Rapid advances in technology have taken the world to a point where Artificial Intelligence can ably mimic human traits of reasoning, learning, planning and creativity after imbibing data from the external environment. With all this available at the click of a button for the new generation, what is it that education systems around the world should now make a priority?
According to Sri M, the focus of education should be on bringing about the flowering of the minds of children by building the inclination to inquire, the capacity to inquire and then to understand with great interest in the subject. He often points to the forest academies of yore, where children studied in the lap of nature, free from information overload, and with quiet minds imbibed some of the finer qualities of expansiveness, generosity and compassion.
It is this that forms the fulcrum of education initiatives by The Satsang Foundation headed by Sri M. At The Satsang Vidyalaya housed near the gates of the Madanapalle Campus, 211 children belonging mostly to the Lambadi tribe and from economically marginalised sections in and around the 10 villages that surround the area, cover not only the academic syllabus, but also learn indigenous music and craft, celebrate festivals across religions, perform cultural programmes and quietly take care of the plant and animal life in the vicinity.
Each child is provided individual attention by the teachers having a notebook assigned to each subject marking their progress through the academic year. They learn the ropes of administration in the form of a revolving student council that feeds into the way the school is run. The older children have bank accounts into which they deposit the small sums they get as blessings at each festival so that they can help parents purchase books and equipment they might need. Sports days, games, physical training and yoga sessions channelise their immense energy. Nutritious midday meals and the Satsang Swasthya Kendra take care of their primary health needs. The recently opened state of the art Swasthya hospital tends to any illnesses they might have.
The school has come a long way from when Sri M in one of his initial exploratory walks in Nakkaladdini village near Madanapalle circa 1999, came across a number of children from the Lambadi community herding cows and goats or just loitering in the surrounding fields with no access to education, proper nutrition, health or sanitation. He sold his paintings to start the school under a single thatched hut. Twenty-four years down the line, the school has 211 students from Classes I to X, with 15 teachers, 11 classrooms, a Library, a Computer Lab with Internet access, and a Science Lab.
The flowering of these young minds and the conversion of Sri M’s vision into reality has all been possible due to the generous patronage of people like you who believe that all children should be provided access to health, education, nutrition and the chance to optimise their growth potential. Do please continue supporting these young minds to blossom into good human beings and responsible future citizens of this great country. You may either sponsor the education of individual children or provide general support to the school by contacting us at email@example.com.
For a school that provides free education, The Satsang Vidyalaya houses some of the best and brightest minds in the vicinity. Through the years, the school has often received institutional sponsorship as well. However, understandably, these post-pandemic years have seen a bit of a dip in support. We would therefore like to invite any educational institutions or corporate sponsors that might like to help this little hidden gem develop and grow, so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.