"One can progress through meditation, but through work, provided it is
done in the right spirit, one can progress ten times more."
Achievements of the Golden Past
A modest and loving presence, Ms Shukla Haldar with teachers and children
The Mira Nursery School
In the year 1975, Chachaji’s attention was directed
towards providing wholesome learning experiences
to toddlers. The school started with a handful
of children from the neighbouring village and a
few teachers handpicked by Chachaji.
Mira Nursery aimed at imparting pre-school education
to children from the ages of three to five years. At
this tender age a very low pupil–teacher ratio is
essential. All activities of the children were closely and
lovingly supervised by dedicated Ashramites and voluntary
workers. The centre was well equipped with
modern educational apparatus and training in language
and numbers was imparted on scientific lines.
Nursery rhymes, dance, dramatics, storytelling, art
and craft through activities like painting, paper folding,
paper pasting, mosaic work and clay modelling
The children’s park provided free play activities and was filled with swings, slides,
jungle gym, rotating platforms, horizontal and vertical ladders and other apparatus for
the free movement and healthy growth of the child. The school also had a mini-zoo where
children could feed the rabbits and pigeons, play with the monkeys and admire the
colourful birds, thus bringing them into close contact with nature.
Prominent among the people who contributed significantly towards making the dream a
reality were Ms Swani, Ms Padma Murthy and Ms Shukla Haldar. Due to changes in government
policies on education, Mira Nursery was absorbed into The Mother’s International
School in 2007.
Matri Karuna Vidyalaya
The love of the Mother filters through all shallow barriers erected by mankind. Matri
Karuna Vidyalaya was brought into being by Tara di in an inaugural ceremony on the 5
April 1999. The School was to cater to the economically weaker sections of the society
by introducing them to the joy of learning in a happy and rich environment.
Group Photo of Matri Karuna Vidyalaya
Ms Atma Prakash Baveja worked with great spirit and rigour and was personally involved in the
outreaching programme with support from Ms Kamlesh Mahindra who is an amazing storyteller,
writer and dramatist. The dynamic persons, Ms Baveja and Ms Mahindra, have left
no stone unturned in generating funds and resources for the institute and has enriched
the atmosphere greatly by her presence. Later the school came a long way under the
expert and loving guidance of Ms Mohini Anand. She has contributed significantly towards
its growth. The school was eventually closed in 2010 when government policies changed
and did not support the vision of such a school as Matri Karuna Vidyalaya.
A humble printing press, started with the Blessings of The Mother and Her message: "Matri
Press — at the service of the Truth" continued to serve the cause for which it was
All the Hindi and English
printing required by the
Ashram and the institutions
run under the aegis of the
Ashram was done in the Matri
Press. No commercial work
was taken up.
The two monthly magazines of
the Ashram, The Call Beyond
in English and Sri Arvind
Karmadhara in Hindi, were
both printed here.
Classes in composing, printing
and binding were held for the
students of the Mother’s
International School under
the Socially Useful Productive
The Matri Press had to close
down due to the change of
Matri Department Store
Matri departmental store established and
run by the Sri Aurobindo Education Society
under the auspices of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram -
The store was not a business venture in any sense of
the term. It was run by Sadhakas living in the
Ashram, volunteers and dedicated social workers in
the Gita spirit of work without expectation of fruit or
The purpose was to give young people and commerce
students a practical programme in planning and organization,
salesmanship, layout and display, merchandizing,
inventory control, book keeping and auditing.
Products from the Ashram kitchen, bakery and other
departments, as well as the daily requirements of the
Campus people were available in the store so that they
could save much needed time for their work and
their Sadhana, serving the Ashram.
In 2015, when mirambika Free Progress School shifted
to the first floor of the building where Matri Store
was running, it had to be closed down as per government
rules and policy.
Chhatralaya: Students Hostel
Hostellers at meal time
In response to the needs of several parents, the
Chhatralaya (student’s hostel) was inaugurated in
1962. It was meant for students studying in the
Mother’s International School, both boys and girls,
irrespective of caste and creed, and was lovingly
supervised by the Ashramites and devotees of The
Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
There were several dormitories and efforts were made
only to keep a small number of students under each
warden so that, as far as possible, the child could get
individual care, attention and love. There were separate
arrangements for boys and girls.
A wholesome, nutritious vegetarian diet was provided
to the children. The services of a resident doctor were
The Chhatralaya basically "aimed at providing to the
students conditions and opportunities under which
they could grow freely and boldly towards the goal of
preparing the future humanity to
manifest upon earth a Divine consciousness
and life, the consciousness
that is all-comprehensive and
life which manifests freedom, unity
harmony of existence!"
Thus the basic approach of our
education is based on the idea that
life is purposeful and that one of
the most important objects of education
is to lead the students to discover the aim of
life in general and the specific role that he or she has
to play in life. The attempt, therefore, was to take the
student as a soul and give a thorough training to all
There was a carefully planned programme of physical
education for hostellers consisting of athletics, games,
gymnastics, keep-fit programme, posture training,
scouting and N.C.C. training. Participation in physical
education was compulsory. Competitions and tournaments
were organized and spread over the whole year
to keep up and develop the interest.
In the evening, hostellers were supervised by school
teachers and Ashramites. There was provision for special
coaching for some students.
The spiritual atmosphere of Sri Aurobindo Ashram provided
the child with a new life-power. The Shrine of Sri
Aurobindo, a Symbol of The Master’s Presence, spontaneously
and naturally invited the pursuit of this discovery
and awakened and stimulated in the being an aspiration to
cultivate and express the divine value of Truth and Love.
Children had the opportunity of
participating in the daily Satsang
where collective meditation, devotional
music, reading from The
Mother and Sri Aurobindo, discourses
and lectures by Sadhakas
were held regularly.
Due to expansion of the school, the hostel was close down
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