendar having Vikrami & Shak dates etc. have been distributed in lakhs to the parents. These days in elite families living in cosmopolitan cities, there is a practice to celebrate birthdays according to christian traditions viz cutting cakes, blowing out candles & chanting rhymes. Vidya Bharati believes in lighting candles & spreading light on these occasions rather than blowing them out. A book as to how to celebrate birthdays according to Hindu traditions has been published. Audiocassettes with special holy and inspiring songs being recorded in them have also been prepared. Old Students Councils In many states schools run by Vidya Bharati have celebrated their silver Jubilees. Some of the schools were started 50 years ago. Consequently a large number of students having received education from our schools hold prestigious positions in their life. In order to maintain effective rapport with them, student councils are being established at schools & state level. This enables them to revive old Sanskar and memories. These councils serve as fixed deposits. Old students not only render financial help to their Alma Mater but also take up many projects of educational importance. In Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, Lakhs of old students are rendering effective and active service to the society. SANSKAR KENDRA (SINGLE TEACHER SCHOOL) Over 13,000 schools affiliated to Vidya Bharati are providing education and sanskars to about 17 lakh students under the guidance of nearly 74000 teachers. It is the largest voluntary educational organisation not only in India but also in the world. Ever since Vidya Bharati was formally constituted, its work is progressing with the active support of the society and has increased ten fold in just over twenty years. However, these figures are grossly inadequate in the context of the vastness of the country and the education needs if the society. There is a limit to the human and financial resources of Vidya Bharati. Still, it is committed to provide not only free education in the priority regions inhabited by vanvasis, backward and neglected sections of our people but food, clothing, textbooks etc., also because these people live under conditions of acute poverty and deprivation where provision of even two square meals a day is not always possible. In view of the above circumstances prevailing in the country and the society and its limited resources, Vidya Bharati is unable to keep on opening more and more schools; A nationwide plan has, instead, been drawn up to open a large number of Sanskar Kendras (single-teacher-schools). These centres conduct informal activities for imparting literacy, health-habits, self-reliance, sanskriti, love for the country and social harmony. Special efforts are made to contact and educate the children who are unable to attend formal schools due to family circumstances or non-availability of such schools near their localities. Then, there are children who attend formal school but remain below standard due to adverse family circumstances. An effort is made to provide specific coaching to such children to bring them up to the requisite standard of their school classes; Songs, Story telling, games, role-acting etc. are the major activities for children’s development and samskara learning. sanskar Kendras of Vidya Bharati are organised in four different kinds of localities as explained below: [1] In the backward and hutment localities of cities. [2] In comparatively affluent localities of cities where children usually go to the so called convents or English medium schools. These children are generally ignorant or ill informed about Bharatiya Sanskriti or sanskars of their own Dhrama. These children of the elite sections are, often, proving detrimental to the best interests of the society. Therefore, Vidya Bharati has organised sanskar kendras for these children also. [3] In rural areas. [4] In Vanavasi inhabited regions. Along with education and sanskar training of children attending the Sanskar kendras, efforts are made to contact their parents, guardians and other members of their families and through various informal activities an, endeavour is made to create an awareness among them for a healthy, cultured life both for individuals and for the society at large. This innovative scheme of Sanskar Kendras was launched in 1988-89 as a component of the memorial campaigns organised during the birth centenary celebrations of Dr. Hedgewar. About 2000 sanskar kendras have been established to date. Vidya Bharati has emphatically requested all its 13,000 schools that every school must operate at least one sanskar kendra. It is our earnest hope that the sanskar kendra scheme will be successfully implemented with the cooperation of social workers and other members of the society. VIDYA BHARATI IN VILLAGES Over 76% of Indian people live in more than 7 lakh villages. Only 28% of the rural population is reported to be literate according to official figures. The country’s development is unthinkable without the development of this rural population. Rural development was totally neglected during the British rule. Unfortunately, successive governments in independent India opted for urban development and promotion of heavy industries. Agriculture is the main industry of the country but it did not constitute the basis of development plans. The result is large scale migration from villages to cities. The number of slum and hutment dwellers in metropolitan cities began to increase. Nearly half the population of Bombay (Mumbai) consists of slum dwellers. Almost all universities of the country are located in cities. Young men from villages go to cities for higher education. The glamour of city life deters them from returning to villages and they search for jobs in cities only. As a result, joint families are disintegrating and traditional rural industries are disappearing. Indian rural culture is facing extinction. Television and interaction with cities are enticing rural people to emulate urban life styles. On the other hand, rural schools are badly managed. Absenteeism is very high among teachers of rural schools. The result is that the rural education system is in complete disarray. There is an urgent need to change the above scenario. Vidya Bharati has taken up the challenge and after due consideration of all aspects has chalked out a rural education policy accompanied by programme of action. Nearly six thousand rural schools of Vidya Bharati have already been established. Their education programme has been so developed that along with literacy they also promote economic self-reliance, sanskriti, health and hygiene, social awareness and love for the motherland. Sagar district in Mdhya Pradesh was adopted in 1983 for setting up a pilot education project with all-around rural development as its aim. Model schools, having agriculture education as an integral part have been established at Community Development Block Centres. These, in turn, have become central schools for opening schools in surrounding villages. Today there are 21 such central schools and 230 satellite schools in nearby villages. The entire district has become conscious of educational renaissance. The central schools act as resource centres for training of teachers and for other inputs required for the satellite schools. Similar rural projects have been established in districts Ghaziabad and Sultanpur of U.P. They are known as Gram Bharati Kendras (Centres). The Gaziabad project is located on a 25 acre land site. Another Educational project has been established in village Nagala Chandrabhan of Mathura District in U.P. This village is the birth place of Late Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and has been named ‘Deen Dayal Dham’ in his honour. Beside children’s school, this project also runs a sewing training-cum-production centre for rural women. The experience gained at these pilot projects will enable Vidya Bharati to set up a chain of rural schools all over the country for imparting a new orientation to rural education. Volunteers of Vidya Bharati are engaged in this task of reconstruction of the nation with active cooperation from the society. Their target is to establish a school for every one lakh population, that is in every community development block and to organise 10 extension schools (Sanskar Kendras) in nearby villages of each school. VIDYA BHARATI’S WORK IN UNDER-PRIVILEGED LOCALITIES Nearly three crore people of our country live in slum colonies and other under-privileged localities. These colonies are mostly located on vacant land along railway tracks and near factories. 8-10 members of a family live in a single hut. It is used for keeping their meager belongings, cooking food as well as for sleeping. These is scarcity of water for drinking, bathing, washing and toilet purposes. The children here, living in conditions of abject poverty and neglect, are naturally deprived of education and Sanskars. Vidya Bharati has taken up the task of providing education and Sanskars to the children of the slum dwellers who are after all our own brothers and sisters. All our schools have been requested to adopt at least one under-privileged locality and open a Sanskar Kendra (Single Teacher School) there. The schools have also been requested to establish close rapport with their Sanakar Kendras so that the children of the two units may develop bonds of love and friendship. A special campaign was organised during the birth centenary year of Dr. Hedgewar to open Sanskar Kendras. About 2000 Sanskar Kendras have currently been opened in these localities. It is hoped that this number will increase substantially during the next few years. Swami Vivekanand had said that Service to mankind is service to God. The spirit behind this saying is being given a practical shape by the Vidya Bharati schools. Along with education and sanskars, the Sanskar Kendras are creating awareness about social harmony, health and hygiene, self-reliance, sanskriti and love for the motherland among the slum-dwellers. Vidya Bharati is endeavouring that three or four schools in big cities jointly open a full-fledged school in an under-privileged locality and share the expenses involved. 163 such schools have already been opened all over the country. Local people are offering full financial cooperation to these schools. Social harmony between the residents of these localities and the rest of the society is also growing alongwith the spirit of Hinduism. Vidya Bharati is endeavoruing that the new generation understands its responsibility towards their under-privileged brethren. It is gratifying to note that our efforts are meeting with increasing success. Nearly 5 crore people of our country live in jungles and hilly terrains in clusters of small villages. About 15 lakh of these people have migrated to cities to seek employment. These people are described as scheduled tribes in official records. This name was coined by the British rulers to alienate them from the main Hindu stream. They were called the original inhabitants as a part of the same evil design of the British rulers. This nomenclature persists even today. We treat them as an inseparable section of the Hindu society and call them Vanvasis or inhabitants of Jungles. Besides being innocent, vanvasis are helpful, proud, selfless, God-fearing, brave and courageous people. However, they live in utter poverty. Christian missionaries are active among these people from the time of British rule in India. In the guise of providing education and health services they have been converting the vanavasis to Christianity, spreading anti-national sentiments and even advocating secession from India. Instead of blaming the christian missionaries, Vidya Bharati has extended its educational programmes to Vanvasi areas also. The effort is to foster national unity, partriotism and pride in Bharatiya Dharma and Sanskriti through the medium of education, service and affection. A sense of economic self-reliance has also been generated in them. Chhota Nagpur Area In Vanavasi areas Vidya Bharati’s educational efforts are concentrated mainly in Chhota Nagpur and eastern region of the country. The Vanavasi inhabited region comprising the border areas of South Bihar, Madhya Paradesh, Bengal and Orissa is known as Chhota Nagpur. An agitation, instigated by christian political activities was being carried out for declaring this region as a separate state of Jharkhand. Vidya Bharati has 150 schools and 1000 Sanskar Kendras (Single Teacher schools) in the Chhota Nagpur region. These schools cover even remote backward villages and their number is increasing every year. The work, being carried out in this area by Vidya Bharati and the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, is creating a wave of nationalism and Hindutva among the Vanvasis. Much still however remains to be done. North-Eastern Region There are seven states in North East India Viz. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. Our vanavasi brethren, there, live in deep jungles and hilly terrains and have always been sentinels of Bharatiya Sanskriti. There are 182 tribes living in this region. They have many languages but no script of their own. During the British rule, christian missionaries propagated the Roman script for writing these languages. Vidya Bharati has now offered them the Devnagari (Hindi) script which has been widely welcomed by the vanavasi people as their own script. All tribal languages are different from each other and spoken Hindi is the only common language of inter-communication. That is another reason for the attraction of the Devnagari script. The vanavasi people have many virtues. They are very courageous. Truth is the basis of their life. These qualities prevail in spite of the utter poverty and lack of facilities among them. In fact, poverty and lack of education are the root causes of their miseries and christian missionaries have fully exploited these. During the British rule and even today, the educational and economic facilities offered by the missionaries are made available only to those people who get converted. The vanavasis have been virtually compelled to accept conversion and nearly 60% of them have already been converted. Nearly 80% of the population in Mizoram, 60% in Meghalaya and 80% in Nagaland have already been converted. As a matter of fact, the creation of these states is the direct result of conversion-politics and the process of alienation still continues. In Arunachal Pradesh 22% population is Chritian. It has been declared that by the end of this century, this state will be converted to Chritian majority Pradesh with the active support of foreign agencies. Vidya Bharati has taken it as a challenge and decided to start 20-25 schools in this area. During the last two years, eight new schools have been opened. Save East-Northern state fund has been opened. More & more funds and dedicated workers are being sent there in order to check forcible conversion to Christianity and revive Hindu faith and traditions in the people. Under these circumstances most of the vanavasi people are facing acute poverty and lack of educational facilities. But they are not prepared to get converted in spite of these deprivations. They wish to remain in the main stream of the country and contribute towards the overall development of the motherland. The Haflong Project Vidya Bharati has taken up the challenges of the North East region and assured the responsibility for providing educational facilities. A Saraswati Vidya Mandir Residential School was established in 1983 at Haflong situated almost in the centre of the seven states. The vanavasi brethren actively cooperated in its establishment. Started with just 5-6 students in a thatched hut, the school has its own permanent building today and has classes up to tenth. It is playing an important role in fulfilling the aspirations of the people. The hostel attached to the school is run on the ‘Grukul System’, i.e., all residents live together as members of the families of the teachers. They themselves manage and run the hostel. Nearly 150 boys and girls of classes one to ten are residing in the hostel and are receiving Sanskars along with education. The vanavasi people have donated nearly 4 acres of land free of cost for the Vidya Mandir. Construction on this land has been carried out through generous contributions from philanthropists of the society. The science laboratory, workshop, hostel rooms and the dining hall with kitchen facility have yet to be constructed. It is hoped that these will be constructed expeditiously by the grace of God and through cooperation of the society. It is heartening note that old students of the Saraswati Vidya Mandir have become devoted workers of a school after completing heir education. One such student whom this honour has gone is Shri Hikolain Jemi who is now the principal of a primary School in Halflong. This is a totally free school. Many well-to-do families from other states of the country have adopted vanavasi students. They look after the students as their own children. At present 150 students belonging to 20 tribes and hailing from 40 villages are studying in the school. Two women social workers from Karnataka are teaching Sanskrit there. Since they speak only in Sanskrit, most of the students and many local residents have picked up Sanskrit conversation. The students of Vidya Mandir undertake a public contact-campaign among their relations and other people when they visit their homes during vacations. They propagate the noble sentiments of Hindutva and natinalism among their people. During the birth centenary year of Dr. Hedgewar, the students prepare his biography in 18 tribal languages and these were published in a book form by Vidya Bharati. The students conducted extensive public contact and distributed these books also. So far, only the Bible was available in tribal languages and that, too, in Roman script. The biography of Dr. Hedgewar is the first tribal language book of its kind to be published in Devanagri and Assamese script. It was widely welcomed by the vanavasi people. The message of Hindutva, Dr. Hedgewar and RSS has penetrated deep among the vanavasi people because of this book. All this was achieved by the students. A wave of Hinduism and nationalism is spreading far and wide through the Vidya Mandir students. The Vidya Mandir is also active in the field of economic development of the region. Nearly 1000 trees of pineapple and oranges have been planted on 4 acres of land. There is a diary in the ‘Gurukul’. The hostel grows all the vegetables required. Shawl weaving is taught to Naga girls. Shawl weaving fetches approx. Rs. 300/- per week. The children enjoy making toys of bamboo, wood, etc. Naga boys are naturally gifted in music and various art forms. The Vidya Mandir attempts to enrich these talents. The nationally famous vocalist Shri Shekhar Kalyanji has lived among these boys for a few days to inspire and coach them. We are fully confident that in due course of time the students of the Vidya Mandir, project of Vidya Bharati, will assume leadership of the vanavasi people, and bring them into the main stream of Hinduism and prepare them to stand once again as sentinels of Bharatiya sanskriti. The Uprangsu (Assam) Project A similar free school, called Shrimati Yamuna Devi Saraswati Vidya Mandir was established in 1987 at Umrangsu in Assam. About 140 tribal boys and girls are studying in class one to six of this school. This school is developing on the model of Haflong Vidyalaya. Tundi (Dhanbad) Similarly in Southern Bihar 30 Kms. Away from Dhanbad, there is a small village named ‘Tundi’. A residential school is being run there for tribal boys & girls. There are two separate hostels for 100 boys and 80 girls. There is a provision for teaching crafts like hand weaving & embroidery. This vocational facility will help students to stand on their own feet after completing school education. OTHER SPECIAL PROJECTS BY VIDYA BHARATI Awakening of social Consciousness From the very beginning there has been an endeavour to kindly the sense of patriotism and social sense in the students. These sanskars become perceptible from their day-to-day behaviour. [1] Sushil Children Home (‘Sushil Balak Griha’) Homes for the Healthy Children of Leprosy Parents Leprosy has become a major challenge for the humanity not only in India but throughout the world. The Indian society harbours many misconceptions about leprosy. Leprosy patients are therefore facing great difficulty and deep neglect. Modern medical science has established that leprosy is not contagious. Vidya Bharati is attempting to create a healthy attitude that leprosy is like any other disease and leprosy patients deserve our active sympathy. To generate this awareness in the society, particularly among the children, all schools of Vidya Bharati observes 30th January every year as the ‘Leprosy day’. A Leprosy Cure Society’ has been established at Champa in Madhya Pradesh with the inspiration of the RSS and the initial guidance provided by late Shri Guruji, the then Sarasanghachalak of RSS. This society publishes adequate literature which is distributed to all our institutions. Another serious problem pertains to the healthy children of leprosy patients who wish to keep them away but they also get afflicted. A few hostels are run for such children by government agencies but most of the hostels are run by christain missionaries who convert all children living in their hostels. Several such children have themselves become christain priests on growing up and are active in Mdhya Pradesh. Vidya Bharati offered to the Bharatiya Kustha Nivarak Sangh to open a hostels for such children near by but separate from their centre at Champa, assuring them full cooperation and financial support from all our schools. A hostel called ‘Sushil Children Home’ (Sushil Balak Griha) has accordingly been set up there. It has 53 inmates at present. There is a school also for these children. Three children living in this home were formerly inmates of hostel run by Mother Teresa. They left that hostel in order to join one run by us. Students of Vidya Bharati schools organise a fund raising campaign on 30th January (Leprosy day) every year. They collect over six lakh rupees which is remitted to the Home. But the scheme is, still, in need of more financial assistance. The home has good facilities for more education and Sanskar of its inmates who are expected to become useful citizens of the society on growing up. [2] Social Service at the time of Natural calamities (a) Vidya Bharati donated Rs.14 lakhs for the help of earthquake Victims of Uttar Kashi(U.P.) (b) Rs. 20 lakh were collected for the victims of Earthquake in Latur area (Maharashtra) (c) Rs. 20 lakh were sent for the people of Andhra Pradesh who suffered heavy losses of men & material during cyclone floods. [3] Swadeshi Jagran – A realistic gesture of patriotism Multi National companies have taken strong foot hold in India during the past a few years. It is eclipsing our national economy. The nation is drifting quickly towards financial bondage. To check these anti-national financial enterprises, Vidya Bharati under the patronage of ‘Swadesh Jagaran Manch’, has ushered in many programmes of ‘Swadeshi Jagran’. They impress upon the people the spirit of this crusade ie ‘Be Indian buy Indian’. Under this project, the students, teachers & parents at large are persuarded to use things made by Indian Companies & shun those manufatured by Milti national companies. The students are formed into groups and sent to the related areas with the list of Swadeshi goods and relevant literature. Vidya Bharati has included ‘Swadeshi’ as a compulsary component in her scheme of studies. Vidya Bharati in Jammu & Kashmir The Vidya Bharati General Body meeting held at Visakhapatnam in 1988 resolved that in order to generate self-confidence, courage and the national spirit among the Hindus Of Kashmir Valley. Vidhya Bharati should start its schools at places where Hindus constituted at least 20% of the population. These schools were also necessary becuase all government schools and the large number of Madrasas run by the Jamayati Islami, were installing anti-nationalism in the minds of the new generation in the name of imparting religious education. Consequently, the educational atmosphere in the Kashmir valley was very bitter and explosive. 10 schools of Vidya Bharati were immediately started in prominent localities of Kashmir Valley in accordance with the General Body resolution. Vidya Bharati schools in Delhi were given the responsibility for providing financial support to these schools. 50 schools of Vidya Bharati were already running in Jammu province. These schools fully cooperated in the setting up of the new schools. Impressed by the high standard of education in these schools, many Muslim students also took admission in these schools. Vidya Bharati also welcomed this development. Unfortunately, the above schools had not completed even two years when Pakistan launched a pre-planned but indirect assault in the Kashmir Valley. As a result, attacks and all sorts of atrocities began to be committed against the Hindus. The Vidya Bharati schools in Kashmir Valley were made the first targets by the Pakistan supported elements. Their buildings were set on fire. 3 lakh Hindu fled from the valley and took shelter in Jammu. These included teachers and students of Vidya Bharati schools also. The whole world is witnessing the conditions that now prevail in Kashmir Valley. Vidya Bharati again resolved to face the challenge arising out of these adverse circumstances of displacement of the Hindus and assumed the responsibility of educating the children displaced from the valley. Second shifts were started in 5 schools of Jammu and classes from one to ten were immediately started in the refugee camps set up for the displaced persons. Vidya Bharati appealed to its schools all over the country for financial help for the above effort. There was a very good response from every region of the country. Some students belonging to the displaced Hindu families were admitted to Vidya Bharati schools and hostels in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and other states. Bharatiya Shiksha Samiti, Jammu-Kashmir, an affiliated state committee of Vidya Bharati, assumed full responsibility for the overall cooperation and supervision of this entire educational effort. Several problems have arisen regarding the future life of the students displaced from the Kashmir Valley. It is regretfully recorded that the official machinery is not paying adequate attention to this situation. We have to discharge our responsibility towards these young students and instill in them sufficient self-confidence, courage and strength so that they may return to the Valley and settle there again. We appeal everyone to come forward and generously assist Vidya Bharati in its resolve. Vidya Bharati in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands The Andamand-Nicobar islands act as sentinels for India at the entrance to the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. These islands are of strategic importance to the nation. There are over 300 islands in the group consisting of small and big islands. Nearly 265 of them are inhabited Andaman and Nicobar are the two largest islands in the group. Most of the islanders live in these two islands. Port Blair is the capital of this centrally administered territory. The total population of the Andaman-Nicobar islands was 1,88,254 according to the 1981 census. During the British rule, the Andaman group of islands was used to house life sentenced prisoners sent from India. A cellular jail was specially constructed there to imprison those considered dangerous by the British rulers. The people sent on a prison-sentence to this jail were commonly referred to in India as undergoing “Kala pani” (literally black water) imprisonment. Many Indian freedom fighters were detained in this jail. The great freedom fighter Sh. V.D. Savarkar had spent 13 years of his youth in the dungeons of this cellular jail and suffered acutely due to the atrocities let loose on him by the inhuman Britishers. Nearly 4,000 freedom fighters of the 1857 Freedom Movement were amongst the first inmates of the Andaman jails. Three distinct categories of people inhabit the Andaman group of islands. (1) In the first category, are the various tribes who are the original inhabitants. (2) In the next category, are the people who settled here after completing their terms of imprisonment. These people are known as locals in common parlance. (3) In the last category, are bureaucrats, other employees of government and private agencies, businessmen and settlers brought here after independence. These people speak Bangla, Hindi, Nicobari, Tamil and Malayalam languages. A saraswati Shishu Mandir was started in Port-Blair in 1984 mainly for the middle class people. Another Shishu Mandir was also started 2-years ago. In the interest of national security, it is very important to educate these people and to ensure that they develop proper sanskars. These schools are also acting as centre for awakening the spirit of Hindu Dharma, sanskriti and nationalism in the society. The vanavasi Kalyan Ashram is working among the vanvasi population while an English medium school has been opened by the Vivekanand Kendra for the benefit of the children of Govt. employees etc. Of course, the Christian missionaries have been active here, too, for quite some time. The Saraswati Shishu Mandirs are always short of funds because they cater mostly to the needs of the middle class people only. Nevertheless, the schools have got their own permanent building constructed through generous financial assistance from the mainland people particularly from Bengal and a few other states. The school’s progress is quite rapid. A sanskar kendra has also been started in a backward locality. It is planned to open Sanskar Kendras in some other localities also. The Shishu Mandir is playing a significant role in generating an attitued in the public mind that the Andaman islands are an integral part of India. The younger generation is also imbibing similar sanskars. This is, indeed, a great achievement of the Shishu Mandir. Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan is registered under section 21 of the societies Registration Act, 1861 as a society totally dedicated to the cause of education. Its Central Headquarters are located at Saraswati Kunj Nirala Nagar, Lucknow. A sub-office is located at Sanskriti Bhawan, Kurukshetra (Haryana); 32 state Committees are affiliated to Vidya Bharati. All educational institutions, known variously as Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Saraswati Vidya Mandir or other names in various states, operate under the control and supervision of the concerned state Committee. There is a General Body of Vidya Bharati which meets, at least, once a year. All office bearers and members of the Regional Working Committees and the President, Secretary and Organising Secretary of state Committees, as well as Akhil Bharatiya and Regional subject experts are members of the General Body of Vidya Bharati. It has a Working Committee also. Its members constitute All India office bearers as well as those of the Regional Working Committees. The Working Committee holds, at least, two meetings every year. For better coordination and administrative convenience and effective implementation of its plans and activities, Vidya Bharati has made the following operational Anchals or Zones:- Area/Region State 1. Northern Region Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir. 2. *Uttar Pradesh Avadh Pradesh, Kashi Pradesh, Brij Pradesh, Pashchimi Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal. 3. *Rajasthan Jaipur Pradesh, Chittor, Jodhpur Pradesh. 4. *Madhya Pradesh Madhya Bharat, Mahakaushal, Chhatisgarh 5. Western Region Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Vidarbha 6. South-Eastern Region East Andhra Pradesh, West Andhra Pradesh, Urisa 7. Southern Region Karnataka, Tamilanadu, Kerala Uttar Bihar, Madhya Bihar, Southern Bihar 8. *Bihar Uttar Bihar, Madhya Bihar, Southern Bihar 9. East-Northern Region Bangal, Arunachal, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Andamand-Nikobar. * Vidya Bharati accorded the status of a region to these states which have been sub-divided into smaller states for our administrative purposes. Zonal Working Committee A Zonal Working Committee has been formed in each zone for effective organisation of all activities in the zone. The Chairman, Secretary and /or Organising Secretary of State Committee of the region as well as heads of special project and training in-charges of academic subjects are members of the Zonal Working Committee. The Chairman, Secretary or Organising Secretary (or both as necessary) of the zonal Working Committee are its office bearers and they are also ex-officio members of the All India Working Committee. VIDYA BHARATI AT A GLANCE 1. Vidya Bharati was formed in 1977. 2. The aim of Vidya Bharati is to evolve alternate model of National Education. 3. The entire educational thinking of Vidya Bharati is based on Bharatiya Philosophy of Life. 4. Vidya Bharati has developed its teaching-learning methodology on the basis of Indian Psychology. 5. Vidya Bharati National Academic Council was formed in 1980 to seek expertise guidance of the renowned educationists of the land. About 500 educationists are the members of this Council. 6. Bharatiya Educational Research Institute of Vidya Bharati was established in 1980 at Lucknow. 7. The schools are rapidly spreading all over Bharat in cities, villages, in tribal and in slum areas. At present the schools are 13,006, teachers 74,000 and students 17.5 lacs. 8. Residential schools are 66. Vidya Bharati has become the largest non-Governmental educational Organisation in Bharat today. 9. From the point of view of National Security Vidya Bharati has started large number of schools in the border areas such as in Uttar Pradesh on the Border of Tibet and Nepal, in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur on the border of Burma and in Kutch (Gujarat), and Rajasthan on the border of Pakistan and has decided to increase their number. 10. Teachers-Training-Programme is continuously conducted. There are two Post Graduate Training Colleges and 8 Primary Teachers Training Colleges in the country. 11. To develop total personality of the child, Vidya Bharati has prescribed National Syllabi of five subjects i.e. Physical Education, Yoga, Music, Sanskrit language and Moral and Spiritual Education. 12. Under Vidya Bharati Sanskriti Bodh Pariyojana efforts are being made to transfer the cultural heritage to the students and teachers by conducting Sanskriti Gian Pariksha every year. Essay and Quiz competitions are also held. 13. National Sport Meet is organised every year by Vidya Bharati. This programme gives opportunity to have a “Darshan of Laghu Bharat”. 14. The real strength of Bharat lies in the integrated development of her rural population. Hence Vidya Bharati has concentrated all its efforts to spread network of schools in villages. 15. Vidya Bharati has also extended its educational programme to meet the challenges of our tribal population posed by the Christian Missionaries especially in the North-East Region of Bharat in Chhota Nagpur area. We have harnessed all our efforts to bring this population in the Hindu Stream Through love, service and education. 16. “One School one Sanskar Kendra” scheme of Vidya Bharati is successfully working to develop “Samajik Samarasata” (Social Equity) in the young students and the society. 17. Vidya Bharati has also taken up the programme for the development of Social Consciousness and Social Service in the heart of its young students. They organise a fund raising campaign on 30th January (Leprosy Day), every year. They collect lacs of rupees to help the healthy children of Leprosy patients living in Sushil Griha, Champa (M.P.). Students of Vidya Bharati also collected funds to help earthquake striken people and remitted 14 lac rupees to Uttar Kashi, 20 lac rupees to Maharashtra and 20 lacs rupees to Andhra Pradesh cyclone hit area. 18. To propagate “Swadeshi Jagaran Abhiyan”, students contacted about one crore families during this campaign all over Bharat. 19. Tree “Plantation Campaign” is taken up by Vidya Bharati every year to check the spreading of environmental pollution. 20. Vidya Bharati Publications :- 1. “Vidya Bharati Pradeepika”. A quarterly magazine for teachers. 2. “Bharateeya Shiksha Shodh Patrika”. A bi-annual research journal. 3. “Devputra” monthly magazine for students. 21. Organisational structure of Vidya Bharati and statewise number of schools are given separately. The Book and Geet Cassette on “Birth Day Celebration” Published by Vidya Bharati Unfortunately in Hindu Families specially in metropolitan cities in India the birthday of a child is celebrated in a christian western style. Candles are lit in equal number to the age years of child, extinguished except one, then cake is cut and the english song “Happy birthday to you” is sung by all. An un-Indian tradition is thus followed blindly. Vidya Bharati has successfully taken up a drive to introduce the Hindu way of “Birth Day Celebration” and has published a guide book and a geet Cassette to popularise this. All are requested to cooperate in propagating this healthy tradition in the society. The cassette and the book will be available on the following addresses: (1) Centeral Office Vidya Bharati Bhavan Saraswati Kunj, Nirala Nagar, Lucknow – 226020. (2) Sub-Office Vidya Bharati Sanskriti Bhavan Geeta Vidyalaya Parisar Kurukshetra – 132118.