I am deeply influenced by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s teachings. Sri Aurobindo once said “Knowledge is not obtained by thinking. It is what you are, what you want to become”. To reach this awakened state of mind, body and soul wherein exists clarity of who we are and what we want to become – lies education.
We began Navsrijan in October 2010 with a small group of less than 50 students from underserved backgrounds. These students were enrolled after a lot of coercion since their parents saw very limited value in education. Today, we have nearly 300 students in Navsrijan and there is often a serpentine queue of parents requesting admission. You may wonder – how come?
The problem in India as I see it is “inequality”, and “inequality” with a yawning gap! While we have schools serving different strata of society, unfortunately very few schools that cater to the underserved sections have the vision or wherewithal to compete or integrate with affluent mainstream schools. Therefore, access to quality education for students from such backgrounds is a real issue.
Besides access, often times most schools confuse literacy with education. This makes education less relevant or not so important for families where securing one square meal a day becomes priority. But over the years, parents of Navsrijan students have been able to witness the value of a well-rounded education. Schooling for us is not just about literacy or obtaining marks. It is about holistic development and therefore we focus on nurturing all aspects of a student’s personality –physical, emotional, intellectual, and most importantly, spiritual. This has led to a noticeable shift in the way our students and their parents view life. Their perspective towards life is slowly getting redefined. And this is very heartening for us. We believe that it is this change that is attracting more and more students.
So, I invite you to be a part of this incredibly enabling process. You will not only see the light in their eyes and the beauty in their beings, but also become a part of an educative process that empowers students from underserved backgrounds for life – through sound academics, the arts (fine art & performing art), life skills and values.
Mrs. Anjali Jaipuria
Navsrijan Education Society