RKM Deomali

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Started Arunachal Pradesh Yatra by visit to Ramakrishna Mission School (RKM), Narrottam Nagar. It is a few kms away from Deomali, district Tirap in east of Arunachal. School is in the midst of nowhere with forests on all sides and a river flowing on school boundary. U see children of Middle Level school - clicked when they were headed for morning Assembly.

As you enter is the Administration building. U see father and son, both tribal''s. Read words at bottom of pic. Some talk about India''s great past but today we have a lot of catching up to do. So let us move forward and do better than what our ancestors did. School started in 1972. Has about 400 students of whom 130 are day scholars. Class is 1-12th.

At the rear side of the admin building is image of Ganesha. He is invoked before the commencement of any good action (in this case virtual tour of RKM school) and is considered to be the remover of obstacles and master of knowledge and achievement. Class 11-12 is only for science students. Did Yatra in Sept 2013.

Whilst walking around one of the prayer halls / students dormitories saw this amazing picture of the first disciples of Swami Vivekananda and the Swami himself. So inspiring.

In Sept sun rises at about 5 am. Students are up for a routine of yoga, running, exercise - the drill varies with the class. Students doing Yoga exercise. Students in junior classes say 1have, expectedly, quite a problem getting up so early. School is affiliated to C.B.S.E board.

Post Yoga students run round a huge playground and then sit on this stand in Mahavir Stadium. Notice the words of Swamiji on Mahavir and Hanumanji with hill Sanjeevani. "When Lakshmana fell unconscious, near death, hit by an arrow from Ravana’s son Meghnad, Hanuman approached the Lankan Royal Physician Sushena for advice. Sushena asked Hanuman to rush to Dronagiri Hills and fetch 4 plants. Hanuman, not able pick the 4 from the multitude, brought back the entire hill." Of the 4 Sanjeevani is said to be the most imp since it brought back Lakshmana to life. To read more Click Here

Senior students going through morning exercise. During the year 2011-12, 171 students from Tirap got scholarship from the Mission and State Govt.

Next is to get ready for breakfast. School has a centralized kitchen that makes meals for over 400 children. U see cook stirring some vegetables. Veggies are grown within school complex and supplied to kitchen.

This is the oven. Bread is places on trays and then placed inside the oven by the person whom you see. They bake their own bread as well.

School has steam cookers to make rice. Water being removed from the steam cooker. Kitchen not as clean as the ISKCON hi tech kitchen in Mumbai but good enough for a school.To see pics of ISKCON kitchen Click Here

School has cows so milk is sourced inhouse. School has an indoor Swasti hospital with 30 beds, X-ray and Pathological tests are done. The mobile medical unit serves nearby villages thrice a week.

This is where the morning Assembly is held. Students stands on both sides of the corridor with the Principal in the centre (u can see Swamiji standing there). I reached late (was busy walking around coffee plantation in the campus). This bldg was designed by a Mumbai based architect in the 1970''s.

Next moved around the classrooms. All of them were clean, neat with lots of sun. U see class of junior students. I always tried to take natural poses - let not students know I was clicking.

Another class in session. Note painting on wall behind. Students lucky to be in a school with so many trees - envy them.

There is a separate tabla learning room. When we entered about ten students were learning the tabla.

Took this evening during evening round of classrooms. On right of pic is Manish Maharaj, Vice-Principal of the school. He is from Maharashtra, been in Arunachal for about 10 years and a very dynamic person.

A close up of boys in the classroom. Found children to be very well behaved, full of energy with loads of positive attitude.

Next walked into the Arts room. Teacher showed us latest work of students.

A few kms away from the school is the Sarada Palli Vikas Prakalpa (women development project). Ladies come here and weave lower garment ie worn locally. It is called Gale.

A lady doing embroidery work.

Close by are three temples dedicated to Lord Shiva amongst others. The sky and clouds look beautiful.

Close to the temple is the Ma Sarada Kindergarten. U see children there. It is for class 1 to 5. Most of the kids I saw were very very sweet.

When we entered a classroom Manish Maharaj would ask children what do you want to become - doctor, engineer, IAS officer, MLA and so on. In pic question was asked how many of you want to become a doctor - see the number of hands that went up.

Road from school to Deomali - very green, dense forests.

In the senior section school ie 11-12th. Has a physics, chemistry and biology laboratory for students. U see students in one such lab.

In the computer room. I was very impressed with the infrastructure and hope that the school gets broadband soon because the Net opens the world for you.

Students in the physics laboratory. I was impressed by the facilities here, some effort to create and make it work here.

I next visited the Poultry section. Never been to one so found it more fascinating. U see hens - these are the ones that give eggs.

Above is where the hens are kept. Droppings of the hen fall on the ground that u see. It is collected and then used as a fertilizer in agricultural farm.

While wandering in the area outside the school saw this tree. The plant is a banana. It is not to eat but for decorative purpose only.

Coming back to the poultry u see chickens taking their daily feed. Each chicken is about 6-8 kgs the largest have ever seen. These chickens are to be eaten. Was surprised that the school serves non-veg say chicken, eggs etc. I was told that non-veg food is very much part of local diet so had to be incorporated in menu.

Went to Deomali town. U see an image of Buddha in a local temple. Also went to a highly revered Shiva temple. My camera battery got over when we reached there so could not click.

Around 4 ish children go to play football. The game is like the State sport. Every school went to saw kids play football. The school has a huge football field.

Between school and Deomali saw these tea gardens that are part of the school complex. There is an image of Lord Shiva that you see in the centre. School grows tea and coffee as well. During 2011-12 10,181 kg of tea and 2,289 kg of coffee were produced in school complex.

Close to the school is the kutiya or home of the Secretary Maharaj. It is on the banks of a river, very peaceful place and has a Meditation Hall for the Swamis. Loved the place. Perfect for dhyan and study.

Children are also served fish. School has a fish farm that you see. Close to this is a Dhobi who washes clothes for younger students and irons clothes for all.

At one end of the Mahavir Stadium is this image of Swami Vivekananda. Building behind is school. A man is known by the legacy he leaves behind, by the people he inspires. Swamiji has inspired millions. My guide P G Dodum added that such inspiration has also generated employment for millions thru schools and ashrams.

In the evening the children have a prarthana session - there are different prayer halls for children based on primary, middle level etc.

A close up of the images of Sri Ramakrishna, Ma Sarada and Swamiji. Right of pic a child plays musical instrument. Centre of pic children with harmonium and chant prayer.

The school also has a Museum. You see some fishes for eg Starfish - it is found locally. There are lots of fishes, snakes, tribes in local dress and so on. Impressive collection.

This is the primary section hall. Benches for students for study post class. On right is their dormitory. In centre boards with pictures are used to make it simple for children to understand.

Post prarthana say 7.30 ish children do evening study ie when I took this pic. Kids loved to be photographed - they have so much of energy that it was difficult for me to get them together without jostling of hands and click a pic. I must learn to click good pics when kids are in such a mood.

Dormitory for primary section children. I liked it so much, could not resist lying on the bed for a few minutes.

We reached school around 8.15 pm. I headed straight to the dining hall. Students of lower classes sit on benches while higher ones sit on table, chair as you shall see. Children wash their plates after finishing the meal.

School has a huge dining hall. U see students enjoying a meal. Place very clean and well maintained. Did not see students spill food on to the table or ground. When we sat to eat we were served non-veg. I was taken aback but later on told that chicken, fish is part of local diet hence served in school as well, a couple of times a week.

This is the playground that forms part of the Mahavir Stadium. Building is school and in centre is image of Swami Vivekananda that you saw earlier. Children run around this ground every morning as part of the early morning drill. Complex is very green, lots of trees.

Enroute to Deomali from Dibrugarh is Tinsukia. U see Ganapati celebrations there - main market.

You see brain of an elephant in the school museum. Really big na.

After dinner students study for about an hour. Children study quietly, in some cases found students studying even though the teacher was not present at that moment - gone to washroom. Like in RKM Narainpur, Bastar found students to be very sincere and interested in studying - making a future for themselves. To see pics of RKM Bastar Click here

A group picture of students. On right of pic is Swami Supradiptananda, Vice Principal of school, left is class teacher.

Group of young boys studying in evening. In this case their dormitory is just behind.

You see Swami Gitatmananda, Secretary in charge of the school. I was very impressed with the school administrative office and the Secretary''s office as well. It is like any usual office - computer, printer, net connectivity, chairs etc. The key difference however, is that work is done with a bhavna of Service to Humanity and selfless service.

The school organises Cultural Events from time to time. This board gives you details of a Music Festival organised to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. To see pics of Mayavati Ashram Kumaon where Swamiji stayed Click Here

The next three pics are provided by the school. At a program on Indian Classical Music you see a student dressed as Buddha, in a meditative pose.

Various Yoga Asanas are done on a regular basis. This asana was done during one of the sports day events. Really tough. Pic given by RKM. To see pics of Yoga Asanas with instructions how they must be done Click Here

Students at a sports function. Pic given by school. To see pictures of Children of Arunachal Pradesh Click Here

Coffee seeds in the plantation that forms part of the school complex. School provides quarters to all teachers. Most if not all quarters have a TV Dish antenna. Teachers come from various parts of the country. Really admire them for coming and working in such a distant place. One teacher is from Yavatmal, Maharashtra. Can you think of the number of days it takes to reach the school from Yavatmal. First to Kolkatta, Gauhati, Dibrugarh and then Deomali. Ishwar saab teachers ko aashirwad dee.

In one of the prarthna halls. I am so impressed and happy after seeing the school, quality of education imparted to students. If you wish to support the school with a donation please email Manish Maharaj supradiptananda@gmail.com or call at 03786 255230, 255237. School site is www.rkmnarottamnagar.org

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