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Saturday, March 15, 2014

One Year of BalaVidya at Coimbatore - Experiences of the team members

“ When I visited Coimbatore, I met a bunch of individuals who shared with me a collective intent of taking children closer to self-discovery. Right when BalaVidya was unfolding its wings, I was fortunate to meet people who aligned with the philosophy that education is not filling a vessel but lighting a flame and all of them willing to light lamps with their inner fire.

 When I expressed the desire to bring BalaVidya to children in Coimbatore, I was overwhelmed to see so many come forward to share their time, effort and knowledge with children. I always feel that self driven people who share a common intent can take the essence of BalaVidya to many children. This way BalaVidya remains a movement of the spirit touching more and more individual spirits and does not get confined  by place, time or money.

Good intention is like a divine being that has many hands, the many hands willing to work towards BalaVidya movement were revealed to me. As they work with children they will also be working towards their inner self was my intuition.”


Pavithra Suryakiran ( Founder, Vedic Foundation)


Here are some of the excerpts from the experiences shared by the BalaVidya team members towards the end of the program. 

I was sitting on the fence – should I go behind my purpose in my life or to be bound by my duties. Both were important.I had a perfect milieu for the latter yet life purpose was looming large. Just then I got a call  for this project.
Even before I could wink I grabbed the chance and I am grateful I did. I was fully prepared and waited for the first day at the school. On my visit I saw my assumptions of a government school coming down like a sand castle. 

The children were warm, receptive and unassuming. Their enthusiasm, energy and sincerity are so irresistible and compelling that it propelled my earnestness & diligence in my work. Every week I looked forward to visiting the school as much as the children looked forward for us to come.
It was pure joy, singing, playing and laughing all the way. In core lesson classes their sincere attention, solemn effort and insightful questions kept me on my toes. The unmatched love that they gave me is an earned treasure that I will cherish forever.
Lesson learnt: you receive much more than what you give!
I am so happy that Balavidya reached out this far and wish that they extend this competent project in all those needed schools.

 – Rema K. Giridhar 

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It was a fabulous team to work with Geetha, Arul, Rema, Jayashree, all were wonderful with their own style and connect with the kids. I was a bit worried on how to teach the kids without knowing their language – Tamil. My anxiety was at the peak when we started off at the Sundapalayam school and observing Rema’s classes was a learning for me. She took classes in English and the children understood her very well and her body movement sequences supportively followed the spoken language. Something clicked inside me after this.
I
 started to use my body to speak too. And I’ve felt that people understood me and resonated better with me, supportive movement language expressions helps the listener.

The whole year, I was able to experience children. Wow! that itself is a huge experience and  
learning  – seeing their spontaneity, their intimacy, the way they are always watch, understand and relate with whatever happens in the moment, now, here!
Watching them and understanding their nature was a big learning for me. Overall, lots of learning, intimate moments with the children, the team and with the teachers.
 


Anbayirukanum (compassionate with love), Ottrumayarikanum (together and united) were two of our themes given as affirmations during Yoga and Meditation and today they are not just words any more in Sundapalayam school.  I have felt that children have integrated it in their lives, they are following it and I have seen those words playing their role and come up live.
Prasad Naveen

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Children would get excited to read the books I used to distribute. What enthusiasm! Initially, I used to find it difficult to calm them down. Slowly I started appreciating good behaviors and ignoring when anyone was disrupting the classes. Soon some children, who were used to getting attention for being naughty started to behave well.

The class teachers remained in the class, which helped in integrating the program. With Rema’s help, the children became familiar with phonetics, so when I gave the 5th Graders books to read, the improvement was obvious. They were eager now to read and not getting intimidated or scared when they came across long words/ sentences.  Some of them are also attempting to read English newspaper or magazine, when they come across one.
Even the “shy” ones readily come up to the front of the class to read from the books using phonetics. I can see the pride in their face now that they can read better.

The children now appreciate one another. The hitting, beating, pushing & pulling has noticeably reduced. The proverb “The soul is healed by being with children” is very true. I don’t know how much English I have taught them, but I feel that us just being there conveys an affirmation that “they are all important” which will help increase their self esteem. This is an experience I will cherish for life.
Dr. K. V. Jayashree

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The bonding with the children has so beautifully happened that I also felt the urge to meet them every week, I did not want to miss it and most of the weeks I made it possible to be with them.
Personally I too have grown so much. There is a difference in the way I have opened myself.   Initially I was not much opened.  Not it’s just opened, my heart is fully opened and it sends abundance of love, everything seems to be beautiful and wonderful.
When I expressed my love to them that is what I too received from them. These days they get themselves settled quickly when I enter the class and they are eagerly waiting to learn and explore new things.  And I started the class with relaxation methods so that they can be more attentive and alert.They learn and grasp things quickly and are calm also.
  it gives me a lot of energy and immense pleasure and would like to continue the journey.
- Arulmozhi. K

Memorable Moments
  • When kids are called for yoga they stand in rows with one arm distance and direct the other children who are not standing in line.   First two classes we guided them and after that they do it for sure at their pace and style.
  •  When a child asks a team member – shall I call you appa? ( Father)
  • When children ask – can you please a take a photo of us friends together?
  •  After a sound meditation, when we ask what are the sounds you heard? Some answers include – Your voice, that teacher came – we heard her anklet
  •  First time we clapped to draw their attention and they joined in clapping thinking we are asking them to clap
  • When we do not go for one class, with a shy smile question comes –"ena miss  last Tuesday varalai"?(Why miss you did not come last Tuesday)
  •  When a ‘so-called’ ‘naughty’ kid settles down quickly into a meditation posture when we say it is time for meditation
  • When they learnt to use a few English sentences and when we enter the class a chorus – How are you miss? With that pride and enthusiasm of having spoken in English

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post. It’s useful information.There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks.
    Preschool in India

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