Saraswati Vidya Peetham
WHAT THEY TEACH AT SARASWATHI VIDYA PEETAM
Saraswathi Temple and Saraswathi Vidya Peetham
Saraswathi Vidya Peetam was established on November 14th, 2006 near Kakinada in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. The motto of Peetam is to educate students, mainly the tribal and poor, to reduce anxiety before exams, tension while studying. The objective is to generate interest among students towards education and make them feel that acquiring wisdom is a nice feeling, better than watching TV or fancying cricket 24 hours a day.
The inspiration for attitudinal change in Veerendranath to set up the Vidya Peetam is a “school like Ashram” near Dharmasthala, Mangalore established by Padma Bhushan Veerendra Heggade, wherein the poor students study, milk the cows, cultivate vegetables and sell them. This experience gives them not only education, but teaches the techniques of marketing etc at micro level and practicality towards life at a macro level. Veerendranath was told that most of the students at a later stage were financially well settled, with some of them even owning cars.
Another inspiration to Veerendranath to set up the Peetam, a one Crore project; without any trust backing or donations… is the book “Pillalake Naa Hridayam Ankitham” (My soul is dedicated to children). It is a true story, wherein the author (a Russian teacher) educates the students in ‘open’, exposes them to nature, unfolding their enthusiasm and gist for life.
Veerendranath gives one day training to a batch of students, preferably tenth class, accompanied by two or three teachers sponsored by a school. The auditorium stands amidst greenish fields and accommodates around 50 students.
For the first three hours, the students are taught the techniques of concentration, developing memory and reducing tensions and anxiety. The teaching goes in an amusingly entertaining way, involving almost all the students.
The morning session includes the concept of differentiating ‘watchers’ and ‘performers’. Students are encouraged to build up confidence, give a lift to their hidden talents and a positive approach to life. It also includes various methods to develop intelligence, quick reflex actions, expressing love, maintaining health and hygiene and mainly refurbishing enthusiasm towards life. This is what parents don’t know and teachers never tell.
After lunch (provided by the school or Peetam), the kids are out in the open to productive entertainment. On one side of the Peetam, there is a railway track and on the other side, a lake. To combat Hydrophobia (fear of water) the students, mainly girls swim with the help of tubes and also
enjoy a brief boat ride.
Here is a pond to catch fish. ‘Learn fishing fist’ is an old proverb. Students at the age of 15 are hyperactive and fishing demands power of control over body movements and adept attention. Fishing makes them sit motionless watching for the pray, which they can never do in normal circumstances. Thus the motto of fishing is to teach them concentration.
One can witness the out-bursting joy in the eyes of boys when they see the practicing net and cricket kit. There are other various sports for girls that include not only shuttle, badminton and ring, but also old traditional games. The anxiety levels are tested in competitions like ‘threading a needle’ and the ‘spoon and a lemon’.
In the evening the students are taught the techniques of self-hypnotism, yoga and meditation. Before the Goddess Saraswathi, they take oath to amend some of their hazardous habits (eating junk food at irregular intervals, personal unhygienic lifestyle, excessive unnecessary talk and sleep).
Finally, under the shades of falling sun, sitting on the steps of the lake near the temple, kids are encouraged to tell small stories on their own. This is to overcome lingering of thoughts, fumbling of words, fear of speaking and mainly to develop communication skills. By the end of the day, almost every kid is encouraged with a suitable gift, may it be a biscuit packet or a new pair of shoes, unearthing their hidden potentialities.
How to Participate..
Any school can send a batch of forty students accompanied by two teachers for one day. It is all free of cost.
You can contact Veerendranath on (+91) 9246502662
Saraswati Vidya Peetham
Address: Madhavpatnam, Samalkot-Kakinada road, East Godavari District
Ph: 9246502662, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org