Children’s Cultural Festival

Gurudevji training the children in yogasanas
Gurudevji training the children in yogasanas
Gurudevji training the children in cultural items
Gurudevji training the children in cultural items

The great ‘Gurudev’ Swami Nischalanandaji Maharaj was born in Newcastle. At his birthplace, the Children’s Cultural festival of the Northern Natal was celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year. It was not an accident; neither was it planned. But it had come in due course bringing forth how much ‘Gurudev’ loved the children and how much more he was interested in instilling the spiritual values among them. Some of the old devotees still remember how Gurudev used to stand on hours together in training the children in performance of cultural items. He used to personally conduct Yoga Camps especially for children training them in correct postures through practice of yogasanas.

I was pleased to attend the Northern Natal Children’s Cultural Festival held at Newcastle Richview hall. Branches from Estcourt, Ladysmith, Newcastle, Glencoe and Dundee participated. The enthusiasm of the children was infectious, each one vying with one another, making efforts in excelling in whatever he/she did. The Festival was an occasion to bring out the best in the child. There were scintillating sketches, soul-filling songs, sterling speeches and delighting dances interspersed with inspiring quotes from the Holy Trio. While I gave the Key-note Address, brother Swami Saradaprabahanandaji gave the Concluding Address. Overall the time from 9 am to 4 pm was well spent in the company of the children. In spite of the inclement weather of speedy winds, the officials did a splendid job in organising the Festival at the venue.

Abiding spiritual values are taught to the children who attend our Sunday School classes. The parents have reported to me that they are immensely benefitted as they could see emergence of the wonderfully shaping of their children’s personality. In my previous post I gave a brief intro about the Sunday School classes and three slideshows on the Certificates Award function.

To see all the photos of the Festival, just click on the below link that will take you to the picasa web album. There click ‘slideshow’, then relax and watch!    

Northern Natal Children’s Cultural Festival

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Jayrambati Home now functional

The Jayrambati Home, Foresthaven, Phoenix, was officially opened on Saturday 8 December 2007, by Adv. H Kessie Naidu SC (Main Sponsor). The Home is an annexe of the Ramakrishna Clinic of South Africa and will serve as a place of refuge and solace for distraught indigent women. The Home will be managed by the Ramakrishna Clinic with its staff of doctors, social workers, counsellors, caregivers etc.

phoenix_jayrambati_ext.jpgThe Home is rightly named after the village Jayrambati which is the birth place of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi, the Divine Consort of Sri Ramakrishna. The Holy Mother gave refuge to whoever came to her and could not say ‘No’ to whoever called her as ‘Mother’, said Swami Vimokshananda, the President of the Centre during his Valedictory address.

Shelter Care Workshop

Shelter Care Workshop:  The Ramakrishna Clinic of South Africa conducted a workshop on Shelter Intervention and Management on Saturday, 19 January 2008, at the Swami Nischalananda Hall, Headquarters, Glen Anil. Prof Anshu Padayachee from the Advice Desk conducted the workshop for the Abused. Twenty-six members of the Clinic were in attendance, including twelve who have also completed the certificate course on “Crisis Intervention in Domestic Violence”.  

The workshop addressed the following issues:

  • effective and efficient shelter management;
  • skills necessary to deal with cases of domestic violence;
  • effects of domestic violence on women seeking shelter;
  • appropriate helping mechanisms;
  • understanding of shelter philosophy and best practice. 

The main role of shelter intervention is to empower women and provide a safe haven at a time of crisis. The role of a shelter interventionist is thus crucial as he/she is often the first point of contact as a counsellor. The interventionist would have to remain neutral in a time when the sheltered is in a brittle state of emotions.  

The participants were educated on admission and discharge protocols as well as the all important aspect of follow up care. They would have to complete two case histories and be assessed by members of the Advice Desk for readiness to serve afflicted women.  They will render services at the Jayrambati Home, Foresthaven, Phoenix which is a shelter for women undergoing domestic crisis. This Home, under the management of the Ramakrishna Clinic of South Africa, is situated in the epicentre of an area where there has been a surge in domestic violence against women.