Friday, March 29, 2013

Children Visited Bangalore by Aeroplane

As promised by our management to Mullaivendhan & Pratima who secured 82% marks in 10th Board Exams.last year,visited Bangalore by Aeroplane,they visited important places there,like Tipu Sultan Palace,Science Museum,Botanical Garden & few Temples.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Our Jeevan Prabhat Gandhidham and Pondicherry visit

 Our Jeevan Prabhat Gandhidham and Pondicherry visitDear All:

I am writing this letter to update you regarding our visit to JP Gandhidham and Pondicherry during the month of Feb. 2013. This was our third visit to Gandhidam and probably 9th visit to Pondicherry. We stayed in both campus for about three days.

For sure, the children are growing and we both (Sushma and myself)  had a separate meeting with all the children in the 9th grade and up.  It is our unwritten commitment to all those youth  who obtain  good grades, will  get full support  for their college education. 

At present about 10 children are ready for college education, including Jugna who is enrolled in Engineering college. Luckily the cost of college education is very reasonable and Jugna's education cost of $3500 is being taken care by Dinesh Agrawal ji, Houston, from this year onward.  Chaman Lal Jeevan Prabhat scholarship  provided by an anonymous donor of $ 2500 per year takes care of 5 children education.  So we should not have any difficulty to meet the college education expenses of Gandhidham children.

The campus is being managed in the most professional way. It is very apparent from the smiling  faces of the children. Chanting of Mantras and Sandhya by the children both in the morning and evening provide a vibrant energy and happiness to the visitors. I am very happy to report that Acharya Vachonidhi ji has very well  recognized the importance of the use of the computers and Internet. Donor from Detriot has provided new computers and  a proper computer room has been set up for the use by senior children.

The Arya Samaj team under the leadership of Bhai Purshotam ji and Vachonidhi is very very strong and that means more projects and more growth in every respect. The DAV school  is already a school of choice. In Gandhidham.The school building is of top notch quality and the goal is to complete the balance of construction by June of this year.

Our sincere thanks to Acharya ji  and Bhai Purshotam  ji for their hospitality. We enjoyed our stay and one day we had a sightseeing tour of Kutch White Run.  Arya Samaj Gandhidham is a model of unity and success and Mag God bless all the team members.

We  along with Achrya ji travelled very early morning to Ahmedabad and took flight  to  Chennai  and reached Pondicherry in the evening  along with our well wishers Prabhakran ji who joined us at Chennai Airpot. It is very evident why the state of Gujarat is way head of all others when you travel by road in Gujarat.

Prabhakran ji is of a great help to us as he understands, the Tamil culture and equally believes that JP children should reach their maximum potential. On his suggestion, even we went see the Principal of another School for our top students' admission but were disappointed to learn that they have no vacancy. The principal did  promised that she would give preference to JP children if any seat becomes vacant.

As usual, during our stay, we went to convey our thanks to all the 5 or 6 well wishers, families or institutions  with whom Madhu and Ranjan ji have set up very good relations.  All of them were very  complementary  about Ranjan and Madhu ji work. Their love and compassion for the children is much evident from the happy and smiling faces of the children.
The landscaping and entry road pavers just look great. The building painting issue will be resolved soon. My sincere thanks to Dr. Varma and Vishwanathan ji for their great help  who over the years provided help to correct the building deficiencies. During their this year visit, we also had the opportunity of meeting Shri Sham Agrawal and his family who is a generous donor to DAV school, Bangalore.  I am very hopeful that this family will be another blessing for our JP children.

Looking back, I just wondered how did we decide to build JPP so far away with no local Arya Samaj to provide support. There is no doubt we faced some uphill battles and surely, I can easily count a few. But divine help was with us all the way since our motives were noble.  Now, I feel totally relieved since every thing has come together and we are all set for a better futures for our children of 
Jeevan Prabhat.

My sincere thanks to our team members in India, Acharya Vachonidhi ji, Madhu and Ranjan ji, Prabhakran ji, and Dr. Varma and Vishwanathan ji and our US team; JP USA, board of directors, ASGH Management Committee  and Readathon team.  Readathon team did a great job again by raising $20,000  May God bless our all our donors and team members.

Devinder Mahajan
529 Trails End
Houston TX 77024

Friday, April 13, 2012

Revisiting Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry
By Virendra N. Mahajan

My wife Shashi and I had made plans to accompany Dev Bhiaya and Bhabhi Dr. Sushma to go to Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry (Puducherry to be precise). Since we had visited this JP at the time of its inauguration in Nov 2008, we were looking forward to seeing how it had grown. We were excited to have heard that the number of children had grown to 42, the road leading to JP had been built, and leaking roof of the main building had been repaired. As the travel time approached, it became clear that Shashi would not be able to go because of severe pain in her lower back. I was reluctant to go by myself, but she strongly endorsed and encouraged me to go.

Dev Bhaiya, Bhabhi Dr. Sushma, and I arrived in Chennai on Sat 24 March. Mr. Prabakaran met us at the airport and Naresh started driving us to Pondicherry. Mr. Prabakaran treated us with lunch on the way and introduced the Jackfruit to us. I tried to pay for the expenses, but it was all in vain. When we arrived, a row of children greeted us with tilaks and garlands, and thus began our JPP visit. The dinner time approached and the 42 Tamilian gems of JPP sat on the floor mats in a line along the wall. They recited their prayer and began to eat their meal. Thanks to the training by the dedicated JPP administrators Madhu and Ranjan Pandey, both from Uttar Pradesh, the kids are so well behaved. They finished their meal, took their empty plates to the kitchen, and cleaned up their sitting area as if they had not been there, and started decorating the entry area where the havan would be performed in the morning. Interestingly, the kids address Madhu and Ranjan as Didi and Bhaiya and not auntie and uncle, so much so that the locals, not knowing the meaning of those words, think that those are their actual names.

 The havan started precisely at 11 am the next morning, as planned. I was very pleased that one kid sat with confidence on one side of the havan kund as an equal of the adults sitting on the three other sides. Again, thanks to Madhu and Ranjan, the children chanted the mantras in unison without any books. As a product of the DAV School myself, how these young children of various ages remember these mantras with correct pronunciation was an embarrassing reminder to me. I have no doubt that anyone seeing these children perform the havan will be flabbergasted. Their recitation of the mantras reminded me of the similar and soothing recitation by the monks in a Buddhist temple in Korea I witnessed in 2009.

I wanted to ask someone, anyone, if they knew the meaning of the mantras. Our people often talk about Shakespeare and Einstein, but rarely about Kalidas and Raman. I would like these children to know at least the significance of the key mantras so they can also quote with pride that Rigved says this about that and in Gita Lord Krishna says to Arjun about this. Do they know the meaning of Gayatri mantra? Do they know which Ved is about music and which one is full of mathematics?

It is quite common that havan is followed by singing of bhajans. This was no different, except that all the children were also singing. Of special interest to me was the bhajan “Tu pyar ka sagar hai...” sung by them. I was thrilled by the fact that one child (Bhavya, the bright and beautiful daughter of Madhu and Ranjan) accompanied the singers on the harmonium. And that reminds me about the music class for the children.

It has been my earnest desire that children learn music at least to the point where they can sing in tune (sur) and with rhythm (laya). I strongly believe that the playing of harmonium and tabla while singing bhajans adds color and richness. With this in mind, I suggested to Madhu quite smetime ago that a music class be organized for the children, and took the responsibility to fund the cost for such an endeavor. I am very pleased, that after considerable effort in finding a teacher, the children now have one who also teaches in a nearby high school. Her name is Perianayagi and what a wonderful gem she is. When Dev Bhaiya thanked her for her teaching, she responded joyfully by saying that “they were her children.” Not knowing this conversation, when I said to her independently how grateful I was for her teaching, she exclaimed that she “was very happy to have the opportunity to teach these children.” Later I learned from Madhu that she teaches the JP children voluntarily. I didn’t think there were any teachers left these days anywhere who would teach voluntarily.

After the havan, the children entertained us all with a cultural program so ably officiated by Bhavya. She is also a student just like the other children. The girls performed beautiful dances dressed in beautiful costumes. The boys gave us a display of all kinds of calisthenics. The program ended with recognition of the stalwarts of the JPP that included Mr. Prabakaran, Dr. Madan Mohan, Mr. Lamba, and Miss Periyanayagi. I was very happy to see them all honored with a traditional shawl ceremony.

I mentioned earlier about the road leading to JPP being built. Well it doesn’t stop there, but continues to PIMS Hospital. And what a blessing that is, because this hospital provides medical care to the JPP children free of cost. Soon I found that the special guests present I was wondering about were the medical superintendent Dr. M. N. G. Nair and a senior manger in the administration department Mr. Jolly Joseph. Then I found that a group of four young men having lunch together were doctors from the hospital undergoing their residency. I told them how grateful I was for their service to the children.

I salute those who have donated to the JP Pondicherry. I assure you that your money has been put to excellent use, and I am sure you will want to give more if you see these children in action. Sure they are from poor families, many without one or both parents, but thanks to you all, they are living in a middle class home environment, studying in an English medium school, and working hard for their betterment. When a girl was asked if she would like to go back to her mother, her answer was unequivocal NO. Why? Because her mother will take her out of school. They don’t seem to need their parents because they all have parents in Madhu and Ranjan. When I offered Madhu to help the children with math and science, two 10th graders showed up with their math books. When I asked Mullaivendhan what question he would like to ask, he said “none.” And he added pointing to his book, “I have already completed it.” When Pratima asked me about a problem, I asked Mullaivendhan if he knew how to do it. Well, he sat down and solved the problem within a few minutes, while I was still thinking about it.

My Pita Ji rests in peace in the heaven knowing that the seed he sowed in Houston gave birth to JP Pondicherry. The Mahajan Parivar takes great pride in the fact that the Arya Samaj Greater Houston started by Pita Ji continues to provide sustainment funds for  JPP. Long-term plan being considered for the JP Pondicherry is to build a school of their own where the neighborhood children can also be educated. It will not only save cost for the education of the JP children, but also provide income for their sustainment and growth. They already have land, which is right now decorated with banana and chiku trees.

Arya Samajies are generally passive when it comes to donating money. Even those who want to give wonder if their money will be used efficiently and effectively. But please have no doubt that every nickel and dime of your donated money will be used for the JP children. None will be used for administrative cost for collecting and disbursing. I invite you to visit JP Pondicherry as guests of Madhu and Ranjan. It is said that “seeing is believing.” In my case, however, “experiencing was understanding.” You will feast on simple and tasty food home cooked by two lady chefs Govindam and Poongodha, who are also mothers of a child each among the 42 gems. You will enjoy the dessert of papayas and bananas grown in the JP garden. Please donate generously and witness these JP children, our children, rise and touch the sky.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

JP Gandhidham children visited JPP

 Jeevan Prabhat Gandhidham children visited JP-Pondicherry from 24/4/2011 to 22/5/2011.Children enjoyed various activities here with Pondicherry children.Children go to picnic as well as educational tour at Sripuram Golden Tample,Vellore fort.Children did art & craft work & lern music during summer vaccations.It was a nice experience that children of different culture & language live togather for alomost one month.

Friday, March 4, 2011

2011 Mini Sammelan - Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry

(Report by Joginder Kundra and Dev Mahajan)

Mini Sammelan at Jeevan Prabhat Pondicherry took place on February 12 and 13th. It was attended by:
Mr. Dev Mahajan
Mrs. Sushma Mahajan
Mr. Joginder Kundra
Mrs. Meera Kundra
Acharya Vachonidhi Arya
Dr. Rathkrishan Varma
Mr. Ranjan Pandey. Mrs. Madhu Pandey & Pondicherry Staff, the children of JPP, special guests and well wishers.

The Sammelan was a great success as it reaffirmed our faith that the future of a society lies in the strength of its children and it is the moral responsibilities of the haves to care fore the youngsters who otherwise would fall through the cracks.  .

The children are doing very well. Children with more than a year at the Jeevan Prabhat are doing exceptionally well in education and extracurricular activities. The new group that joined in 2010 is catching up very fast. It was a very enjoyable experience for us to see how the older experienced children were taking care of the younger one just like a big family.  

The children showed their talent with performances in dance, yoga, Vedic verses, havan and many more activities. Children’s level of confidence and desire to excel gives us the satisfaction that their future is bright and our hard work is paying off. Children with high performance in subjects and class rank were bestowed with certificate of achievements. In one sentence, “They are ahead of their pears and marching ahead”.

As the children go to private school, it was brought to our attention that there are better schools which give better education. The admission to these schools would require admission tests particularly in English in addition to higher tuition (Rupees 600/month) and admission fees. Though we gave our consent that tuition fees should not stand in the way of better education, it needs to be approved jointly by the board members.

All this progress in the upbringing of children was made possible by the hard work and dedication of Mrs. Madhu and Mr. Ranjan Pandey.

The Pondicherry facility got its face lift with new paved driveway, landscaping, sodded lawn with built-in sprinkler system, rain water harvesting, fresh all-weather exterior paint, new doors, screens, etc., etc. This work along with the prior roof repair is expected to make the facility maintenance free. The only unfinished item left is inside paint and some outside paint where the original plaster quality is not up to par. It was decided to evaluate the paint situation again after some time and finish accordingly.

This work was made possible by hard work, expertise and dedication by R Vishvanath, who made numerous trips from Bangalore to Pondicherry to plan and execute the work. Installation of rainwater harvesting is a noble and environment friendly solution to water shortage in the area. Dr. Rathkrishan Varma visited Pondicherry to lead this effort and made many visits from Bangalore to care for Jeevan Prabhat.

The maintenance work, paint in some areas, the paved roadway from the entry gate to building entrance, the beautiful landscaping etc. although cost some $ 40,000 has really enhanced the overall appearance and is well worth the expenditure. Now the access road to our facility for which we have been working so hard is under construction. This was only possible because of persistence visits to govt. officials from Acharya ji, Ranjan Pandey and counseling and help from our great friend Mr. Raghunandan Singh. Hopefully, this road will be named
Jeevan Prabhat Road

The visiting team also visited D.A.V. School in Chennai, and Rajeev Gandhi School in Pondicherry. Rajeev Gandhi School in Pondicherry provides free education and boarding to children from underdeveloped region of the district. We believe this school starts with the children after their primary school education. This school has 500 children with annual budget of Rupee 30 million (~$1300/child). It is funded by the Indian Government. This concept of providing education to youngsters is a noble concept and seems to be working well. Their objectives are very much in line with the objectives and principles of Jeevan Prabhat. It should be noted that when our Jeevan Prabhat children out grow our facility, we could consider sending them to nearby Rajeev Gandhi School.

It was also discussed to increase the number of children at JPP to forty in 2011 school year and to fifty in 2012. Since the number of children is increasing, it would require some additional staff to share the responsibility. The purchase of an additional transport vehicle costing (Rs.8 lakh, $ 20,000) will be essential starting next school year.  It should also be noted that the children are growing to the teenage and would require some dedicated person to educate them, provide guidance and keep an eye at this critical age of growing into adulthood.

One of the main objectives of this Mini Sammelan was to meet all the families who are providing moral and some financial support to Jeevan Prabhat. The team went to the residence of each such family to convey our heartfelt thanks and invite them to the Sammelan. About 5 such individuals or families were honored in addition to  Acharya Vachonidhi Ji, Engineering team from Bangalore lead by Dr. Varma and administrators Madhu & Ranjan Pandey. Cash awards were also provided to the salaried employees.

Great news for Jeevan Prabhat is that Acharya Vachonidhi Arya is retiring from his job and would devote 100% of his effort for the care of Jeevan Prabhat at Gandhidham and Pondicherry along with many other responsibilities that he has assumed. This would streamline the management of JPG and JPP.