By Dada Gurudattananda
Ananda Nagar is located in a tribal dominated area of Purulia district of West Bengal State, in the eastern part of India. Ananda Marga School, Central Ananda Nagar, was started in the year 1963 in a thatched house with a vision to bring educational consciousness and development among the local impoverished people. Over the last 48 years of dedicated service by the Sannyasis (monks) and LFT teachers, this institution has greatly improved the quality of life among the villagers. Dada Gurudattananda, the present Principal, has been serving in this school for last 22 years. At present the school has 250 students enrolled from grades K-IV. Apart from local villages, some students from other states and 40 boys from our children’s home also get education from this school. Subsequently 34 schools were started by Ananda Marga in other villages surrounding Ananda Nagar to serve the children from those areas who cannot come to central Ananda Nagar easily.
The school is situated in a complete natural and picturesque setting in the country side, far away from the bustle of city life, giving the children a conducive environment for being close to nature. Apart from regular subjects Stuvol (Student Volunteers) training and Vratacarii Camps are regularly held in this school for character building, developing service spirit, and developing volunteer and leadership qualities among the students. Art and music workshops are conducted to develop their aesthetic qualities. Cultural functions and excursions add to increasing and expressing the inner potentialities of the children and widening their imagination.
Neohumanism is the base of our curriculum. The Ecological Garden (PASAKA) near the school serves as a practical learning centre for the children. The annual magazine “Aruna alok” of the school carries poems, arts, stories of our children and articles from teachers. It gives ample inspiration for their budding talents to express their creativity. Meditation is a regular feature in our school bringing holistic vision and oneness among the children.
This school has served as a beacon of light and has brought great change in the lives of the local people. The children that have graduated from our school have attained great success in their lives and are serving the society in various capacities as engineers, medical doctors, professors and research scholars in India and abroad.