In the ongoing efforts to transform the lives of the citizens of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand and the Nation through the creation of a team of peer educators (teachers) to offer life-skill training to members of their community, Parmarth Niketan invited the parents of the Youth in the most-recent training to the Ashram to learn about the program and to observe the progress that their children are making. The training – organized under the joint aegis of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and UNFPA – included 40 Youth from four communities in Rishikesh: Kale ki Dhal, Mayakund, Chandreshwar Nagar and Khara.
The President of Parmarth Niketan, HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, in a greeting sent from abroad, shared that “life skill training is very important for the moral and positive development of children. Parents are the first teachers, and they play the role of facilitator in inculcating values and cultural heritage in children. They create the coming generation through their love, sacrifice and sanskar etc. This leads to amazing changes not only in the family or nation but at the global level.
“The foundation of the society,” Pujya Swamiji concluded, “is strengthened by our best values and purity. Let’s contribute together to build a better society. And let parents lead the way, because you have an important role in the all-round development of children.”
The parents also shared their views, expressing how worried they are about their children because of the rise of drug addiction, domestic violence and tobacco use in the communities. But, as one father shared, “Living in the spiritual and cultured environment of Parmarth Niketan while they are training is making such a difference. The education that they receive through the Aarti and Havan ceremonies – and through the Satsang, Yoga, Meditation and other spiritual activities that take place – is wonderful and life-changing. We will not miss any opportunity to send all of our children for this life-skill training.”
Parent Kunkun Saini, who came from Mayakund, said that positive changes have taken place in her daughter because of this training. According to Kunkunji, “She is becoming wiser and happier than before. I hope there will be more such trainings so that more community Youth can also benefit from it.”
In addressing the families, Ms. Ganga Nandini Tripathi ji and Shri Vimal Badhawan ji, facilitators of the event, focused a spotlight on the benefits of a drug-free yoga and meditation lifestyle in combination with the enhanced life skills that the training provides. The parents were honoured with an Aloe Vera plant and an umbrella., and treated to a delicious Bhandara (community meal) after the presentation. Project Manager Dr. Priya Parmar; Lead Coordinator Sukhnoor Kaur; Field Officers Ramchandra Shah, Rakesh Roshan and Rajesh Chandra; and, IT Expert Satyaveer Singh Rathore from GIWA provided the logistical support for the gathering.