On the first night of Amma’s programs at her ashram in Thiruvananthapuram, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math furthered its commitment to education. Vidyamritam Scholarships were given to 180 children of Thiruvananthapuram District and Ashram inaugurated its new arts-and-crafts school, Amrita Shilpa Kalakshetra.
In the presence of Amma, G. Sudhakaran, minister of the Devaswam Board of Kerala, inaugurated the arts-and-crafts school. Addressing the gathering, he said, “This world is full of tension and war. Peace and harmony is the slogan of Amma.
War can be for good or bad. Reject the bad. Even if the war is for good, it should reach peace – that is the message Amma presents before us.
From badness to goodness, from darkness to light, from death to immortality—this is the vision of India. The educational systems, institutions, research and architecture India had in 6,000 to 7,000 BCE no longer exist—universities like Taksha Shila and Nalanda. Back then, the tradition was 14 teachers to one student. Now even one professor for 1000 students is not available.”
Amrita Shilpa Kalakshetra is an extension of MAM’s university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. One of its primary aims is to train talented youth in traditional wood-carving, an important aspect of Indian art. Like most crafts in India, wood carving was traditionally taught by artists to their children and thus carried down from generation to generation. As such traditional lineages have deteriorated, it is MAM’s intention to help restore the lost art to its former glory and status.
The institute’s training program is recognized and approved by the Government of India’s Development Commissioner of Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles. The institute is located in Poonkulam, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram. It will soon begin conducting month-long and six-month-long courses, providing deserving students monthly stipends of Rs. 2,000 during their courses.
Regarding these scholarships, as well as the Vidyamritam Scholarship Program, Sudhakaran said, “In India, giving 100,000 students substantial scholarships—as Amma is doing in Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra and throughout India—is no small thing. Not even the government is providing so many scholarships.”
Cross Posted from www.amritapuri.org