Sri Sarada Math, Bengaluru has taken up the following initiatives to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sister Nivedita:
1. Swachchha Bharat
Sri Sarada Math, Bengaluru conducted Swachha Bharat, a cleanliness drive at Siddhara betta, Koratagere Taluk, Tumkur district, on June 25th 2016. Fifty students of Scout & Guides and N.C.C. from R.V.School, Bangalore along with 3 staff and 2 volunteers took part in this work. They removed as much plastic as they could on the hill. In the afternoon, they visited the Kuramkote village to create awareness about girls’ education, cleanliness and hygiene.
2. Inter School / College Written tests on the life & Message of Sister Nivedita
Sister Nivedita’s biography was circulated among 3000 students from Primary school level to College level of different grades both in Kannada & English to 27 educational Institutions. For each level such as Primary, High School & Degree level, separate prize distribution programmes were held and students were encouraged to visit this Math. Cash Prizes were given to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and consolation prizes as Rs.5000/-, Rs.3000/-,Rs.1,000/- & Rs.500/- respectively. Participation certificate as well as prize winner certificates were given. Pravrajika Bhanvaniprana, President of Sri Sarada Math, Guntur & Trustee of Sri Sarada Math & Ramakrishna Sarada Mission and Pravrajika Vedatmaprana, Prinicipal of Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Girls’ School, Khonsa, Tirap District, Arunachal Pradesh were invited to preside over the prize distribution programme for school and college students held on 31st July & 10th Sept.2016 respectively. They gave inspiring lectures from the life and message of Sister Nivedita, thus motivating them to study further. A cultural programme was presented by the children of Nivedita Vidya Peetha of Sri Sarada Math, Bangalore. Prize winners gave speech on the life of Sister Nivedita. A multimedia presentation on Sister Nivedita by Dr. Manjula, a lecturer in SRN Adarsh College, Bangalore was shown to the students. The programme ended with National Anthem “Vande Mataram”. A Memento on Sister Nivedita & also an authentic biography on her in English ‘Sister Nivedita’ by Pravrajika Atmaprana was distributed to all libraries of schools & colleges who participated in this programme. Literature on Sister Nivedita was distributed among students, teachers & volunteers. Lunch was served.
At Junjuramanahalli, our rural centre also conducted written test on Nivedita. 193 students participated from 4 schools.
In primary level, in addition to the inter school written test on Nivedita, competitions such as drawing, devotional/patriotic songs, mythological costumes, sayings of Sister Nivedita & skit on Sister Nivedita were conducted. A total of 663 children from 16 primary schools enjoyed this programme. About 70 prizes were distributed on 28th October 2016 on Sister Nivedita’s Birthday. Participation certificates and prize winners certificate were distributed. The background of the certificates depicted various activities of the school children.
3. Scholarships in the name of Sister Nivedita
Scholarships are already being given to meritorious students for their further study after completing their studies from Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Bengaluru. At Junjuramanahalli, Tumkur District scholarships have been given to 28 rural girl students to encourage them to pursue studies after 10th standard. We have now started the ‘Sister Nivedita Scholarship Fund’ of one lakh each for these two schools of this Math on this occasion.
4. Book Release
Two books were were published by Sri Sarada Math, Bengaluru on Sister Nivedita’s life : “Sodari Nivedita” in Kannada and “The Story of Sister Nivedita” in English.
5. A Symposium on Sister Nivedita on 28th September 2016
A Symposium was conducted on Sister Nivedita inviting scholars to speak on different aspects of her and also her contribution to India. Two sessions were conducted in Kannada and English in the morning and afternoon respectively. The symposium started with Vedic chanting from the sannyasinis of Sri Sarada Math, followed by welcome speech and facilitation of the chief guest and speakers.
Dr.Sandhya Laxminarayan Hegde, lecturer in NMKRV College, Bangalore spoke on ‘Sister Nivedita – An Epitome of Self Sacrifice’. She narrated how Nivedita gave her all to India which and how her life was meant for that purpose. The next speaker, Dr.S.R.Leela, Sanskrit Scholar & Ex.MLC, Govt. of Karnataka spoke on Sister Nivedita’s love for India and how she had inherited the legacy of her profound love for India from her guru, Swami Vivekananda. When Sister Nivedita and several other western disciples asked Swamiji what they could do for him, he always replied “Love India. Love India the way she is, not as you want her to be.” As Sri Bipin Ch. Pal said, “I doubt whether any India loved India the way Nivedita loved her”.
Most Rev. Amalaprana Mataji, General Secretary of Sri Sarada Math & Ramakrishna Sarada Mission presided over this session and spoke about her memorable visit to Sister Nivedita’s birth place and the humanitarian work taking place there. She also spoke on the topic, “The transformation of Margaret Noble to Sister Nivedita”. Not only did Swamiji dedicate her for the cause of humanity but also her mother prayed when Nivedita was still in the womb that she would dedicate the child for the service of the Lord. Later a friend of her father who was a priest predicted that a call would come for her from India and Nivedita must dedicate herself for the great purpose.
After lunch, the afternoon session started with a welcome speech and facilitation of the chief guest and speakers. Dr. Leela Rao, Ex-Professor in Communication in Bangalore & Manipal University spoke on ‘Sister Nivedita & The Indian Freedom Struggle’ She concluded by saying, “We may have gained political freedom but are far from achieving the goal of Nationality of the Sister Nivedita‘s vision which was also Swamiji’s vision. This is perhaps a task reserved for the future generations to come and Sister Nivedita’s vision will continue to remain a beacon of hope and inspiration for them as she was to the freedom fighters aspiring for political freedom of the country almost a century ago”.
Dr. Anuradha, H.O.D. of History, PG Centre & Research Centre, Maharani’s Arts College for Women presented a powerpoint presentation on Sister Nivedita – The Champion of Indian Art. She expressed that art represents our civilization. At that time, British did not allow to exhibit the talents of our culture. But Sister Nivedita awakened the national consciousness in people, making them aware of their rich heritage and culture.
Most Rev. Jnanadaprana Mataji, Asst. Secretary of Sri Sarada Math & Ramakrishna Sarada Mission presided over this session. Mentioning Nivedita’s contribution towards Art and especially for Indian Freedom Struggle, Nivedita understood under foreign subjugation Indians lost their individuality, hence they had to be raised from man making to nation making. For this purpose, she had to sever her membership from her only shelter Ramakrishna Math to serve us, the Indians, what a sacrifice indeed!
The programme concluded with a cultural dance by the children of Nivedita Vidya Peetha of Sri Sarada Math Bangalore, followed by vote of thanks & National Song ‘ Vande Mataram’.
Coffee was served. About 250 people attended this programme.
The talks given at this Symposium can be found on the Lectures page.