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AIM for Seva partnered with Pratham Books and celebrated International Literacy Day on September 8 across our Chatralayams in Maharashtra. To make the event enjoyable for our older readers and younger ones, our students were given the option of choosing from two titles: ‘Gappu Can’t Dance’ (a Level 1 book written by Menaka Raman and illustrated by Krishna Chandan) and ‘The Weightlifting Princess’ (a Level 3 book written by Sowmya Rajendran and illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta). It was a fun-filled session with our students from the Amboli and Rajgurunagar Chatralayams in Maharashtra having a gala time reading, narrating and enacting stories.

Last year, AIM for Seva partnered with Pratham Books, and our students from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were introduced to ‘A Cloud of Trash’ (written by Karanjeet Kaur). The story is about a little girl called Cheekoo, who has a cloud of trash hanging over her head. This makes her very, very unhappy and, as we follow her story, we learn a little more about trash, and about keeping our surroundings clean. Our students across 16 hostels in both states read the story out aloud and enjoyed enacting it.

Festive Splendour Across Our Chatralayams

It is a time for colourful hand-crafted threads and eco-friendly Ganeshas. Culture validation is an important component of the value-education model followed across our 104 Chatralayams and 7 educational institutions. Our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati firmly believed that students would transform into confident and empowered citizens of India only if they understood the richness of our tradition.

AIM for Seva reinforces culture-based education through various ways. Be it the daily yoga regimen, music classes or festive celebrations, our student respect their tradition in varied ways.

On this festive occasion, we share our greetings to all our countless supporters – donors, volunteers, well wishers and others – without whom our journey of educating rural India would have been incomplete. The festival season has commenced across the country. Our Chatralayams and schools have all geared up in the true festive spirit.

Ganesh Chathurthi and Janamasthami

Our 39 differently-abled adult men from Krupa Care celebrated Ganesh Chathurthi in the true festive spirit. Similarly, Janamasthami was celebrated across our Chatralayams with many of our students dressing up as Lord Krishna.

Raksha Bandhan

At the newly inaugurated Swami Dayananda Saraswati Vidyalaya, Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, our students celebrated the day with handmade rachis. Our girl students from the Madhu & Rajkumar Nigam AIM for Seva Chatralayam for Girls, Unnao, Uttar Pradesh made beautiful rakhis.

Independence Day

Independence Day was celebrated across our network on August 15. On this occasion, the tricolour was unfurled and our students made a commitment to work towards the progress of the nation.

Founder’s Day Celebrations

Born on 15th August 1930, Pujya Swami Dayananda’s Saraswati influence on the world stage has been enormous.

A profound thinker, philosopher, spiritual teacher and one of the greatest masters of Vedanta, Swamiji’s influence on the world stage has been enormous.

He founded AIM for Seva in 2000 as a movement of caring.

On the occasion of Founder’s Day this year (August 15), we reaffirmed our commitment to the ideals visualised by our founder.

We share with you some glimpses of our celebrations.

Our students performed prayers and showcased their prowess in martial arts. Some students and hostel coordinators celebrated the day by creating awareness on fire safety.

College Times

The movement in Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu (the birthplace of our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati), began in 2001. The Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu, was set up in the same year to empower rural areas, especially women, through education. Today, Manjakkudi has evolved into a knowledge hub with 5,000 students from around 300 villages coming to study in 2 schools and college in the region.

The Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi offers 35 fully equipped and well-ventilated classrooms and 17 courses. We have 71 teaching and 63 non-teaching staff, a well-developed computer lab with 118 computers, a library with over 9,000 books and a 1,000-seater air-conditioned auditorium. We share with you some glimpses of the major events conducted in the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi in recent months.

Ananda 2019

Ananda, the first of our fundraiser series, was held from March 7 to 9, 2019, at the Music Academy, Chennai. The proceeds from this fundraiser are being utilised towards Krupa Care, Chatralayams and our integrated community development initiatives at Manjakkudi, the birthplace of our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

MARCH 7

A unique music concert by Smt. Bombay Jayashri Ramnath titled, ‘Chintaye Guruvaram,’ a tribute by the acclaimed artiste to her Gurus, who have led her on the journey of life and gone ahead to pave the path for her to walk on. The concert was a freshly woven production with narratives. Highlights included songs from the Thiruppugazh, and an accompanying dance segment by dancers Lakshmi Parthasarathy Athreya and Bhavajan Kumar.

MARCH 8

A theatre performance directed by Dr. Gowri Ramnarayan, titled Kurukshetra: When Things Fall Apart. An original play in English, it brought to life three characters from the Mahabharata:  Drona, the teacher of the Kuru princes, his wife Kripi, and their son, Ashwatthama. The play touched on their complex family relationship, the tug of war between duty and preference, and the final choices they made.

MARCH 9

A unique dance theatre production by Dr. Anita Ratnam, titled A Million Sitas. The performance was based on the stories of four iconic women in The Raamayana (Mandodari, Manthara, Ahalya and Surpanakha), and retold the epic from a woman’s perspective. The performance used sets and prop elements sourced from South Africa, South America, Malaysia, Japan and Europe.

Jagat Pavani Ganga 2018

The fund raiser, held on August 17, 2018, was presented by Revathi Ramachandran’s Kalasadhanalaya. The dance-drama-theatre presentation extolled the purity and sanctity of the Ganga with an underlying message to protect the hallowed river. The production interwove Bharatanatyam, classical Carnatic music, Garhwali folk music and mime and theatre, to depict the incomparable splendour of the Himalayan Ganga. The narrative was embedded in the tapestry of stories of the river and towards the end, the dance drama showcased contemporary issues concerning India’s most venerated river– pollution and preservation of the holy waters.

Nandalala 2018

On August 16, 2018, AIM for Seva presented Nandalala, A Nritya Natak, directed by Smt. Anitha Guha. Lord Krishna’s life was brought alive on the dais by the renowned choreographer’s ensemble, Bharathanjali, in this multilingual thematic dance presentation on Krishna. The mesmerising story of the dark hued Lord coupled with songs of composers like Purandara Dasa, Annamacharya, Surdaas, Meera, Narayana Theerthar, Jayadeva, (Ashtapathis), Oothukadu Venkatasubaiyar, enthralled the audience.

Antar Yatra 2016

‘Antar-Yatra – The Journey Within’ was choreographed and directed by Smt. Sharmila Biswas, a Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee and founder of the Odissi Vision & Movement Centre, Kolkata. This magical programme, featuring nine dancers showcased a wide range of talent – three classical Indian dance forms, songs sung in six different languages, and included the art of shadow puppetry and ‘kollattam’- a rural game from Tamil Nadu. This dance-drama traversed the inner conflicts of a creative artiste’s mind, the thoughts, emotions, and paradoxes that are encountered during introspection and reflection.

Meera: The Soul Divine 2016

‘Meera-The Soul Divine’, an AIM for Seva presentation, touches the enchanting story of Meerabai, the princess who renounced the world in search of Lord Krishna. Ideated and executed by Padmashri awardee and legendary dancer, teacher and choreographer, Chitra Visweswaran and her team from the Chidambaram Dance Company, with music composed by Smt. Bombay Jayashri, featuring traditional bhajans, ‘Meera-The Soul Divine’ captured the hearts and minds of the audience.