At the Lotus Feet
JULY 1st and 2nd, 2012 - PRASHANTI NILAYAM
The All India workshop on Parenting commenced at 10am on 1st July 2012 with the Jyothi Prajwalana (Lighting of the lamp) by Mrs. Sarla Shah, National Coordinator for Education Wing of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Nimesh Pandya, National Vice President and Sri. N.Ramani, National Vice President.

Inaugurating the Workshop Sri V.Srinivasan, All India President delivered the key note address on the following lines:
  • Swami has set up our Organisation to function as an effective means to perform spiritual sadhana

  • Transforming individual lives to transform the world is the key note of our Organisation

  • Balvikas, being the heart and soul of our Organisation needs to be a holistic programme for the entire family

  • Full benefits of Balvikas are reaped only if the parents are involved

  • The Balvikas programme has to be made interesting not only for the children but also for parents

  • Parenting programmes are the need of the hour to avoid dualities and resulting conflicts in behavioural patterns at home vis--vis what is taught in the class

  • Similar programmes can be targeted at schools for the teachers where school balvikas is being conducted so that the concept of duality is totally removed from the child's minds
Smt. Sarla Shah, released the book "Sai Parenting - The Child is the father of the Man", containing articles on Parenting received from various states.

Smt. Vidya Srinivasan, JNEC then spoke on the Objectives of the Parenting Workshop, in her introductory address. She stressed on the importance of Parenting Workshops and also listed out the Expectations from such Parenting programmes. Restructuring of Balvikas Programme to facilitate dynamic participation of parents, Orientation of Programmes at the entry point of each Group of the Balvikas, Framing of Balvikas prospectus and obtaining a simple sign up form from the parents for more commitment from their end, encouraging the parents to train themselves in Balvikas syllabus to take classes were some of the areas highlighted by her.

This was followed by a very inspiring session by Dr. Guru Raj Karjagi on Counselling for Parents and Creative Teaching techniques. Interspersed with animated activities, interesting anecdotes and appropriate video clippings, his session covered different parenting styles and the need for the parents' accepting the child unconditionally. He also stressed upon the fact that Balvikas should not be a coaching centre but must be a creative learning centre which is child centric.

The post lunch session commenced with a presentation by Mrs. Samhitha Nehru, SEC, Delhi NCR, on "Organising Parents Meet in the changed economic scenario." She focused on the intricate details of the 3Ps of organizing parents meets, namely - Planning, Preparation and Presentation.

Prof. E. Mukandan, SP, Kerala now addressed the participants on the"Motivation Methodologies for Parents" He elaborately explained the What, Why and How of Motivating Parents, using many anecdotes and practical illustrations in support of his topic.

Dr. D. Syamala of Andhra Pradesh explained how the SSSVIP programme along with Bhagawan's Aquacare, Medicare and Sociocare projects have motivated and inspired the rural Balvikas students and parents of the tribal areas of East Godavari District.

Sharing the findings of a very detailed survey of Balvikas parents of Nanaganallur samithi, Tamilnadu, Sri.Sai Sundar, SSSIHL Alumni, expressed the need for regular Balvikas Parent Contact Programmes for improving the quality and quantity of Balvikas strength. He mentioned that as a follow up of this survey, data from the teachers of the students whose parents' were surveyed initially, was also collected, which resulted in positive responses from the parents as well as the teachers.

The post dinner session started with Parenting Approach in Urban Centres by participants from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Through interesting activities using day-to-day articles the need for acceptance of the children, effective communication and positive parenting practices, was brought out very effectively.

This was followed with Sharing of Experiences in Conducting Parenting Workshops in cities by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. The speaker from West Bengal shared intricate details regarding planning, organizing and conducting parenting workshops. The speaker from Uttar Pradesh shared real life experiences while conducting workshops and emphasized the role of grandparents also in parenting. The speaker from Karnataka focused on the importance of active participation and involvement of parents in our Organisation activities. Finally the speaker from Gujarat shared the experiences of parents' transformation after attending parenting workshops.

Smt. Kamala Pandya, DNEC compered the entire day's proceedings. Thus, the first day of the programme ended with the chanting of Shanti Mantra.

On the second day of the Workshop speaking to the participants on Expansion of Bal Vikas and SSSSO, Sri Nimish Pandya, National Vice President stressed on laying down the ethos of the Organisation and transforming the world through self transformation. He emphasized on training all the Gurus to realize the Divinity with in and in turn make the children realize the Divinity as indweller. He advised the Gurus to train the children to master the minds and transform themselves as 'master minds'. He advised the Gurus to enlighten the parents about the holistic programme of Bal Vikas. Citing the examples of successful Bala Vikas children, he advised the gurus to train the children to bring in the desired positive change in parents and the society. He suggested to involve parents in organizational activities and in Bhajans to begin with. He suggested to bring out standard Parenting Manual in Sathya Sai Way.

After this inspiring speech by Sri Nimish Pandya, the participants from the states of Odisha, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur have shared their experiences in conducting Parenting Workshops in Rural Areas.

A Team of Gurus from Tamilnadu have presented a lively demonstration on Parenting.

Professor Yogendra Verma from Himachal Pradesh guided the parents of teenagers how to conduct themselves and handle sensitive issues of teenage children. He has also given many suggestions to Bal Vikas gurus on Parenting with focus on Young Parents and Parents of teenage children.

Later Sri N.Ramani, National Vice President addressed the participants on Sathya Sai Way of Parenting, quoting his personal life as an example drawing very many parallels and how Parenting has helped to shape him up. He has given the methodology of Parenting to be in Sathya Sai way of Love and Love alone.

Sr.Neetha Khanna, DNEC compered the entire day's proceedings. Thus, the second day of the programme ended.

While concluding the workshop, Dr.L.Sasi Bala, National Deputy Coordinator for Parenting summarized the workshop presentations and thanked all the participants.

Workshop ended with the Maha Mangala Harathi.

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