Started by Acharya Shri Roop Chand Maharaj Ji, this unique school insists on holistic and all-round education, firmly based on ethics
Manav Mandir Gurukul’ situated in Delhi’s Sarai Kale Khan is ensuring a golden future for children. A collective effort initiated by some Jain sadhus and sadhvis, this institution attempts to fulfill all the requirements of children and helps them to become good citizens.
Within the premises, not only are all the facilities provided to children but financial assistance too is given for higher education which includes expenses for coaching. People here are of the opinion that only so much work should be begun which can be completed in a proper manner. Therefore, the idea is that even if the number of children is limited, there should be a good arrangement for their education and no lapse should take place in the process of their development.
The success of the plan can easily be imagined on meeting the disciplined and active children in the Gurukul. The campus provides facilities like a bus, dining hall, digital library, playground and so on. In brief the attempt is that children should be provided with all facilities that will help in the development of their talents. A number of trophies and medals showcased in a self in the Gurukul premises is the evidence of the success of children here in various fields. But the glitter of the prizes also reflects the hard work and dedication put in by the sadhus and the sadhvis. In the Gurukul, Sadhvi Samata Sree is extremely serious about the future of these children and keeps a close watch on their needs. She says that talents within the children are in themselves the sign of success.
Manav Mandir Gurukul was started in 1993 on Mahavir Jyanti Day. Achrya Shri Roop Chand Maharaj Ji laid the foundation of this institute keeping in mind the principles of ‘devotion’ and ‘service’. The very same principle is taking shape today. The Gurukul runs under the supervision of Acharya Ji. His attempt is that the children whose responsibilities are taken up by the institute should be cared for in a proper way.
‘Good education, good health, good upbringing’. Sadhvi samata Sree places emphasis on these three elements in good education. She says that her aim is to develop these three traits in children’s lives. If a child is able to develop these three principles in life then there is no need to attain a fourth dimension. Because in every new path of life, the child becomes capable of developing himself. Our aim is to help to child develop this independent capacity on his own.
As the world progresses forward similar innovative dimensions are seen in the field of education. It is no more limited to conventional education, there is the need for professional degrees also, following the rise in competition. It is obvious that this has affected education from the primary level to the level of higher education.
The point to be noted is that Manav Mandir Gurukul is careful about the requirements of each and every child and provides him the same from the best quarters available. There is record of such children whose needs from coaching to the fees for courses had to be met. But Gurukul came forward right at the time of their needs and ensured that the needed amount of money was transferred to them to help them move ahead uninterrupted into a bright future. This includes coaching for Civil Services, on-line coaching, photography course and fees for other courses that were met by the Gurukul.
Not Giving Up
Sadhvi Samata Sree says: ‘Although as per the rules our responsibilities end when a child reaches adulthood, but still at that age, both kinds of roads, good and bad, are open for them and it is our attempt to see that the child chooses the good path. After growing up and becoming an adult, the child has to go out, earn an income, struggle against odds and face various kinds of problems. Our attempt is to understand his requirement and offer him help. It is a subject of great happiness for us if they go ahead and settled down well in life, but we keep telling them that we have helped to make you a good citizen and now it is your responsibility to go on and help a hundred more people. We tell them that the work to serve humanity should continue.
Sadhvi Samata Sree says that Acharya Roop Chand Ji believed that along with religious preaching we must also do constructive work. Whether we have passed or have failed in our mission is dependent upon the success of the children, which alone is the certificate of our enterprise. When the children make any kind of achievement then we get the impression that it is now that our efforts have actually succeeded. Our children take part in religious activities as well as many other areas. Expressing her happiness, she adds: ‘The school management people say that these children are so active that in the competitions half the number of seats is won by children from Jain Mandir.
Discipline: A Necessity
Sadhvi Ji explains that discipline is a clear indicator of a good life. In the campus the children are encouraged to take interest in studies and also in sports. After coming to school the children have slots for study, periods for games and time for meals but the most significant fact is that work like gardening the plants and similar activities too are done by children. The campus has all the facilities but to teach the children the value of work they are asked to attend to small jobs. For instance cloths are washed in the washing machines but the senior children are told to iron their own cloths. This instills discipline in them and the children do not become lazy. They in fact realise the value of the conveniences provided to them. A sense of service is borne through such work and it leads to overall development. Childhood is the period in which such training is essential to help them to grow up into good and useful citizens. The children here understand this fact very well.
The first step taken in the direction of social service is often full of difficulties. The founders Manav Mandir Gurukul too faced their share of many difficulties but they did not allow these to affect the children or deprive them of any amenities. On the other hand, their attempt was to ensure good upbringing for all these children. In the beginning there were eight children, but today 35 children live in the campus and all enjoy good health, education and facilities.
Jain Mandir is committed to bringing up these children without monetary help from any government source. No financial assistance is received from the government. The Mandir bears the total cost of funding these children. In fact in the beginning it was resolved that the children should be made capable without any economic support from the government.
A unique feature of the Mandir is that it has its own arrangement for yoga training. The children surprise us by performing very difficult asanas with amazing ease. The students who have won shields in creative competitions include those winning in yoga performances. The yoga teacher, Arun Tiwari, is undertaking the work of training these children very effectively. In today’s world, in which life is branching out in varied directions, the activities and the rush of work is increasing and for people, anxieties in life are multiplying and health is being most badly affected.
Manav Mandir Gurukul begins training children in this direction from the very beginning, and it is a pleasing fact that it is making the children sensitive to the matters relating to their health. In the race for success in the contemporary world, health is given a back seat leading to dangerous results. Mental development depends upon physical well being. All this makes yoga training a very important part of education and Manav Mandir Gurukul is fulfilling its responsibility.
Not an Orphanage
An orphanage is basically an institution in which children who are deprived of parental support are offered help and assistance. Sadhvi Samata Sree offers a great deal of love and attention to the children. She says that giving facilities to the children by starting an orphanage was not her mission. Merely providing meals to children and meeting their daily needs is not everything. The institute makes an attempt so that confidence and self esteem does not remain low while efforts are made to raise their mental levels. The Mandir is committed to provide good upbringing, instill a sense of responsibility and create good citizens who do not merely enjoy facilities but also realise the value of service.
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