Green Katha in Support of Ekal Vidyalaya: Siksha & Sanskara
A special 7 day Shrimad Bhagwat Katha by Pujya Swami Govind Giriji was organized by Bharatiya Lok Shiksha Parishad (BLSP) and Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) from the 9th to the 15th April on the Parmarth Ganga Ghat. The Katha was especially organized to support and help the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation scale, expand and build one lakh schools for villages across the nation. The concept was conceived and blessed by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.
It was scheduled from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm daily. Every morning regular yoga and meditation classes were offered in the Parmarth Yoga Hall and from 2 pm various seminars were scheduled and diverse patriotic cultural programs were offered from 7 pm to 9 pm daily.
The Katha was inaugurated by Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Hansdevacharyaji, Shri Prabhadhishwar Acharya, Shri Avichal Das ji, MMSwami Parmanandji, MM SwamiIshwar Das ji,NandKishorAgarwalji and senior members of the EkalVidyalaya Initiative and BLSP in the presence of MMSwami AsanganandSaraswatijiof ParmarthNiketanby the auspicious lighting of the lamp ceremony.
On this occasion, MM Swami Asanganandjisaid that by giving donation to human values and educationwe were not building the future of a child but the future of the nation.ShriAvichalDas jiand many other respected saints agreed that untouchability and discrimination must be removed from our societies if we are to truly live the teachings of our scriptures.
Hon’ble Smt Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Government of India, graced the Katha, shared her support for the Ekal Vidyalaya Initiative and received divine blessings of Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Govind Giriji & Pujya Sadhvi Rithambara – “Didi Maa”ji during her three day stay and visit to Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), which coincided with her 75th birthday. Pujya Swamiji who lead the world-renowned evening ceremony on her birthday announced the plantation of 75 trees in honour of her birthday and encouraged everyone to plant as many trees as the number of birth years or anniversary years we celebrate. Two children participating in the Katha were so inspired by the green celebrations that they pledged to spend money from all of their birthdays not to plan huge party and celebrations but to sponsor more Ekal Vidyalayas across India. Read more on her green birthday celebrations here.
The Katha was also blessed and graced by Shankaracharya Swami Shri Achyutanand Teerth Ji, Gita Manishi MM Swami Gyananand Ji.
It was concluded by YugpurushParmanandji, Ramanandacharya Swami Hansdevacharyaji, MMSwami Harichetanandji, MMSwami Jyotirmanandji, MMBhaktaHarijiand other respected saints.
Ramanandacharya Swami HansdevacharyaJiMaharaj said that the EkalVidyalaya is crucial for the overall development of India. He pledged to donate Rs. 2,50,000to support the expansion of the EkalVidyalaya to more remote regions of the nation.
YugpurushParmanandJiMaharaj said that cultural and educational upliftment of India is possible with the efforts of the EkalVidyalaya.
All saints lauded and blessed the EkalVidyalaya and the efforts to integrate Siksha (Education) and Sanskaras (Human Values) together for a stronger and more resilient India.
Katha Coordinator ShriLokesh Sharma ji told that the goal of aEkalVidyalaya, since 1986, is to reach every village of India. It is to educate and connect the farmers, tribals and the most disadvantaged communities of our nation together towards their empowerment and active engagement in building a better nation.
Through the EkalVidyalaya, 67 thousand schools are being run in remote areas of India, through which about 18 lakh children are being provided basic education, education, sanitation, environment protection education. In Uttarakhand alone, more than 1350 centers of EkalVidyalayaare being runin Khatima, Chamoli, Udham Singh Nagar, Almoraand many other areas.
Pujya Swamiji spoke beautifully about the start of the Ekal Foundation and the conception of this mission to educate every child and to reach the most disadvantaged communities with the power of Siksha and Sanskar. He lauded all of the members of the initiative and blessed those present in the Katha with a sacred Rudraksh sapling symbolizing their commitment to educating a generation that is more conscious and ready to protect their environment and their sacred rivers.