We are working with Anusuya Kumar of Aranyaka Upanishad in rural areas near Mussorie, Uttarkhand. The project involves providing educational opportunities to children who live in the many fringe-villages in the mountain areas on the outskirts of Mussoorie (is it Mussorie or Mussoorie? Spelt differently!).
Sadly, children in these remote mountain villages have very limited access to quality education – indeed, to any educational facilities at all. The closest school may be eight or ten kilometres away. Anusuya Kumar has initiated a schooling project on the outskirts of Mussoorie on a beautiful forest estate that children of ﬁve or six nearby villages can easily access. Here, I hope to offer them a combined education in English language and Sanskrit, as well as to foster a love and passion for nature and environmental responsibility. I feel that the local children could beneﬁt from such an integral pedagogical training. However, I also feel strongly that the children of ‘Yoga Mission’ in Varanasi could beneﬁt from the beauty of the natural surroundings of Mussoorie and have summer camps or spend a semester or two in the hills. Children from across these states could meet and work together to a building an amazing future.
A building is being transformed into a primary school. For this funds of £1200 are needed to make it suitable for teaching and it is initially estimated that there would be running costs of about £1000 (per month? Year? – perhaps quantify this) which would cover the cost of one teacher and some initial teaching materials, and electricity. Please donate now on this link if you would like to support this part of the project.
(Have removed a whole load of quotation marks from the paragraph below, around Yoga Mission among other things. You don’t use them elsewhere in the site and I think they are annoying and unnecessary.)
Anusuya Kumar is a teacher of Sanskrit Literature at Copenhagen University in Denmark where she has taught for the past eight years. She and Lucy Guest, the co- founder of Yoga Mission in India, have been colleagues and friends since their days of Sanskrit learning at Sampurnanand University in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. She has felt a very close kinship with Lucy and Devatma’s work in educating children in India who have no other means or access to schooling. The vision of Yoga Mission, is remarkable and quite unique in India – and perhaps anywhere in the world. It is not only to empower children with education, but also with a quality of learning that goes back thousands of years in Indian culture and society. The ancient educational academies of India had a profoundly wholistic and integral approach to education – children studied Sanskrit language and grammar but they also practiced yoga, meditation, and developed their skills in critical inquiry and self-reﬂection. This was vital in forging young minds to connect with their world in self-conﬁdence and with a sense of inner freedom. She feels this ancient spirit has been revitalized through Yoga Mission and brought back to life for many children in India.