A group of alumnae started from Bangalore on Saturday night heading towards Alike. They were joined by four others from Dharwad, Puttur and Mangalore. This was the second visit by the alumnae to the Alike girls campus. The purpose of the visit was to continue the discussions from the last visit on creating a platform for the alumanae to connect and engage in the campus in a sustained way, as inspired by Bhagawan.
As the group arrived at the beautiful campus that is nestled in the lap of Mother Nature….surrounded by lush green plantations, the cool morning being witness to chirping of birds, the place was so beautiful by itself that it offered instant solace. After a sumptuous breakfast, the team met revered Chairman sir Sri Gangadhar Bhat. He shared with his thoughts on how Sri Madiyal Narayan Bhat’s (fondly referred to as Anna) and Bhagawan’s vision of ideal students were similar. Sri Mahendra Hegde gave a brief tour of the campus beginning with the Smrithi Mantap of Anna.
Sister Pavana, an alumnus of the Girl’s high school at Alike had a chance to meet her former teachers – Shankari Akka and Venkatalakshmi Akka. The group also spent some time with them. After spending a fruitful hour with Sri Gangadhar Bhat, the group proceeded to the girls’ campus, which is situated in the Madiyal village, home to late Madiyal Anna. Anna’s is where Bhagawan had blessed the girl students to get their education. As per Swami’s instructions to have the house renovated as a museum to showcase Anna’s life. The house is studded with pictures from Anna’s life and key milestones in the setting up of the Alike and Muddenahalli educational institutions. We were welcomed by the students and staff at the campus who then showed the group around their new home.
We alumnae took the opportunity to serve lunch to the present students. Post lunch we had a private session with the students of the campus. The visiting alumnae shared their beautiful experiences, which they had during their college days in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus. They also shared their experiences with the subtle form. Most of the present students had not had the chance to see Bhagawan in the physical form; in spite of which it was both endearing and inspiring to note that these students had a beautiful connect with Swami. Also, they seemed to be so much in-sync with Him despite the physical distance. The presence of Bhagawan was very conspicuous and all of us felt Him there.
As the students were expecting Bhagawan to visit the campus by the end of November, Sister Varsha Murkhandi taught them a couple of songs which is planned to be presented to the Lord during His visit in November.
After the interactive session, the team had a good discussion with the Principal Lakshmi madam and teachers – sisters Rohini and Shwetha- on how the alumnae can contribute to the campus and build an ongoing bond with the students.
Some of the key discussion points were –
- As the Pre University College for girls is a new campus, it still does not have a fully equipped library. The alumnae felt this was an opportunity which they could address as similar library projects had been undertaken in Mandya and Gulbarga campuses
- The team discussed the Each One Educate One (e1e1) initiative and how a good e1e1 platform could be created for the alumnae community to participate in the Girls’ campus in Alike
- With Bhagawan’s planned visit to Alike campus, end of November, the alumnae resolved to help the girls’s campus administration with the preparations
- There was also a felt need for training the girl students in Music and Bhajan singing. Sister Varsha offered to visit the campus periodically and engage the girls
- The next campus connect visit to the campus was planned for December 18, 2016
It was really heartening and a matter of pride to see two of our alumnae sisters from Ananthpur campus – Rohini and Shwetha – who are serving in the Alike girls’ campus. Their presence there and seeing them go about their work in Bahagwan’s mission, was inspiration to all.
What was most remarkable was that each those who was on her maiden visit to the campus, said it felt like going back to one’s own days in Swami’s institution. Though the building and the location were different, it was exactly the same feeling. It was literally home ground! After a short photo session, we took Bhagawan’s blessings and returned to the main Alike Campus.
Sri Mahendra, the secretary of the Boys Campus was kind enough to show us around every nook and corner of the campus. He also took us to Bapuji Bala Niketan School- An institute devoted to the care of Orphans. These orphans who are devoid of their physical parents stay under the shelter of their Universal Parent “our dearest Swami”. Swami takes care of their needs – education and otherwise. Many among them, over the years, have indeed transformed into well-educated individuals. We had a very good time with the children. Thus ended our day at the campus in total bliss.
We returned with our heart filled with lots of love and blessings. We hope to have many more visits to all the campuses’ and to serve as instruments in Bhagawan’s grand mission.