After independence, India initiated a large agricultural expansion programme to address an urgent and increasing need of national food needs. As a result there has been a tremendous increase of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to weed out parasites and wild plants so that they could increase the production. Consequently there has been bioaccumulation of the chemicals causing serious health hazards to consumers. Conventional farming methods have led to depletion of water resources, soil infertility, crop failures and droughts.
In order to bring an awareness of side effects of conventional farming, also to promote natural organic farming and inculcate dignity of labor amoung the students, VGSs initiated a pilot farm at Pandharpur campus on the methods suggested by Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka and Mr. Subhash Palekar involving students from all the grades wherein these students are involved from preparation of land to harvesting. In the first yield itself students were successfully able to grow leafy vegetables, wide range of vegetables, pulses and peanuts.
The same concept is being adopted and implemented in other VGS-Campuses.
At VGSs we follow Satya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) curriculum which is a universal, value based teaching programme for children of all cultures and faiths. SSEHV addresses the societal needs by focusing on young people and instilling in them the basic human values viz., Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non – Violence. We are adapting this curriculum primarily to enable young people to appreciate themselves and others, and to take greater responsibility for their actions and for the world around them.
This programme helps us to tackle issues such as bullying and anti-social behaviour and provide a foundation for better citizenship.
A ten-day course on Siddha Samadhi Yoga (SSY) was organized in the MIT VGS campus, Pandharpur by Rishi Samskrithi Vidya Kendra (RSVK), Bangalore. The sessions were conducted by Shri Suhaas and assisted by Arvindji, were an enlightening experience for both the students (XII) and the teachers. On the first day, the programme started with showing salutations to Rishi Prabhakarji with the Inagural Pooja. Teachers attended the yoga session everyday from the 1st to the 10th of August from 5:00 a.m-8:00 a.m and students had the sessions between 5.00 and 8.00 PM. The types of pranayama taught were kanishtha-Vibhag, Madhyam- Vibhag, Jyeshtha- Vibhag Chin mudra, Chinmaya Mudra, Aadi Mudra, Merudanda Asana and Sukhaasana. The first three and the last three were interspersed with Dhauti, a technique which required one to sit in Vajrasana to master the skill of Pranayama.
The three-hour span also consisted of special instructions and knowledge from Rishi Prabhakar, the founder. The discourse dwelt on important aspects like five important rules, taking responsibility, leader and follower mentality, the control of thoughts, the importance of having a vision etc.
On 7th of August, Sri Ravi Shankarji and Gayatrimaa initiated the teachers and the students with the mantra, which is required to support meditation process. He elaborated on the benefits of meditation. He also added that meditation during 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM is the best time to attain the state of Samadhi or non-doing state in the busy schedule of one’s life. Answering to a question why students find it difficult to comprehend difficult subjects, he analyzed that it was due to certain gaps left during the formative years of their learning. He emphasized on organic farming and the importance of agriculture in the progress of the country. Wonderful and melodious Bhajans sung by Guruji and Gayatrimaa concluded the Initiation process.
The course ended with teachers and senior students describing the benefits they have had experienced as a result of the asanas and the diet provided. One of the staff members mentioned that having had this course introduced in the education field inside the campus, Dr. Prasad has done a great service both for the staff and the students. One of the senior girl students expressed her happiness at the prospect of being able to wake up at 4.00 in the morning due to this Yoga session. Shri Suhaasji is expected to take up a follow-up of the course after a couple of months