Childhood is the symbol of the future and the hope of all victories to come.
On the occasion of 75th year of India’s independence and 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society organized a three-day’s workshop on Bal Samskriti: Towards Creativity and Integral Development from 12th-14th August, 2022 at Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry. Fifty-two students from the age group of 5-13 representing seven schools participated in the workshop. During the inaugural session, Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society told that AuroBharati has started this special programme for the children with an objective to focus on the emotional, intellectual, physical, vital and mental development of children with special emphasis on nurturing skills through various activities including Yoga, Meditation, Origami, Indoor Games, Mantra Chanting, Storytelling, Crown making and few other activities focusing on the integral development of Children. Sushantoda, one of the facilitators of the workshop spoke about the workshop in developing fun, interactive and opportunities to enhance the joy of learning through inclusive activities accessible for all the students.
First day of the workshop started with indoor games and crown making by C N Shankar. The objective of the indoor game was to make the students familiar with the environment and to express and feel free for the activities which were planned for the three day’s workshop. He interacted with the students about the important role of games for the overall development and extra-curricular activities for overall well-being. One of the activities of the workshop was Crown making which was guided by C N Shankar. All the students prepared beautiful paper crowns decorated with crayons, glue, sparkles and glitter. Students were given complete freedom to explore their creativity by making different types of crowns by using their creativity and self-expression. Crown making is basically an open-ended craft activity. The significance of this activity includes making every child special when they were the Crown like a king or queen.
Indoor games, Theatre, and Origami were the activities undertaken during the second day of the workshop where h students expressed their creative learning and joy of living. C N Shankar explained to the children to make good use of time for indoor games with an objective to focus on entertainment and fun factor, fitness enhancement, and a comfortable and safe place. The kids enjoyed their time by playing different types of games and exploring fun activities. They were also encouraged to enhance creativity through the different tasks for each activity which brought the exposure for kids to have unique experiences. Origami session was jointly carried out by Sushantoda, Abhipsa, Rati and Charu. They were taught different levels of skills needed for the making of origami including paper cutting skills, and folding techniques with a little patience and practice. The main techniques and folds were also simply explained to them that are used as the foundation of origami art. A session on Theatre and Performing Arts was organized by Dr.Belu Saravanan, Assistant Professor of the Department of Performing Arts, Pondicherry University. The students were introduced to various techniques of theatre not only for fun but educational activity too. It included different types of music, dance, acting, modeling and artistic expressions to give a taste of the role of performing arts in our day to day life.
Yoga, meditation, craft making, mantra chanting and living with nature were some of the focused areas of the third day of the workshop. Speaking on Yoga, meditation, mantra chanting, laughter Yoga and living with nature, Kishor Kumar Tripathy interacted with the students about the system of Yoga. He informed how our ancient sages observed nature and discovered the secret of yogic postures, psychic gestures, breathing practices, meditative techniques and the art of concentration. The participants practiced the basic Yoga practices to make the body flexible through simple yogic exercises like Vajrasana, Bhujangasana, Vrikshasana and Simhasana. They were also taught the physical and mental health benefits of the practice of Yoga. To increase self-awareness, reduce stress and to achieve a greater sense of calm, a session on mantra Chanting was introduced where all the students recited the Gayatrai Mantra. The session on connecting kids with nature created an opportunity for all the participants to explore the secret of nature and get involved by creating sounds of different animals and birds. This was really amazing. A session on laughter Yoga was taught through a series of exercises that call for forceful laughing. The students were also taught how to create harmony between the mind and body.
C N Shankaran took a special session for the children on making of art and craft with an objective to express their thoughts, emotions and desires through craft. It's about sharing the joy of experiencing the world. Students of the workshop created beautiful artworks including nature, sacred landscape, and community life through their powerful mediums of expressions. During this session, the students not only learned the basics of art and Craft but expressed themselves freely. On India and Indian Culture, a session was taken by CharuTripathy, Associate Director of AuroBharati. She interacted with the students and informed about the rich cultural heritage of India including the national value of culture. In her presentation, she spoke about the incredible culture and amazing diversity of traditions. Students also actively participated in presenting their views on the national flag, national bird, national animal and national flower.
On the eve of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotshav, a session on national integration was taken by Kishor Kumar Tripathy, C N Shankar and CharuTripathy to present the spirit of national integration. This was part of the celebration and commemoration of the 75 years of Independence of India and the glorious history of it’s people, culture and traditions. All the participants sang the National Anthem of India with the national flag. During the concluding session of the workshop, a participation certificate was given to all the participants. Teachers representing some of the schools also shared their creative experiences during the workshop.
The three-day workshop was a successful event where the participants enjoyed the different components used to enhance creativity and integral development. Participants appreciated the module and expressed their views on the organization of the workshop.