William Wordsworth (1770-1850), one of the greatest poets of England, has rightly said:
The child is father of the man
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
We fully agree with what the poet had uttered one hundred fifty years ago. Child is the real wealth of nature. He is the seed from which will sprout a tree later. If the seed is nourished properly and if the sapling that comes out of it is nurtured with care, it may emerge as an excellent tree laden with sweet and delicious fruits. So is the case with the child. He needs to be exposed to a moral and spiritual environment free from prejudices. The child’s mind is pure and devoid of worldly vices. He is sensitive, delicate and at once responsive. He has in him the potential for infinite creative energies. If the teacher is able to elicit the best in him through psychological methods, undoubtedly the child will grow into an extraordinary personality in the future.
Inspired by Acharya Tulsi's Anuvrat Movement, Shri Mohan Lal Jain, an eminent Gandhian worker and founder of Anuvibha, envisioned a centre for children which may provide them with an opportunity for natural growth and all-round development in an open environment free from fear, burden and binding. With his insights of creativity and constructive vision and by dint of hard work and perseverence he was able to metamorphose the deserted hill into a unique centre for children's psychological transformation. It is now called Children's Peace Palace and is situated on top of a hill overlooking the world famous lake called RAJSAMAND.
Anuvrat Balodaya believes that children imbibe the spirit of the environment around them. It presents the material in an envorinment conducive to their moral growth, arouses their curiosity through presentation and tries to satisfy it. The principle based on child psychology attracts children naturally, enables them to adapt mentally and becomes a forceful medium for inspiring them to take to peace, nonviolence, ethics and good conduct. To achieve these objectives, several museum corners have been set up at this Palace.
A special wing has been developed which consists of twenty two chambers equipped with audio-visual and other aids. Each chamber is designed in such a way that a student who spends some time in it imbibes that value naturally. The visual aids include a library, a doll museum, a worldview gallery providing glimpses of important countries, a science room, a puppet theatre, audio-visual hall to exhibit films which create a formative influence on the tiny minds.
A view of Children's Peace Palace
In addition, the Children's Peace Palace has a beautiful auditorium with a capacity to seat three hundred persons, a guest house and three big halls (dormitories) for use during children's camps or small conferences occasionally. With the availability of these infrastructrual facilities we can organize children's training camps both at national and international level. Situated in the midst of the scenic grandeur of the Aravali hills, a vast lake and greenary all around, it has become an ideal centre for children and peace lovers.
(i) Organization of Children's Camps
On account of the paucity of funds it took the Peace Palace many precious years to shape and develop. After the basic infrastructure was created Anuvrat Balodaya management initiated steps to organize children's periodical camps. The first children's camp was inaugurated by His Excellency Baliram Bhagat, the then Governor of Rajasthan on Dec. 1996. By now more than 500 such camps have been organized in which thousands of children have participated. Children came not only from the neighbouring schools but even from the other states of India as well as from foreign countries like South Korea. Since the creation of this peace palace dedicated to children hundreds of educators, teachers, professors and child psychologists have visited it and have lauded its innovative practices. Their views and comments make an inspiring reading.
Children studying at Anuvrat Balodaya Library
(ii) Balodaya Mobile Camps
Balodaya team organizes day camps in various schools. They not only guide and inspire children but teachers too experience a new way of teaching based on psychological strategies. Puppet shows, slide-shows, exhibition of paintings and portraits are used dexterously to transform children. These day camps are becoming very popular. By now more than 100 camps have been organized. Children evinced tremendous enthusiasm and took part in all the events actively. In order to make this activity more extensive we are planning to have a mobile van equipped with all the facilities which can be used in far-flung areas for children's camps.
(iii) Tulsi Anuvrat Gallery
A separate anuvrat gallery depicting the life and mission of a great spiritual leader Acharya Tulsi has been developed through years of hard work and is now a source of great attraction for visitors. The philosophy enshrined in the anuvrat movement has been vividly illustrated in thirty oil paintings designed artistically. Many attractive models of yogic postures have been created. Acharya Tulsi's exemplary life has been shown in sixty specially constructed cells through charts, photographs and literature.
Children participating in a mock parliament session
at Children's Peace Palace, Rajsamand (Raj.)
(iv) Mahapragya Ahimsa Gallery
Acharya Mahapragya, a nationally revered saint who was honoured for his contribution to interfaith harmony by Govt. of India by conferring on him the prestigious Communal Harmony Award, is widely known for his Ahimsa Yatra (a journey on foot to arouse people's consciousness of nonviolence). This gallery not only depicts glimpses from his historic journey across the country but also elucidates his philosopy of ahimsa through quotations, charts and maps. Spending an hour in the gallery means learning a lesson in the many facets of ahimsa.
(v) Jivan Vigyan Centre (Centre for Science of Living)
This division of ANUVIBHA has reinterpreted the concept of moral education to be taught in schools. Acharya Mahapragya has put forth the idea of Jivan Vigyan (Science of Living) as a substitute for moral and spiritual education among students. Thousands of teachers have been trained in Jivan Vigyan so far. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Delhi Administration schools and a large number of schools in Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and Karnataka are using the new concept of moral education in their schools. Jivan Vigyan is a technique to develop students’ emotional IQ. It provides them with an insight into the ways that help them to grow into disciplined, spiritually awakened and balanced citizens. Jain Vishva Bharati University, Ladnun (Rajasthan) has developed course modules. This unit of Anuvrat Balodaya works in close cooperation with it. We organize exclusive Jivan Vigyan classes for children under the auspices of this centre.
Yuvacharya Mahashraman going round Mahapragya Ahimsa Gallery
Models showing Jivan Vigyan exercises and Yogic Postures
(vi) Yoga and Preksha Meditation Centre
Yoga is an ancient system evolved by seers and sages to enable humans to achieve steadfast mind and remain tension free. Preksha Meditation developed by Acharya Mahapragya under the guidance of late HH Acharya Tulsi after making a series of experiments spread over many years has been found by thousands of men and women who have practised it as a potential healing power with miraculous results. It is also capable of bringing about a mass psychological transformation for a better world. Combined with yoga it has produced excellent results. ANUVIBHA has established this division to help young and old to elevate themselves spiritually so that they may enjoy good health and live happily.
We organize regular Preksha Meditation and Yoga camps for both the citizens of India and of other countries from time to time both at Jaipur and Rajsamand. At Anuvibha Kendra, Jaipur regular classes are being held for the benefit of the local people. A separate committee has been entrusted with the task of running this centre.
A view of a yoga session
(vii) Anuvrat Gramodaya (Anuvrat Rural Uplift Programme)
(to be launched soon at Rajsamand)
The birth of ANUVIBHA is intimately linked with serving the cause of the poor people living in villages. Gramodaya is being planned to mobilize resources to create basic facilities for providing the rural folk with suitable medical care, agricultural equipments, drinking water, educational opportunities for their children at par with those available for urban elite and employment by revitalizing their indigenous sources of earning livelihood. It will change their outlook on life and will make them realize the importance of solving their problems by nonviolent means embedded in Anuvrat philosophy.
ANUVIBHA has also formulated a detailed plan to build shelters for the destitute, hapless, widows and the aged in rural areas of Rajsamand district and adopt one hundred people below the poverty line every year to begin with. ANUVIBHA will concentrate on some selected villages and will develop them as model villages. Our vision of a model village is based on Anuvrat philosophy. Each village will have a drainage system, sanitation facilities, a primary school for children, a primary health centre and a social integration council which will be responsible for creating awareness among the villagers against the hazards of alcohol, smoking, superstitions, communal conflicts and for solving local disputs.
(viii) International School of Culture and Peace
Anuvibha Complex at Children's Peace Palace has developed well. The addition of three big halls and the expansion of the guest house have made it possible for us to start an international school of culture and peace here from the year 2010. It will be an international centre for the study of the different cultural systems of the world with a focus on the rich cultural heritage of India. Its main aim is to educate the students from across the world in a culture of ahimsa for universal peace. Course modules are being prepared to start two-week, three-week and four week courses. We hope that it will emerge as a centre for transformative learning. Its scenic grandeur and spiritual environment will fascinate everyone. We also plan to have its campus at Jaipur where we already have good infrastructural facilities. A separate brochure of this college with a calender of the courses can be obtained on request.