Our children are our future. It is our duty to provide them an environment that will nurture their minds and mould their character to take responsibility as the future leaders and builders of community.
And yet, here are some startling realities in this world that we 'adults' are responsible for across the world.
25 million girl children are killed in the womb itself each year, just due to her gender
2.6 milion infants die each year due to malnutrition
640 million children in developing countries do not have access to a safe shelter
217 million remain devoid of primary healthcare services
101 million children are out of school
For every 100 Indian girls enrolled into rural schools, just one makes it up to 10th standard
Almost 211 million children between the ages of 5-14 years are child labourers
At our Balamandirams %u2013 in Panvel, Navi Mumbai and Thirunavaya, Kerala %u2013 we focus our energies on developing individuals rather than providing them education or teaching them to make a living. Our philosophy follows that if you give a child a fish, you feed her for a day but if you teach her to fish, you feed her for life.
Our focus at Balamandiram is to teach our children the right values, help them realize their purpose in life and find the means to achieve it. At our facilities, we ensure a child has the ecosystem to thrive in. When her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are fulfilled, she has the mental strength to seek out a larger purpose. And working towards purpose is what we hope to equip them with through education.
In fact, with this in mind, we also provide education through Vedic methods that we have seen have a far-reaching impact on the overall development and character of the child. In conjunction with educationists, we have developed a curriculum for these students that matches the prescribed syllabus of mainstream education. They have annual exams linked to the Ujjain University for Vedic and Sanskrit studies. In addition they are also furthering education in Maths, Science, English and the regular subjects. Some of these students have also gone on to pursue higher studies such as PhD and MPhil.
We have now also incorporated Yoga, meditation, sports, drama and such as part of our activities for the regular scholars we have within the Balamandirams. We have seen this improving their concentration levels and ability to perform under duress. With such outlets of expression, they find their growth vines too.
Today, some of our children are engineers, nurses, management practitioners, hospitality professionals and so on. The praises showered on them by their educational institutions, employers or families are our fruits of labour.
At our Balamandiram at Panvel, we currently have 45 Vedic students and 35 students under the regular syllabus. The teachers for the Vedic courses also stay at the hostels with their families. In addition, we are also associated with the Jankalyan Sevashram and Girija Foundation, whereby we have another 125 students under our wings.
Balmandiram, Thirunavaya is home to more than 125 children %u2013 some of who are now appearing for their Graduation and Post-Graduation.
While we have covered so many students within our ambit currently, we hope to touch the lives of 1,000 children by the end of 2015. And that can only arrive at with your support. See how you can partner with us.