On 26 January 2020, Acharya Shri Chandanaji, affectionately known as ‘Tai Maa’, turned 84. Her birthday was celebrated at the various Veerayatan Centres worldwide. In Rajgir, free eye camps were organised over one week for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
She has touched millions of people of all walks of life! Tai Maa is not your typical hero. A radiant face, loving eyes, giving hands, a fragile figure clad in simple white clothing, showering love to one and all. She renounced worldly pleasures and took her religious vows of non-violence, compassion and truthfulness at the tender age of 14. She has devoted her entire life to her guiding motto, “Compassion in Action”, relentlessly pursuing causes that transform lives.
So what makes Tai Maa so extraordinary? What are the qualities of Tai Maa which we should try and imbibe in us? To find out
I felt humbled and grateful to have received all your wishes, my heart is still smiling and i am touched beyond words. Thank you all for your kind wishes. Love one and all.
- With blessings, Tai Maa
For glimpses of Tai Maa's birthday celebrations, Watch Video
The children of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir, Palitana welcomed with open arms our special guest Gurudev Rakeshbhai Javeri. The children showed their best talent performing various dances and they had the biggest smiles ever seen!
The school buzzed with energy, enthusiasm, love and happiness. Our guests saw and appreciated the hard work that has gone into making this outstanding holistic school in what we call “Heaven on earth”.
With the blessings of Tai Maa, we are pleased to announce our fourth Volunteer Programme trip. For those aged 15-22 , why not avail yourself of this excellent opportunity to go to India and do voluntary work in Rajgir with Veerayatan, a leading NGO to aid self-development and assist you with your further education applications. The perfect way to spend part of summer!
The participants will be international with a limit on numbers for each programme to maximise the benefits for participants. The dates for this year’s programme are 24 July to 8 August 2020.
This is an article written by Anish Shah, 14 years of age who participated in the volunteer programmes in both 2018 and 2019 and was inspired by what Tai Maa said, that ‘In friendship, we must give if we want to take.'
Read Anish’s thoughts on giving back and be inspired.....
Veerayatan’s work for the past 50 years has had a dramatic impact on thousands of lives without any discrimination as to cast, creed or religion. Transforming lives, building futures – here is the story of one such student, Malek Aslam Khan, who has experienced this at Veerayatan Kutch.
Aslam comes from a very challenging Muslim family. His father is illiterate and sells tea here and there from a bicycle in the market of Surender Nagar. Aslam is a bright student studying for a Bachelor of Engineering qualification, specializing in Mechanical engineering and now in his 5th Semester. He stays on Veerayatan Kutch campus and actively participates in various extracurricular activities.
However, he has special passion for Robotics and is aspiring to do research in the field of Robotics. Noticing this amazing talent of Aslam, Veerayatan has decided to fully support him both financially and through opening various doors to allow Aslam to get the necessary experience. Aslam has been very successful in winning awards for the College in various Intercollege Robotics competitions.
We wish him every success for his bright future and that he can excel in this developing field.
Communal harmony is inculcated by celebrating all the festivals fondly whether it is Holi, Diwali, Christmas, Eid, Paryushan etc. Navratri and Uttarayan (kite flying), being the most vibrant and colourful of festivals, are celebrated on a huge scale in Gujarat. This year, students of Veerayatan Vidyapeeth were gifted with colourful kites and celebrated the festival in style and with much excitement. And the icing on the cake was the delicious Gulab Jamun and Undhiyo that was served for lunch. It was a wonderful day for the students which they thoroughly enjoyed!
The annual sports day was organized for the school students when they participated in various inter-class competitions. Winners were awarded prizes and trophies.
Students of Veerayatan Vidyapeeth are coached regularly for wrestling. Every year, they bring laurels for the school by participating in’ Khelmahakumbh’ - the annual sports event organized by Gujarat Government. This year the students of Veerayatan Vidyapeeth did extremely well and three students won Gold, seven Silver and 5 students won Bronze medals in various age categories in District Level Wrestling Competition. One of the students, Khalifa Sadab, won the State Level Champion and is now going to represent Gujarat and compete shortly for National Level Wrestling Competition in Delhi.
Many congratulations to all and we all wish Khalifa Sadab best of luck for the upcoming competitions!
All 275 school children of Tirthankar Mahavir Vidya Mandir and the staff of Shri Adinath Netralay (eye hospital) visited Rishabh Rajya in Adhpur, Palitana. A temporary yet very beautiful place has been created with great effort and dedication depicting the glory of Jainism from the time of Adinath Bhagwan until the independence of India and acknowledging the contribution of all the Jains through time. Everyone enjoyed the Darshan and Prashad and the blessings from Acharya Shri Yashovarma Suriji. Children were given the opportunity to recite the Namokar Mantra. Acharya Shri Yashovarma Suriji introduced and appreciated Veerayatan’s dedicated contribution to society.
We are very pleased to announce that the school in Sanchore is now expanding. The new extension of the school building has been completed and was recently opened in the presence of Sadhvi Sanghamitraji and Sadhvi Chetnaji. There are 260 children in the school up to Standard 6 and standard 7 classes will commence from June 2020. There was also a foundation laying ceremony for a temple within the campus.
The children and teachers of Shri Chandana Vidyapeeth (SCVP) Jain School celebrated Christmas with the children of Dada Community Centre (a charitable children’s home), adopted by SCVP. SCVP children had organised a book collection a week before this visit and the books which had been donated were beautifully wrapped and given as presents to the children at the Dada centre by Santa! It was one big great party which everyone enjoyed very much!
The importance of ‘giving’ is instilled in children attending SCVP from a young age. The children organised a bake sale on the last day of the first term to raise funds to sponsor a Masaai orphan child’s secondary education for 4 years. The students proactively and enthusiastically planned the sale of cakes and they all did amazingly well!
Well done all the children of SCVP, you are so generous!
We celebrated Tai Maa's birthday by appreciating her numerous virtues and admirable qualities with a promise to imbibe and put into practice at least a few of them. There was also singing ‘happy birthday’ and Prabhavna of cup cakes
The older children were given a word from nature and were required to compare attributes of these elements eg mountain, a bee, the rising sun, the sky, fire etc from nature with what they see in Acharyashriji. There was very good clarity of thought, team work and good presentations from the children. The youngest group, aged only 4 and a half to 7 years, watched a small clip from ‘ Never Before’, the movie depicting the life of Tai Maa. The children then shared the qualities that they admire and lastly made a hand tree on which they wrote down one quality of Tai Maa. The middle years classes made bookmarks depicting several values of Acharya Chandanaji which they had observed whilst watching the movie, "Never Before".
SCVP London devoted the class held on 24 January entirely to celebrating Tai Maa's birthday. There was a special extral long assembly conducted by the children to SCVP in which they all spoke eloquently about the following qualities of Tai Maa: Her resolve and determination, fearlessness, resilience, love and humility. This was followed by watching a video on Harikeshiya school and Tai Maa's thoughts which inspired her to start this school. Finally the youngest children were given the opportunity to show the birthday cards which they had so lovingly prepared for Tai Maa. To mark this occasion the school organised a collection of toys for a local children's hospice.
What are the key ingredients for a happier relationship? Why relationships are important for happiness?
To find the answers look no further and come to our creative, interactive workshops run by Shaileen Shah, Happiness Coach, Speaker and Trainer on 14 and 28 Feb.
For more information, please contact Shaileenbhai on 07900 137 566
A great opportunity for young children (ages 5-7 year olds and 8-11 year olds) to learn about Jain religion in a fun and interactive manner during the February mid-term break, making new friends and cultivating moral values.
For further information, please contact Sonal Udani: 07956363215 or Bakul Shah: 07917708370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the date for SCVP’s annual fun-packed family fun day – this will take place on 21 March and will be the perfect opportunity to get together and enjoy great home made food, play games and arts and crafts and enjoy plenty of entertainment. Make sure you don’t miss this fun filled extravaganza themed around Bollywood.
For more information contact Bakul Shah: tel 07917708370