On 7th of March 2014 The Body Shop started this all India campaign where they aimed to sponsor 100 girls of Sandipani Muni School for an entire year. They targeted to raise 3 million rupees for this wonderful project, which they named: SHE (Support Her Education). We are really excited to share with you that this project, encouraged by Vivek Oberoi, have successfully raised the amount and have set a great example in the society.
The whole year was full of excitement and activities, that not only developed a heart to heart relationship between the school girls and the employees of The Body Shop, but also gave a lot of exposure to the various talents of our school children who presented their dancing and acting skills on various occasions. The campaign made the girls feel confident about themselves.
For our girls here it was not just a campaign but also an opportunity of knowing these wonderful people that were willing to come forward and help out, who were willing to walk that extra mile to support them, wanting nothing in return.
When the employees of the Body Shop visited last year, I clearly remember how so many girls came to me with a broad smile on their faces and said, “Didi, ye log kitne achhe hain! “. (Meaning: Didi, these people are so nice!” ). This is how organizations like The Body Shop and its people set an example in the society and restore faith in humanity.
We take this opportunity to say “A Big Thank You!” to The Body Shop for this Successful Campaign and for helping 100 girls remain in the school and explore themselves. We hope that this purposeful project goes on helping more and more girls to attend school and Support Her Education (SHE).
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness on Tuesday the 31st of March at the Krishna Balaram Hall located in the courtyard of the Krishna Balaram Temple in Vrindavan organised the Vyasapuja Festival (the birthday celebration of a Guru or Spiritual Master)of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami and invited some members of the Food for Life Vrindavan Organisation and 40 girl students to attend the celebrations where a copy of the famous Vaishnava scripture,the Bhagavad Gita as it is by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada (the founder Acharya of the Hare Krishna Movement)was given to each of these students as a gift.
Sandipani Muni school values the importance of giving their students a solid spiritual education combined with their curriculum and it is in the pipeline to start giving Bhagavad Gita classes,as in India,the Bhagavad Gita is recognised as the most important spiritual scripture amongst those who worship Krishna.
On Monday the 30th of March,at both SMS schools in Vrindavan and Kiki Nagla a yearly ceremony took place of Award giving to the best performing students in the categories of Academic performance,Attendance and Best behaviour.First second and third position prizes were awarded to a total of 100 Students( 40 from the Kiki Nagla school and 60 from the Vrindavan counterpart),the gifts varied and included sweets,toys for the younger girls and a Tea cup set for the older ones.The girls in the audience were cheering for their friends who got the prizes and the mood was jovial all around. The reason for these ceremonies taking place is to encourage all the students to perform to the best of their abilities and encourage those who did not receive a prize to improve their personal school performance.Nikunjavasini dd(Sponsorship Department Coordinator)and a few of our current volunteers plus a visiting group from the States participated on stage by assigning each winning student their gift.
Recently we had a visit from the Regional Officer of the Pollution Control Boards of the State of U.P.,Mr.R.K.Singh who came accompanied by Mr.Arvind(Assistant Scientific Officer)during the occasion of the International Day of Biological Diversity.
A film crew from Mumbai,named Brajawood Films also came to SMS to film the event and interviews some of the members of the Food for Life organization, which has always been at the forefront of Environmental causes.The filming was part of a documentary based on the current environmental challenges in the Vraj area. Director Yatan Singh,Presenter Anand Chouhan and producers Om Prakash Choudury and Mr.Daljan all took part in the celebrations which were attended by a certain number of our students who presented their drawings based on the environmental problems.The drawings were made the previous day during a painting competition,and most of the students were rewarded with a certificate and a gift by the above mentioned guests.
A play by the SMS students,based on the deforestation of the Vraj area and the importance of Trees concluded the event.
Recently, during the school holidays, a group of 45 students divided in groups of 15, each belonging to the 10th, 11th and 12th Grade classes, accompanied by their teachers and by Ms Pratibha Sharma, a lawyer and member of the Child Welfare Committee, visited the Mahila Thana Police Station of Mathura, which deals specifically with women cases.
Every district in the local state of Uttar Pradesh has one of these Police Stations. The Mathura Branch is run by Station Head Officer Bipin Chowdary and her supporting staff. Amongst the girls, in particular those who are studying in the 11th and 12th grades there are many who want to become Police Officers once their studies are completed.
Hence they had a lot of questions towards the Station officers regarding how to deal with reports of abuse, violence, rape, etc.. The girls were told about the 3 Helpline numbers to use in the event of any cases of violence, abuse, etc.: Dial 100 to report a case, Dial 1098 for the women helpline and 1090 in the case of child abuse or violence (up to the age of 18), they were shown practical demonstration on how to fill up form and write reports. They were given the history of these kind of Police Station and where they started.
Afterwards they visited the District Legal Service Authority, a type of Court for people who are not able to afford the fees to fight a legal case. They met with a local advocate who explained to them the type of services they provide and the intricacies of the legal system,and other information.
The girls were very enthusiastic about asking questions and those that chose to become Police officers received some advice and details regarding how to join and apply.