Gurukul Ashramshala, Udasa

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Source: Seva-English      Date: 01 Mar 2013 18:35:09

Swami Vivekananda rightly said that education is the manifestation of perfection already present in man. The tribal masses that have a plenty of talent but are deprived of educational facilities form the most important section of our nation. If educated, they would certainly contribute to nation’s development. With this view in mind, in order to inculcate values among tribal masses by replacing bad habits and making them self-sufficient through education Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad laid the foundation for ashramshalas. Another objective behind this project was to bring them in to the national mainstream.
Gurukul Ashramshala at Udasa, near Nagpur has now become the mother institute of the students studying here. The school is located in the forest, away from the village. It conducts classes for standards 1 to 10. Four hundred sixty three students from the adjoining villages study here. Hence a student that gets enrolled for standard 1 stays here for almost 10 years.
The students come from economically backward sections of the society. The parents of some students work as farms labors while some kids have lost their parents in some mishap. In many families, the elder brother takes care of their younger brothers and sisters and this ‘elder’ brother is 10 years old! These kids do not have any relatives and hence they also come to school along with their elder brother. Ashramshala triggers self confidence among these economically backward children through education. The school staff looks after these children like parent.
The school was established on January 11, 1999 in a rented room. Later on, a hut was erected on the own land and classes were started for class 1 and 2. Teachers and students use to live together and eat together. Slowly, the infrastructure was developed. Now the classes are conducted up to class 10. As soon as the school got permission for class 10, that very year the school achieved 100 per cent result at the SSC Board examination.
In addition to studies, various games like volleyball, basketball, cricket, lezim, etc. are played and the sports material is provided by the school. Two girl students have represented the school in state-level sports meet. The problem of water scarcity has been solved by constructing an artificial pond in the school premises. All the national festivals are celebrated with great fervor. The school has the temples of Lord Hanuman and Sai Baba. Aarti of Shri Gajanan Maharaj is conducted every Thursday and a group recital of Hanuman Chalisa is conducted every Saturday.
Doctors also regularly visit the school. The school has got an ambulance from Jalaram Sanstha so that in case of emergency, the students can be taken to the bigger hospital. Annual gathering is also conducted to discover their latent talent. The school uniforms are distributed among the students on Independence Day.
Following activities are run for inculcating values among children:
1) Aukshawant Yojana (birthday celebration): Birthday of each student is celebrated as per Hindu culture and tradition. On this day, the birthday boy vows to quit one bad habit and imbibe a good one.
2) Makarand Yojana (money saving scheme): Tribal children have a tendency to spend more money. Under this scheme, tribal children are taught to save money for their future development.
3) Satsang: Satsang is organized every Saturday. Kids recite prayers together so as to have a communion with the Almighty. Aarti of sant Gajanan Maharaj is organized every Thursday.
4) Gotul: On every Sunday, Gotul is held that serves as a cultural platform for children to present their hidden talent.
Activities for parents:
1) Parents’ meeting: Parents’ meeting is organized thrice a year. Parents are informed about the progress of their wards. Awareness is created among parents regarding superstitions, intoxication, etc. Guidance is also given regarding preservation of values and culture.
2) Mothers’ gathering: Mothers’ gathering is organized for strengthening women power. Guidance is provided regarding health, education, culture, etc. Matrupujan (mother’s worship) ritual is also performed.
3) Annual gathering: Maximum parents participate in the annual social gathering. Students express their talents through dance, drama, debate, etc. Parents get overwhelmed by seeing the progress of their wards. They develop a sense of confidence that their children can also do something good.
4) Prabhat Pheri (morning procession): In order to wake up the sleeping Hindu society, children participate in the morning procession that covers the entire village. Now the villagers have developed a habit of getting up with the sound of Ramdhun (bhajan of Lord Ram). Shrimadbhagwat saptah is organized every year with the active co-operation of the villagers. This has created a spiritual awareness among villagers. As a result of this cultural churn, the huge Hanuman temple of the village has been rebuilt.
Today, with the increase in the number of students, there is a need for more facilities. The work is in progress with the active co-operation of donors.

1. Gurukul Ashramshala, Udasa
Tahasil: Umred, District: Nagpur
(Maharashtra, India)
2. Vishwa Hindu Jankalyan Parishad (Vidarbha)
Laxmi Narayan Apartment
Near Deenanath High School
Dhantoli, Nagpur 440012
(Maharashtra, India)
Telephone: 0712- 2434355, 2444293
How to reach:
Udasa is about 45 km on way to Umred from Nagpur.

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