On the occasion of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th anniversary, the Swami Vivekananda project was initiated in 2013. Following is a list of activities undertaken as part of the project.
Activities in 2014-2015
1) Project Vivek Vikas Prakalpa – Holistic Development of Women & Children through value education
On 4th May 2014, the auspicious occasion of the consecration of the New temple in Sri Sarada Math, Bengaluru, a seminar was arranged by RKSM Dakshineswar on Universal Religion. This was part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda. Smt.Lipika, Retd. IT Professional, spoke on “What is Religion?” She explained the concept of religion via a powerpoint presentation. Smt.Padmashree, Retd. Professor of Physics, spoke on “Sectarian Religion- Use and abuse – Its place in Human Life”. Most Rev.Ajayaprana Mataji, President of Sri Sarada Math, Thrissur, spoke on “Universal Religion”. Pravrajika Prabuddhaprana Mataji from Sri Sarada Math, Dakshineswar spoke on “Vedanta- A Philosophy and Religion”. A devotee from Chennai, Smt.Uma Mohan, spoke on “Shankara’s Advaita and Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda’s Advaita”. The seminar was concluded by Most Rev. Amalaprana Mataji, General Secretary, Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, with a speech on “Religion is Science and Science is Religion”.
2) Youth Day Celebrations
National Youth Day was celebrated at Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Bangalore on Saturday, 17th January 2015. Around 540 students and 25 teachers along with the Sannyasinis, Brahmacharinis and devotees of the Math participated in the procession with a band-set and a chariot carrying a huge cut-out of Swami Vivekananda. Cultural programs were held at the Math premises after the procession returned to the Math premises.
An elocution competition was held for the college students on the topic “What is the need of Shraddha/Faith in student’s life? What does Swamiji say about this value ?”. A skit competition for school children was held on the topic “What is the necessity of morality in student’s life? How does the message of Swami Vivekananda help the students to bring these values in their lives ?”. Certificates and books relevant to youth were given to all participants. The book, “Song of Sannyasin”, was distributed to all and the song was sung by everyone. The whole program received a very good response. Lunch was served in the afternoon. Literature on Ramakrishna Sarada Movement was exhibited and sold in the campus.
On 7th July 2014, 33 students from 3rd to 5th standards and 6 teachers of Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Bengaluru along with 38 Children and 6 teachers of Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Junjaramanahalli school were taken around Bengaluru on an educational trip. They visited Sri Ramakrishna Math at Bull Temple Road and Cubbon park where they enjoyed Toy train & Dragon ride. In Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, the children were thrilled to play science games.
On 11th February 2015, 40 students from 3rd standard onwards and 9 teachers were taken to Mysore, Sri Rangapatna and Balmury Falls where they were shown Mysore Zoo, Palace, Chamundi Hills, Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Sri Ranganath Temple and Balmury Falls .
4) Mid-day meals
During the school year, mid-day meals were provided on weekdays to all school children studying in Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Bengaluru and Nivedita Vidya Peetha, Junjaramanahalli. Over 200 students benefited from this program.
5) Geometry Box Distribution
Geometry boxes were distributed to 150 students studying in 9th and 10th standard of Ayyappa school located near the Math. Poor children from the nearby slum areas study in this school.
Activities in 2014-2015 (Junjaramanahalli)
1) Distribution of water drums
On 8th April 2014, Ramanavami day, water drums with a capacity of 125 litres were distributed for storing water. In summer, water was supplied to Junjaramanhalli only once in two or three days. Hence, this initiative was very much appreciated by the recepients. A total of 64 drums were distributed to 53 residents of Junjaramanhalli and 11 nearby temples.
2) Water Tank for Animals
Due to scarcity of drinking water in the surrounding area, a water tank with 1500 litres capacity was constructed in April for animals.
3) Competitions on the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda
Various competitions on the life of Swami Vivekananda were held for classes 2nd to 10th in 5 village schools for which books were provided. Prizes were given and all the participants got certificates. Books on Swami Vivekananda, fruits and sweets were distributed to all students. They programme was very well received and there were requests to conduct such programmes every year.
Number of students: 1234
Number of staff: 80
Number of competitors: 300
4) Geometry Box and Book Distribution
Geometry boxes and Kannada books on life and teachings of Sw. Vivekananda were distributed to 1468 students in10th standard from 23 schools of 21 nearby villages. The boxes contained a sticker of Swamiji’s saying along with his photo. This activity increased the awareness about Sri Sarada Math in the community. School authorities requested the Math to conduct moral classes in the schools on a regular basis.
With the financial assistance from the Ministry of Culture Government of India, three books from the Torch Bearer Series namely Sister Subbhalakshmi, Mataji Gangabai and Pravrajika Bharatiprana, published originally in English by Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, Dakshineswar were translated to Kannada and published. “Nivedane”, a prayer book for children was also published.
Activities in 2013-2014
1) Outreach program for school students
A kit containing 32 posters on the life and message of Swamiji was exhibited in three schools during the months of December 2013 and January 2014. Students from class 5 to 10 spent around an hour studying Swamiji’s life and message. The schools showed a keen interest in creating a deeper understanding about Swamiji’s message. Hence, Pravrajika Adityaprana Mataji conducted personality development classes for high school students at Luminary English School and Pinewoods English High School. These sessions inspired the students to develop the crucial quality of self-introspection. Training for teachers were conducted on the topic of “Ideal Teacher as per Swami Vivekananda’s message”. A total of 710 students and 38 teachers participated in these sessions.
2) Retreats for school and college students
Five session retreats were conducted for school and college students separately from 28th July to 1st September. The first three sessions focussed on giving the students a clear understanding of Swami Vivekananda’s message. The fourth session focussed on assessing what the students had assimilated. The students were asked to express themselves about any one of the topics discussed during the retreat through writing essays, elocution, enacting or power point presentation. The fifth session featured prize distribution, lectures by guest speakers about the gist of the retreat and talks by students about what they gained from the retreats. The students showed a keen interest to learn more about Swami Vivekananda’s message. A total of 320 school students from 3 schools and 200 college students from 6 colleges participated in these retreats. The retreats included lectures, songs, an exhibition on Swamiji’s life and a video show.
Topics for school students :
- Eternal Values
- Three things are necessary to make one great.
- Conviction of the power of goodness
- Absence of jealousy and suspicion
- Helping all who are trying to be good and do good.
- Personality development
Topics for College Students :
- Ideal women
3) Student Retreat
A retreat was conducted for school and college students at the Math on 25th October 2013. Around 200 students from various institutions in the city participated in the retreat. Revered Pr.Ajayaprana Mataji graced the occasion and delivered an illuminating talk titled “Swami Vivekananda on Education”. With the help of numerous anecdotes, she elaborated on the true meaning of education and the qualities it imparts to the benefactor; the most important quality being the capability to adjust oneself even to adverse situations effortlessly. She encouraged the students to develop an attitude of “I can, I must, I will”, which stand for self-confidence, self-effort and determination.
4) Educational help : Students were provided with help to pursue their education.
5) Medical camps : General medical camps and eye camps were conducted. A total of 656 patients were benefitted by these camps.