One of the most touching situations of the last few years happened on April 16th in the school. If I would not know for many years why I am engaged for this school – in this very moment I would have known… Raju, a 5th class student, is very sick. His parents took him to the hospital in Puttaparthy where he got a prescription for medicine not improving his condition. One more doctor consulted by the unhappy parents recommended blood transfusions strongly – but here in India the people have to care for blood reserves on their own. The very poor parents asked relatives and friends for help with little success; at the end desperately they approached headmaster Raja Sekhar who immediately promised help. Teacher Prabhavathi donated blood for Raju and will do this once again. Furthermore students and teachers collected money handed over to Raju’s very happy parents on that day in the school. For me the students’ and teachers’ spontaneous motivation to help was deeply touching; I believe strongly that we are on the right way to humanity...
The 7th class students hand over the donation to Raju’s parents
More than 2600 Rupees were collected by teachers and students; we promised help to the parents as well afterwards. We hope that Raju’s health will improve very soon.
Raju, teacher Prabhavathi and me
The Nature Day in March – the last one in the academic year 2011/2012 – was busy with garbage: most important as being neglected nearly everywhere.
Drama with Mother Earth in the focus
As a Nature Concept School we feel responsible to care for cleanliness in the environment as the first step to help Mother Earth thriving again… The garbage was taken out of the big central dust bin on the area. All the materials (paper, textiles, plastics etc.) were separated and recycled or removed.
Students separating the garbage of the big dust bin
On this picture a lot of garbage (f)lying around…
Afterwards in the guest house dramas and songs were presented by all the classes. Very creative designs for dust bins could be admired, and lots of colored and inspiring pictures showed topics related with garbage.
… being collected in a huge dust bin on this picture
On April 23rd, last day before the summer holidays, the fare well party of the 7th class was arranged. The six girls and three boys will attend High Schools.
A student of the 5th class speaking to the leaving students
The students were very sad about having to say “Good bye” to their beloved Shanti Ananda School where they felt at home. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to extend up to 10th class what would be meaningful and desirable as well. We want to extend the school up to the 10th class according to our vision. At the fare well party the 7th class performed a group dance together; afterwards teachers and students shared their feelings. The 7th class students told about their visions – out of nine teenagers three want to become teachers!
On April 13th Laughter Yoga Trainer Sheena Harratt Nellu (http://www.sheenanellu.com) led a laughter yoga workshop for teachers and employees; all the participants enjoyed a very funny time. Sheena had already arranged a spontaneous laughter yoga session on the exhibition day of the project week in February. The children present in that moment threw themselves into the situation with a lot of commitment; a very intensive vibration could be felt.
Laughter Yoga Workshop with Sheena Harratt Nellu (in white clothes)
Laughter Yoga has lots of benefits if practiced regularly: improved breathing and blood circulation, better academic results and more creativity and as well improved ability to communicate. It is beneficial for everybody; even laughter yoga groups with deaf persons are practiced... Dr. Madan Kataria from Bombay invented this technique and taught it in many countries. Meanwhile laughter yoga became a major movement worldwide; in many cities in India and other countries special groups are arranged. We integrated Laughter Yoga into our daily schedule – the students being very happy with this decision.
Our small ones in front of the vibrant (laughing?) sun flowers
The sunflowers on the school area (donated by our sports’ area sponsor Walter Hoischen) grew nicely, but they didn’t become as big as Walter’s miraculous plants in Germany. Since 2008 he planted every year hundreds of sun flowers on his road in Cologne – the neighbors were very fond of this.
Walter Hoischen with his huge sunflowers
Some of these flowers reached more than 5 m height (!) – Walter has special receipts for good growth… His motivation is: ”Love your environment.“ Every week he spends six hours approximately for caring for the sunflowers – an inspiring example for social service in the neighborhood. The local newspapers give report about his activities regularly.
A portrait is given to me on my birthday by a student
On my birthday celebration in March all the teachers and students showed a lot of creativity: everybody wore a funny hat, and I received a golden diadem. A big birthday cake was cut and distributed to 200 members. One very original present was a portrait – inspired like this I got the idea to teach arts for the 7th class starting in the next academic year. Up to now because of many duties not linked with art I could not do this.
We try at the Shanti Ananda School to teach a wider approach for a comprehensive and complete perspective to the students; we want to give a feeling of home to them and offer options to create their daily life. Our idea is that love should be the highest value in education. The human being consists of body, soul and mind; our education for head, heart and hands is meant for the human being as a holistic creature or an entity and not only for better marks. The following story – sent to me by Antonella Brambati – is very inspiring and shows a teacher acting towards her students in a most human and beneficial way:
„A wonderful story
One day a teacher asked her students to write the names of all the other students of their class onto a sheet of paper and to leave some space beside the names. Then she asked the students to think over what would be the nicest statement they might tell about their class mates; they ought to write it beside the names onto the empty space.
This exercise took the whole period for completion; before leaving the classroom the students handed over their sheets to the teacher. At the weekend the teacher wrote each student’s name onto a sheet of paper and beside the list of nice statements written by their fellow students. Monday she handed over these lists to all the students. After short time all the students were smiling. „Really?“ she heard them whispering. „I didn’t know that I mean anything to anybody!” and: “I didn’t know that the others like me so much”, were the comments.
Nobody mentioned the lists ever again. The teacher did not know whether the students had discussed it with each other or with their parents; but that didn’t matter. The exercise had been meaningful and successful: the students were happy with themselves and with each other.
Some years later one of these students died; and the teacher went to his burial. The church was overfilled with his friends. One after the other who had loved or known the young man passed the coffin and granted the last honor to him. The teacher went as the last one and prayed in front the coffin. When she stood there one of the men carrying the coffin asked her: “Have you been Mark’s Mathematics teacher?” She nodded: “Yes.” Then he said: „Mark talked of you very often.“
After the burial most of Mark’s former class mates gathered. Mark’s parents were present as well; and obviously they were waiting longingly to talk with the teacher. “We want to show something to you”, said Mark’s father and took a money purse out of his pocket. “This was found after Mark had his accident. We thought that you would recognize it.” The father took out a most worn out piece of paper obviously many times glued together, folded together and unfolded again many times. The teacher knew immediately that this was one of the papers with the list of nice statements of Mark’s class mates. “We want to thank you for doing this”, said Mark’s mother. “As you might observe Mark appreciated this very much.“
All the former students gathered around the teacher. Charlie smiled a little bit and said: „I also still have my list. It is in the upper drawer of my desktop“. The wife of Heinz said: „Heinz asked me to fix this list in our wedding album”. "I as well have mine“, said Monika. "It is in my diary." Then Irene, another class mate, showed an obviously worn out list in her pocket calendar to the others. “I always take it with me”, said she and: “I think that we all still have our lists”. The teacher was so deeply touched that she had to sit down and cry. She cried because of Mark and for all his friends who would not see him ever again.
In the daily life with our fellow beings often we forget that life ends one day and that we don’t know when this day will come. That’s why we should tell to the people we love and care for that they are especially important for us.”
On the video platform „Vimeo“ (www.vimeo.com) videos about the Shanti Ananda School (in German language, but nevertheless worth to be seen) are present:
Thank you and with cordial greetings,
Yours, Helga Shanti Fründt
Foreigners should give their donation to this FCRA account
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Andhra Bank, Mudigubba Branch
Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Account No: 185410100007532
Indian persons should give their donation to the
Shanti Ananda Education Society
Geetha Nagar, Mudigubba 515511
Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank
Account No. 19073080607
View to the construction office