road, East Godavari District Ph: 9246502662, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saraswathi Temple and
Saraswathi Vidya Peetham
Vidya Peetam was established on November 14th, 2006 near
Kakinada in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. The motto of
Peetam is to educate students, mainly the tribal and poor, to
reduce anxiety before exams, tension while studying. The
objective is to generate interest among students towards
education and make them feel that acquiring wisdom is a nice
feeling, better than watching TV or fancying cricket 24 hours a
for attitudinal change in Veerendranath to set up the Vidya
Peetam is a “school like Ashram” near Dharmasthala, Mangalore
established by Padma Bhushan Veerendra Heggade, wherein the poor
students study, milk the cows, cultivate vegetables and sell
them. This experience gives them not only education, but teaches
the techniques of marketing etc at micro level and practicality
towards life at a macro level. Veerendranath was told that most
of the students at a later stage were financially well settled,
with some of them even owning cars.
inspiration to Veerendranath to set up the Peetam, a one Crore
project; without any trust backing or donations… is the book
“Pillalake Naa Hridayam Ankitham” (My soul is dedicated to
children). It is a true story, wherein the author (a Russian
teacher) educates the students in ‘open’, exposes them to nature,
unfolding their enthusiasm and gist for life.
Veerendranath gives one day training to
a batch of students, preferably tenth class, accompanied by two or
three teachers sponsored by a school. The auditorium stands amidst
greenish fields and accommodates around 50 students.
For the first three hours, the students
are taught the techniques of concentration, developing memory and
reducing tensions and anxiety. The teaching goes in an amusingly
entertaining way, involving almost all the students.
The morning session includes the concept
of differentiating ‘watchers’ and ‘performers’. Students are
encouraged to build up confidence, give a lift to their hidden
talents and a positive approach to life. It also includes various
methods to develop intelligence, quick reflex actions, expressing
love, maintaining health and hygiene and mainly refurbishing
enthusiasm towards life. This is what parents don’t know and
teachers never tell.
After lunch (provided by the school or
Peetam), the kids are out in the open to productive entertainment.
On one side of the Peetam, there is a railway track and on the other
side, a lake. To combat Hydrophobia (fear of water) the students,
mainly girls swim with the help of tubes and also enjoy a brief boat
Here is a pond to catch fish. ‘Learn
fishing fist’ is an old proverb. Students at the age of 15 are
hyperactive and fishing demands power of control over body movements
and adept attention. Fishing makes them sit motionless watching for
the pray, which they can never do in normal circumstances. Thus the
motto of fishing is to teach them concentration.
One can witness the out-bursting joy in
the eyes of boys when they see the practicing net and cricket kit.
There are other various sports for girls that include not only
shuttle, badminton and ring, but also old traditional games. The
anxiety levels are tested in competitions like ‘threading a needle’
and the ‘spoon and a lemon’.
In the evening the students are taught
the techniques of self-hypnotism, yoga and meditation. Before the
Goddess Saraswathi, they take oath to amend some of their hazardous
habits (eating junk food at irregular intervals, personal unhygienic
lifestyle, excessive unnecessary talk and sleep).
Finally, under the
shades of falling sun, sitting on the steps of the lake near the
temple, kids are encouraged to tell small stories on their own. This
is to overcome lingering of thoughts, fumbling of words, fear of
speaking and mainly to develop communication skills. By the end of
the day, almost every kid is encouraged with a suitable gift, may it
be a biscuit packet or a new pair of shoes, unearthing their hidden
Any school can send a batch of forty students accompanied by two
teachers for one day. It is all free of cost.
You can contact
Veerendranath on(+91) 9246502662
We do not
have a play ground at our school. I was never allowed to
step into water. It is a wonderful
experience playing here. We never dreamt that education
would be so relaxing. We don’t feel like leaving from
here. One of my classmates told that he ate a Cadbury’s
Chocolate here for the first time in his life.
-A Tenth class
student in an interview for TV 9