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Great Lakes Sambhag Vidyarthi Vikas Yojana (VVY)

4/2/2021 to 4/3/2021 

The Great Lakes Sambhag organized a two-day Vidyarthi Vikas Yojana (eVarg) virtually, during Spring break on April 2 nd and 3 rd . 19 Kishores and Kishorinis, ages 12-17 yr, participated throughout the duration of the two day varg.

This was a first ever virtual Kishore varg and due to this, Karyakarthas were a little unsure if they would succeed in keeping participants attentive and interested for such a long period. After much deliberation and planning an exciting and electrifying content was created. Experts on various topics were invited as speakers. Diverse intellectual group activities maintained the interest and enthusiasm of the participants until the end.

The varg began on the morning of Friday, April 2nd with an ‘ice breaker’ game conducted by Susmita Ji Singh. Sangh geet, “jīnā hai to garaje jaga meṁ hindu hama saba eka” was selected as our theme song. This was nicely sung by Kishorini, Eesha Ji Singh and followed by other participants. On Friday, we had a Boudhik on “What it means to be a Karyakartha'' by Mananiya Digant ji Das. That same night, we had Ratri Samavesh (Social hour) from 8 pm to 9 pm. Eesha Ji Bemra engaged participants with her innovative and fun games.

We had three hands on group projects

a) How to come up with a Seva project based on disaster relief when a natural calamity strikes a community. Following topics were given, kids were very creative in how they presented their approach. 

  • Fire Disasters, Tornadoes, EarthQuake and Natural Storms

b) To bring the entrepreneurial spirit in kids , we held a ‘Shark Tank’ like competition.

  • Each team came up with a unique and innovative product and pitched it to our ‘Sharks’:
    • Awaken Mirror - (This device will be a reality soon)
    • Smart Pillow (With a tagline - Smart Pillow, Go with flow and Sleep some more)
    • S.K.E.N Care - (Who needs makeup when you glow naturally)
    • Holographic Phone

c) Application of Geometry and Science in constructing magnificent mandirs in Bharat.

  • Each team was given one mandir to research : Meenakshi , Konark Mandir, Sri Kashi Vishwanath and Dilwara Temple (Mt. Abu) and they had to present information on, history of the temple construction, geometrical designs used, any other math applications utilized in its construction, and fun facts about it.

We started the morning of Saturday with varg geet, then followed with Shukshma vyayam, Yoga and Surya Namaskar by Santhosh Ji Khandelwal, and how to conduct eKhel was taught by Lekhya Ji Vaddepatti. Then, varg participants had a great opportunity to listen to Sriram Ji Raghavan of Samskrita Bharathi on a very intense topic “The 21st century formula for studying the Bhagavad Gita''. 

The highlight of the varg was a panel discussion on “Career Paths” moderated by Eesha Ji Bemra. The panelists were distinguished leaders and eminent personalities in their own field – Aparna Ji Soni (Asst. Prof), Tej Ji Pareek (Scientist and Entrepreneur), Sunjay ji Goel (Senior Institutional Investment Advisor), Padma ji Kuppa (First Hindu MI State House Rep). All the panel members talked about their inspirational journey as well as advised kids on what to look for in choosing a career path.

Last but not the least, there were two diverse topics that were presented during the varg – “China – past and present” by Kumar Ji Saket and “Civic Engagement” by Chandru Ji Acharya.

Our Kishores and Kishorinis thoroughly enjoyed all the group projects, boudhik sessions and daily shakha. We concluded the Varg with Samaroop ceremony on April 3 rd by welcoming Shrikanth Ji Basarkod, GL Sambhag Karyavah as Vakta for the event. Kishores and Kishorinis were given 2 minutes to reflect on the Varg. Each one of them made a great summary of the activities that they liked and enjoyed.

Shrikanth Ji left with a taste of coffee in Kishor(s) by this message of “What you really want is to be happy and the happiest people don’t have the best of everything.

They just make the best of everything. So live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly….and your life will be fully lived.”

All 19 Kishores and Kishorini have provided their feedback…we are publishing a few here.

Vihaan Shah“I really loved these two days and it was a really fun learning experience. I learned many new things that I never knew before, I learned about career choosing, natural disasters, China and its history, Baghvad Geeta, Civic engagement, and many more things. This varg helped me be open minded and I made many new friends”.

Anjali Bodanki“I really enjoyed this varg, it was very enriching and I would definitely do it again soon. My most favorite project was the shark tank project because we “made” a new product. It stretched the horizons of our imagination and I really enjoyed planning with my team. I especially enjoyed Sriram ji, and his talk on Bhagvad Gita. I would implement the new games in our Shakha, they were very fun”.

Amudhan Kalidasan“I really enjoyed this Varg, and I found it very interesting. I learned information about things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise”.

Nikunj Khandelwal“The VVY varg is one of the things that I will remember forever. It was a combination of groups, games, and lessons. The fun part of the varg was Khel in which we played games like finding objects in a person's background. My favorite was puzzle-solving. At first it was hard to work together but then we learned how to work together and complete the major of the puzzle”.

Haricharan Tadpatri“What did I learn? Well I learned a lot of things from VVY. I learned how I can incorporate what I learn from Bhagavad Gita with the help of the speaker on saturday, and the gurukula app. The disaster challenge was also able to expand my creativity because my team was able to create a whole company in less than an hour, a feat I never thought I would be able to do.

Eesha Singh“I thoroughly enjoyed this kishore varg. It was very interactive, engaging, and extremely relevant. The information we learned, the games we played, and the people I met are all unforgettable. Some things I’d like to highlight from the varg that I found to be my favorites were all of the group projects, the Bhagavad Gita baudhik, and the career panel discussion”.