The Mother and Sri Aurobindo
This is the knot that ties together the stars: The Two who are one are the secret of all power, The Two who are one are the might and right in things.
Shramdan is given a lot of importance as it helps to promote a spirit of selfless cooperative team work and at the same time it creates awareness about the dignity of labour. A fixed time for Shramdan promotes regularity and discipline. Since the Ashram residents and the teacher trainees also participate in the Shramdan, it becomes more productive and meaningful. This is followed by a healthy breakfast when the whole Ashram community sits together and eats. After freshening up, they all go to their assigned departments. Here are a few of them:
The Ashram runs a small handmade paper unit which utilizes waste-paper and natural substances to produce high quality paper in many varieties such as writing pads, fancy stationary, greeting cards, dairies, carry bags, pen stands and other decorative items. The products can be purchased from SABDA. In-house office stationary and bookbinding is also done which takes care of the needs of the Ashram and the schools.
Vocational trainees are taught baking wholesome bread, cakes and biscuits. They also learn to make salted snacks and pickle. During fruit season they learn to make jam, squashes and chutneys.
Knowledge of different types of libraries, classification of books, cataloging, shelving, stock taking, data entry of books is taught.
From basic embroidery and basic stitching they learn to make simple salwar-suit, blouse, churidar, frocks, baba-suits and designer bags. They also learn to measure, cut and use different kinds of clothes. At the end of the training programe a small exhibition is organized where they display their products.
This is a course which teaches them basic electric knowledge. They understand different types of wires, fuses, repairing tubelights, coolers, bulbs, fans and other domestic appliances.
They explore and learn the use of different types of tools, repairing old furniture and weaving chairs. The use of polish and paint to extend the life of each article is also taught.
During their six-month stay at the Ashram, trainees attend a mandatory program for an hour everyday, where they are taught the basics of computers. This gives them a lot of self-confidence and prepares them for a future which is getting increasingly technology driven. Their course content covers: Introduction to computer, do’s and don’ts in computers & MS-Office 97 package.
It is a one year, pre-nursing course where they learn to attend to patients, basic patient-care, visit hospitals They have regular classes on anatomy, physiology and general medicine. Since the Ashram follows an Integral Health approach, a basic introduction to homeopathy, ayurveda, physiotherapy, dental hygiene, eye-health, and community health are also given.
Through such classes, their skill in using the language is enhanced significantly. Trainees gain confidence in the language. This enables them to communicate with each other in English. Over a period of time, their language skills are more firmed up and they learn to use the language correctly and effectively.
We have an elaborate programme that includes different sports and several physical activities for youngsters. Sportsmanship, team spirit and co-ordination are promoted through games like basketball, football, volleyball, badminton etc. Facilities for all these activities are available in the campus. Trainees enjoy themselves thoroughly and look forward to this hour of the day.
Trainees improve their power of concentration through daily meditation exercises that take place during the evenings. Self-observation is encouraged. This way trainees learn about their strengths and weaknesses, fears and hopes. Introspection and self observation are stressed upon constantly. This exercise inculcates in them sincerity, discipline, courage and hard work which ultimately improves their quality of life and helps them to become better leaders and better citizens.
Musical lessons are given once a week. Devotional and patriotic songs are taught to the trainees. Through such sessions, the students hone their skills and also develop a better understanding of the history and heritage of the country.
The trainees are taken for picnics and sightseeing tours. They visit important places in Delhi such as Qutab Minar, Chhatarpur Temple, Lotus Temple, ISKCON Temple, Red Fort, Raj Ghat, Shakti Sthal, Vijay Ghat, India Gate and many others. They are also taken for sound and light show at the Red Fort. They enjoy the Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan trip immensely.
HOW CAN YOU HELPYoungsters (between 18 and 25 years) are encouraged to apply as vocational trainees. The Ashram supports those in need by providing them trainings and economic assistance through stipend, food and lodging. Trainees should be keen learners and willing to work hard. We prefer students from remote parts of India where the need for such intervention is high.