Projects and Activities
Sri Aurobindo emphasized that education should be in accordance with the needs of modern life. In other words, education should create dynamic citizens so that they are able to meet the needs of modern complex life. He also mentioned that physical development is one of the chief aims of education.
Activities Isai Ragam
- Computer classes (typing and word, power point, excel, photoshop etc.)
- Mathematics classes
- English conversation classes
- Bharata Natyam (classical) and folk dance classes (girls)
- Street dance classes (boys)
- Music classes (guitar and keyboard/piano)
- Supporting some higher studies for youth
- Support school homework classes to village children
- Workshop in handicrafts etc
- In holiday summer we organize a tour
Some facts & observations
- We have 120 children totally. Their ages range from 6 to 18 years old.
- We work at 5 locations of which 4 are in the colonies and 1 in the village.
- Classes are from Monday till Friday from 6 – 8pm and in the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, during the entire day.
- The aim of the project is that children can improve their skills for English, computer and mathematics, while also learning music and dance which is good for the development of the brain.
- Participation in music and dance programs will give them confidence and self-esteem.
- Science tells us that if children have a good skill of memorizing things and do that in combination with their physical body (like through music and dance), they can memorize much faster and keep the memory much longer.
- The idea behind the computer course is to provide them with practical skills which can be useful for their future schooling and studies.
- In regular secondary schools in Tamil Nadu, English conversation classes are missing (reading and writing are taught without practicing the language). We hope to contribute something which is useful for their higher studies and communicating in general.
- Currently we have 4 children following piano lessons by Aurovilian Shakti in the Auroville Samasti community. Two of them were proudly playing piano during the Christmas celebration organised by Shakti for Auroville children in 2021.
- Ivar and Brigitte are not taking any maintenance or salary from Isai Ragam. As Aurovilians, they are voluntary workers who voluntarily organise and manage the project, while also teaching the children English and music, together with (paid) local teachers.
- During the corona lockdowns there were more classes as regular schools were closed.
Before officially starting off with Isai Ragam in July 2021, we went through a process of determining the locations and activities. The locations chosen belong to the local people whom we know already for a long time from earlier activities. At times we had to do some improvements of the buildings for which one part would be paid by Ivar and the other part by the owners of the houses concerned. We also adjusted some of the rooms to make it suitable for the children to study. At most of the locations we attached a big room so that the children are able to do dance activities.
Currently we use 5 locations in the colonies/villages close to Auroville:
- Kottakarai colony (2 locations)
- Kottakarai village
- Mahavirapuram colony
- Artjarampet colony
In each place all kids are welcome!
Future ideas & wish list
- Next to our current set-up we would hope to create some sport and playground facilities around the locations we have at present so that children can play outside. A badminton area would be a great bonus, also for other village children who could join and sport there.
- We would like to buy more second-hand laptops so as to enable computer classes in all locations.
- In order to teach music to larger groups of children we would need more musical instruments, like guitars, keyboards and melodica’s (a melodica is a handheld free-reed instrument similar to a pump organ or harmonica).
- For homework classes we need small wooden tables. Children can sit on ground with the table.
- Our children are dancing now for quite some time and we would like to start with professional dance dresses for performances.
- Children love to bicycle in their village. That’s why we would hope to provide cycles which the children can use. The cycles remain property of Isai Ragam and can be used by different kids.