Kolkata being a metropolitan city, quality education is quite expensive. A school run by Didis (sisters or nuns) in Tiljala, that is attached to the WWD (Women’s Welfare Department) Head Office has been serving medium income and lower income groups of children in this area for the past 20 years. Because of the good reputation of the school, demand from parents has increased over the years and has brought the present enrollment to 390 students for grades K-IV with 18 teaching staff out of which 4 are LFTs (local full time workers of Ananda Marga). Didi Ananda Premadiipta, the present Principal has been working very hard to improve the school facilities and Neohumanist environment. Quiet time is very much appreciated by the students and parents across religious faiths. Special care is taken to develop conceptual clarity among the students through practical examples and demonstrations. Apart from traditional subjects, meticulous care is taken to stress moral lessons through Stuvol (Student Volunteers program). The play-way method of teaching makes the learning environment quite joyful and enjoyable.
Neohumanistic values are inculcated among the tiny tots from the very beginning like love for animals, plants and respect for the environment and proper regard to their elders. Children love flowers in the garden and care for the pussy cats in the school. Annual sports and games are organized every year. This year our school children participated in a function in another school named ‘National School’ in the city. The principal of that school was very much impressed to see our children doing ‘namaskar’ in proper mudra (a greeting gesture conveying “I salute the divinity within you with all the divine charms of my mind and all the love and cordiality of my heart”. She requested our permission to use ‘namaskar’ in their school also. Small things can be very meaningful and impressive.
Experienced artists from the RAWA Academy (Renaissance Artists and Writers Association), running in our school teaches song, dance and art to aspiring children of our school and local children as well. Prabhat Samgiita competition is organized every year, which is a very inspiring event for many budding artists. Students graduating from our school carry with them the values that they learn here to their future meaningful life. For more information, Didi Premediipta can be reached at +91- 9641436709
Ananda Marga School
Bagnan, Dist- Howrah, West Bengal, India
Didis run several schools in and around Kolkata. One such school is in Bagnan, a small town almost one hour away from Kolkata. Didis have been running a school there for the past several years now for lower and middle income groups of people. Now it is has grades K-IV with six teachers and 110 students. Didi Arcana Brcii is working dynamically as the Principal there for the past two years. Her sincere efforts have brought a good name to the school. Morning quiet time is the most sought-after moment for the children. They love the enchanting atmosphere. Moral lessons are given priority throughout the curriculum. Children learn Prabhat Samgiita, Samskrit Shlokas, Yoga and Meditation, PT and drill etc. as part of the school program. Stuvol lessons are given special attention and help develop service spirit, leadership qualities and other values of life. An annual cultural program is very much appreciated by the guardians and sympathizers. Didi Arcana is bringing qualitative change in the school through her sincere efforts.
Ananda Marga Primary School
Ananda Nagar India
Ananda Marga Gurukula Teachers Training College building at Anandanagar is still under construction and the permission to run the college is expected later this year. Donations are welcome for the speedy completion of the new building. Please write to: . The Chairman of the National Council and Technical Education has indicated that if all formalities are completed, the permissions could be granted as early as autumn of this year.
Ananda Marga Gurukula Teachers Training College
Himatnagar, Gujarat, India
The Ananda Marga Primary School in Himatnagar, Gujurat, has been in operation for the past 30 years. The school has 170 students from nursery school to 6th grade. Lessons are taught in English. Curriculum specialties include meditation and yoga, computer studies and many cultural activities. Field trips are part of the program and recent trips were made to Kankariyalake and Science City in Ahmedabad.
The school hosts an annual two day function and cultural program which this year was conducted in Nalinikanta Town Hall. The program was arranged by Subrat Kumar Pradhan and directed by Ac Satyarthii Brahmacarii. Chief Guest was Ac. Loknathananda Avt. Children performed Prabhat Samghiita dance choreographed by Smt Aarti S. Pradhan. Approximately 700 parents attended the program. The local media covered the programme which received city news headlines.
Ananda Marga Primary School and High Schools
Gandhidam, Gujarat, India
There are two High Schools in Gandhidam. One is an English medium school managed by Dadas and the other a Gujarati medium school managed by Didis. In addition there is a primary school with about 500 children, bringing the total number of students for all three schools to about 800.
The schools have been running since 1990 and are recognized by the government. They are known for their moral and spiritual education and their Neohumanist approach to teaching.
Ananda Marga Girls’ High School
Uma Nivas, Ananda Nagar
Uma Nivas is in the south part of Ananda Nagar near Khatanga village. This is the area designated by Shrii P.R. Sarkar for women’s welfare projects. Didis run a children’s home with 26 girls as well as a primary school and a high school here. There is no other girls’ high school in the area for 18 kilometers. This school was started in the year 1993. It serves mostly lower and middle income groups of people. It has grades from 5th to 10th grade with a total of 120 students, including 53 girls from the hostel in Purulia district as well as other parts of West Bengal and the neighbouring States of Jharkhand and Bihar.
Didi Ananda Vratiisha, the present Principal of the school is working hard to develop the school. Other Didis working there are Didi Ananda Sucismita and Didi Ananda Tapashiila. Newly posted Didi Paramaita Brcii is liked by the girls for her caring nature and sweet behavior as a teacher. There are four additional teachers working there who are also sincere in their work. The girls are living in a very natural setting, maintaining a much disciplined life. Didi Sucismita, who is in-charge of the hostel, takes very good care of the girls giving them a loving home and she imparts moral and spiritual values that will shape ideal women in the future. The girls are quite punctual in waking up early and attending the 5 am Paincajanya (singing and meditation) in their special white uniform. It is an enchanting moment created by collective kiirtan. Their day starts with spiritual ideation from the early morning. The girls sing Prabhat Samgiita and kiirtan very well.
Apart from regular subjects they are also taught classical music, dance, painting, self-defense etc. Sometimes volunteers from other countries visit here and give their services teaching the girls various skills like gardening, English speaking, computer literacy, self defense etc. Yoga asanas and kaosikii are part of daily morning practices that keep the young girls physically healthy, emotionally sound and dynamic in spirit. The students who graduate from our school pursue their higher studies in other places. Many of them are now teachers, nurses, in various government jobs, etc. One has started a painting school in Kolkata. Some choose police jobs.
This high school is serving as a ray of hope for the girls of the area. A mobile homeopathy and acupuncture clinic run by the high school serves nearby villages, especially poor people, thrice a week. The children are growing and improving day by day with the help of volunteers’ participation. They need and welcome the presence of more volunteers. For more information please contact Didi Ananda Vratiisha at: anandavratiisharediffmail.com or visit: http://asia.kidsworldwide.org/indiaumanivas.htm.