Vishva Hindu Parishad’s children’s residential camp was all about unity and understanding tradition. And of course, a little Holi fun
‘Unity’ was the core theme of this year’s Vishva Hindu Parishad’s children’s residential camp conducted from 6 October to 9 October at Heathcote Scout Camp.
More than 85 children participated in the camp, which was inaugurated the traditional Indian way, with the lighting of the lamp, signifying the removal of darkness.
After that auspicious beginning, camp co-ordinator Pooja Sashi announced the housekeeping rules as well as the safety precautions. The children then had a nutritious dinner, and assembled excitedly in the hall for an interactive fun filled icebreaker session.
Day 1 started with the camp participants waking up at 6am and all set to go with their yoga mats, for a session of yoga and meditation with Deval Patel of Art of Living, which was followed by games supervised by Kiran with support from Jishnu Thangallu.
Children assembled at the dining hall for breakfast at 8.30 am and then moved on to their next Boudhik session with Pundit Rami Sivan “Homa/Yagna”, a very interactive session with a lot of questions from the children, who were curious to know the science behind the rituals. Craft with Leelamma, Kushi and Mili followed, where the children cut and folded and pasted coloured, learning how to make flowers on a disc, birds on a foam cup and other such smaller crafts.
A sumptuous lunch was served by the volunteers headed by Vijay Srinivas after which children rested for an hour. The Boudhik session for high-schoolers followed, headed by Mohan Vijaya Raghavan, who explained the pancha bhoothas and then held a debate on vegetarianism/non-vegetarianism. Concurrently, a Boudhik session was conducted by Pooja Sashi for the primary school children on “working as one”. The children were given a task, asked to construct a story from the task, and then convert it to a drama which they continued to practice in their next session. Then came the afternoon break followed by the Bharatheeya game.
The children assembled at the hall for the evening session, where they lit the lamp reiterating light is knowledge, held short bhajans whilst few other children sang a song in praise of the Devathas, ending in a Garba session.
Children then had their dinner and headed back to the hall for a talent quest conducted by Shri Manickam and Ms Ishwarya Venkat, where children thoroughly enjoyed the session waiting for their group results for the next day.
The Boudhik session on day two started with the worship of “Ashta Kanya” conducted by Shalini Verma whereby children understood the importance of women and how to respect them and treat them with love and affection. She explained the scientific reason behind keeping “Gollu”. This session was followed by “Holi”, throwing coloured water on one another and the children loved it. In a parallel session, on the other side, was a teacher’s training session conducted by Venu Kusoori and Ashit Mohit and well received by the teachers. A puppet story-telling session conducted by Lenka which captivated the children immediately followed with the question and answer session by Mohan Vijayaraghavan.
An Art-Excel session was conducted by Deval Patel of Art of Living who also explained the importance of pranayamam or breath in their life followed by Bharatheeya games. Through these games children learnt to be great team players.
On the last day of the camp children were asked to do seva and with a little guidance did a fantastic job. The children were taught how to help others when in need followed by a little program to demonstrate what each group learnt in the last three days of the camp. Parents who arrived in the morning were taken bush walking, then enjoyed watching their children’s programme and ended their day with a delicious lunch. Dr Nisha Manoj thanked the children, parents, camp authorities, sponsors and VHP, HYA, SEWA and AOL team, marking the end of a meaningful three-day residential camp which underlined the importance of unity.