Following Anil Pharande’s personal audience with Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji himself at his Ashram in Bangalore a few days ago, I’m happy to report that His Holiness has given his complete blessing to the launch of the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir at Woodsville. We are all set to launch this holistic education institute at our 50-acre integrated living complex in PCMC by June, 2012.
In addition to the CBSE curriculum from Nursery to Std X (and possibly to Std XII), the school will offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities like Karnatik music, Bharat Natyam, sports, Taekwondo, elocution and spiritual guidance.
The implications in terms of the overall social profile and quality of education in Pimpri-Chinchwad can scarcely be described in a single article. We are all aware of the fact that the current education system in India lacks depth, and that it falls seriously short when it comes to imparting well-rounded education to our country’s future citizens.
Though we pride ourselves in being a spiritually-oriented nation, the fact is that our schooling system is based on obsolete, mechanical education models that focus on a drone-like academic performance. The so-called international schools just take this unfortunate trend to a less wholesome level. A more well-rounded education system by the revolutionary movement which Europe knows as ‘The Association for Inner Growth’ is definitely a major step forward for the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
When we heard that the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir Trust was keen to open its first school in Pimpri Chinchwad at Woodsville, we enthusiastically welcomed the proposition. After all, we are creating a futuristic residential concept here – one that offers everything to its residents that the rest of Pune (and indeed Maharashtra) cannot. Having a holistic education institute here is a logical extension of our other offerings.
Until recently – and like many of us – I knew Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji mainly as the founder of the Art of Living Foundation – the world’s largest volunteer based, humanitarian and educational NGO. Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has established it in 1981 as part of his vision to promote a stress-free, non-violent approach to social life. Over 300 million people living in more than 140 countries are part of this ground-breaking spiritual movement, which is also closely associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
However, Mr. Pharande’s meeting with His Holiness at Bangalore was also a personal eye-opener for him. He got a much deeper understanding of this amazing man’s dream to fortify human values at the grass roots level. The presence of the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir at Woodsville now means a lot more to us than just huge value-addition to our residents.
We now see that this is the beginning of a revolution in the way the PCMC region will perceive education. Our children finally have a chance to obtain schooling of a quality and magnitude that genuinely enhances their lives – not just their mark sheets.
Avinash Gokhale, Director – Marketing & Corporate Planning, Pharande Spaces