November 3, 2011
School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri
Undergraduate students of the Department of Commerce and Management at Amritapuri celebrated Diwali this year in style. They hosted Jyotirgamaya, a grand celebration for kids from the neighborhood, aged 8-18.
Below is the program report prepared by Kannachazhath Anilkumar Akhil and Megha Chattopadhyay, both second-year students of BBM (Bachelor of Business Management).
Fifty-two children of the neighbourhood community were invited to celebrate the true spirit of Diwali with us, some fifty student volunteers from BCom and BBM classes. Our faculty members joined us for the interaction with the village kids which was suffused with love and care.
We began early, at 7:30 am, with a prayer followed by group chanting. Brni. Jisha led a short meditation for the children. Brni. Meera spoke to them next, about the values they should hold dear in their lives.
“Developing good qualities must begin at home,” she emphasized. “One should show respect to one’s parents; all other good qualities will follow if we develop this one good quality.”
Reminding the children that they had infinite power within them, she said, “We should harness that power and live a life that is useful to people around us.”
Praising the Amrita students for choosing to spend their Diwali bringing happiness to the village children, she said that their action truly symbolized the spirit of Diwali and the triumph of goodness within us.
“It may be that only in Amrita we can see students making such choices,” she reiterated. “I am proud of our students.”
“It is time to remove the darkness of ignorance within us and replace it with the light of hope and knowledge instead,” she told the village kids and the college students.
During the rest of the day participants strove to do just that, as they whole-heartedly took part in games, musical chairs, video shows, crafts and arts sessions and story-telling. The college students narrated inspiring life stories of several successful people who came from very humble backgrounds.
After relishing a sumptuous feast, the children presented plays, some of them based on life stories they had just heard. “It was very inspiring to see the children perform with great confidence,” noted K.A. Akhil, BBM student.
Among the village children were Megha Asokan, Anuraj, Haritha and Aswathi Balan. “We participated in an event like this for the very first time in our lives; this was our best Diwali ever,” they together shared.
But the day was not over. The best was yet to come. As the sun set, the children were led to the open university grounds where they celebrated the festival of light with crackers and sparklers. When the children finally bid good bye to us, several eyes shone with tears of love.
For us students, Jyotirgamaya paved the way to gaining a new perspective on life; one that will help us accept and appreciate people from humble backgrounds.