Day 1: Stop over at Pune
33 Students of SBP were taken for a five day camp to Malvan, Sindhudurg District from 25th to 29th December 2019.
They were divided in to two groups. The First group consisting of 11 students and 9 staff members left for Malvan on 25th December. These students were specially invited by the Members of Mirpuri Family to the Godarivale Baba Ashram at Wagholi, Pune to celebrate Babaji's birthday and give a cultural performance.
They received a warm welcome at the Ashram by the Mirpuri Family. The students were treated to a sumptuous lunch. Inspite of the large number of devotees assembled in the Ashram two dormitories were allotted to the students. They settled and rested for a short time before getting dressed for the event.
The program began with soul touching bhajans by a devotee followed by performances by our students. The audience cheered the students with their non stop applause. The best performance was Sneha's graceful dance to the popular bollywood song. The students were appreciated for their presence and their performances by the Mirpuri family. They were felicitated by the young members of the family with shawls.
Other scheduled programs continued consisting of skits by the devotees to show case the life of BABA and his grace. The skit performed by the devotees greatly touched and moved the students to tears. It was an enriching experience not only for the students but also for the staff members who accompanied them.
The students also received cash gift of Rs.2000/- each for their performances from the Mirpuris.
The Trustee Ms. Pushpa Moorjani who is a part of the Mirpuri family had taken this initiative of participating in the event.
Our heartfelt gratitude to J. P. Mirpuri, Mr. Vinod Mirpuri, Mr. Amit Mirpuri, Mr. Romesh Mirpuri and the entire Mirpuri family for the wonderful opportunity and their warm hospitality.
The group left for Malvan the next day.
The students left for Malvan on 26th December from School at 7am accompanied by 23 staff members. The Pune group too left for Malvan from the Ashram. It was a long journey with breaks in between for breakfast, Lunch and tea. The students enjoyed the journey and did not show any sign of tiredness inspite of the long travel hours.
The buses reached Br. Nath Pai Sevangan at Dhurivada, Malvan at 11:30 pm. The dinner was ready for all at the canteen. Two dormitories and three rooms at the Sevangan was made ready for the students to rest.
Every teacher was given the responsibility of two students. She had to observe and evaluate the behavior and level of independence of the students.
In the four days of camp students visited Sindhudurg Fort by boat. The guide gave us information regarding the fort which gave us lot of insight in to the advanced architecture of Chatrapathi Shivaji’s rein-the rain water harvesting, the secret tunnel that led to the cave where Swamiji spent many years of his life and today his Samadhi exists there. This was a learning experience for all.
The next spot was Swamiji’s Samadhi at Ozar. The students paid their obeisance to Swamiji by chanting mantra and singing bhajans. The senior member of the Nerkar family who had the opportunity of being with Swamiji greeted us and arranged for Maha Prasad. The rustic beauty of the cave and the peaceful surrounding created a soul touching experience.
they also visited the ancient Shiv Mandir at Kunkeshwar. The picturesque surrounding was very pleasing to the sight.
After dinner a camp fire was set up and students enjoyed playing antakshari around the fire till late in the night.
Student were taken to Tarkarli. Certain challenges were faced due to narrow roads and though the trip was delayed it was fun on reaching the Tsunami island. A trip by boat took us to the Tsunami Island. Other sports like crocodile point, sangam and eagle point were shown to us by the Boatman.
We were dropped at the island for water sports. Students and staff members took turns on the Banana ride, Sofa ride, Speed boat and jet ride. They thoroughly enjoyed the thrilling experience. Some students just played in the water and sand.
The boatman took us back and this was followed by lunch at Aai Bhojanalay. Both veg and non veg food was served. The owner Mr. Dattaprasad Tendulkar took special care of the food served and made all students feel at home. This was arranged by Mr. Prakash Tari. The students relaxed after lunch and played in the sand.
We then proceeded to visit Mr. Bhai Govekar ex District head of Shiv Sena. The students enjoyed the spacious and clean village house. They were served cold drink and laddu. The tyres of the bus could not move due to loose sand and this was an enjoyable and thrilling experience for the students as they all gave a hand to push the bus on to a hard surface. We next visited our Trustee Mrs. Shirish Poojary’s native home.
Ms. Shubhangi Govekar gave a warm welcome to all and treated them to Jalebis and batata wadas. Some staff members visited the market to buy the local goodies. The students assembled on the terrace and entertained by singing, dancing and playing mirror act. It was hilarious to see the children performing and all had a very hearty laugh.
Dinner at Sevangan was served and students retired for the day after packing their bags to leave for home the next day.
On the last day of the camp students got ready to leave by their respective buses. We visited Swamiji’s Samadhi once again and took his blessings. Breakfast was given to all before leaving the Samadhi. The buses left for Kolhapur for darshan of goddess Mahalakshmi.
The grace of Mahalakshmi was experienced as we had the privilege of a special entry to the sanctum of goddess. So also Maha Prasad was served to all at the Annachatra without having to stand in line for the same.
We then returned to Mumbai with two stops in between for tea and snacks. We reached back home at 12:15am. Parents were eagerly waiting to collect their children.
The four day camp gave us an opportunity to observe the students closely. It was nice to see that the students were very adjusting and had no demands. They were generally very happy and did not seem to miss their home and parents. Some students were dependent for their personal needs and had to be given personal attention. Most of them had bladder and bowel control save for one or two incidences there was no case of bedwetting, although many had taken precaution by spreading plastic sheets on their mattresses. It was also observed that some students remained awake till very late in the night before falling to sleep. They showed preferences to sleeping next to either their own friends or a teacher of their liking. But when told to sleep along with the teachers who were responsible for them they relented.
Many of the students are very sensitive and emotional. During the long hours of bus journey we got to interact with some of the students and got a glimpse of their mental and emotional state. They shared many personal thoughts with us which was very touching. The fact that these students too can feel, think and worry about their parents and family was an eye opener. At Pune when a skit was being presented by the volunteers at Pune, our students got totally involved in the drama and some students started crying as they understood the theme of the skit. The other students started consoling them both and started crying along with them.
Very firm handling and teachers alertness was required to note the behavior of the students and correct them whenever needed. Some were stubborn and wanted to have their own way.
Studnets need an outlet and opportunity to express themselves freely and help them to become emotionally strong. There are many things we do not know about our students and this type of outing brings us close to them and helps us to understand them better.