Hi, I am Ranjini, alumni of UGM School, Edayanchavadi. Now I’m working as Software Engineer in a reputed Multinational IT company in Chennai. I feel so proud to say that I studied in UGM School which is formed to fulfill the wishes of Mother and Sri Aurobindo. I would like to share some of my memories and valuable learning’s that was provided to me by UGM School.
I studied in UGM School from LKG to 10th standard. Those 12 years (1991 to 2003) not only gave me academic knowledge and physical training but also showed me the path to travel towards the spiritual development in human life. Spiritual activities in school increased concentration level, lead to self inner study and this in turn helped in self control which is a great quality required for each and every human.
I started learning meditation from morning school prayers. Aruljothi anna my Tamil teacher taught slokas to boost up meditation practice. I’m following this meditation practice in my day today life. I do meditation both morning & evening, and say slokas whenever I feel confused or in dilemma taking decisions. This practice is helping me to avoid diversions by increasing concentration & consciousness, and thus taking right decision. Also this practice helps to avoid third persons thought rule over the mind and to see the rights and wrongs in their suggestions.
UGM School gave a chance of learning more things other than Annual syllabus by providing library facility with books on Mythology, Epics, Novels, Science, GK, Moral story, and books written by Mother, Sri Aurobindo and many other famous authors. Teachers taught right and wrong, good and bad by narrating parts of Ramayana & Mahabharata the great Indian epics and moral stories. This helps me to live with human ethical values.
Teachers were not simply dumping the education just for scoring marks and they did not force or gave pressure on students to study. Their method of teaching created interest in us to learn the subject. For example I would like to mention Pankaj anna’s method of teaching. Pankaj anna took History & Civics subjects for my class. First he would teach a lesson and at the end of the period give some written home work. Next day he used to split the class into 4 or 5 groups and assign topics from the lesson for group discussion study for 10 min. duration. After 10 min. the leaders of a group ask questions to others from that topic and later Pankaj anna ask questions to leaders. This was continued until we learned the lesson thoroughly. The whole class enjoyed this way of studying and performed well in exams without putting more efforts for preparation. I also learned group discussion from Pankaj anna’s teaching method. One more interesting thing happened in Mathematics class. Josphin akka, my mathematics teacher would put some puzzles or reasoning questions on our classroom notice board. Students who voluntarily solved those puzzles were appreciated and gifted with chocolates. That type of activity created an interest in me to solve mathematic puzzles and reasoning questions, which helped me to clear the 1st round in campus interview. Teachers also arranged for many entertainment activities to keep us active. School provided excellent Lab facility to do scientific experiments from our books practically.
My teachers would always appreciate at right time, motivate us to achieve further, stimulate us to find our dreams and show us the ways to achieve it. For instance, when I was in UKG, a test was conducted to write numbers from 1 to 10. But I wrote up to 100, which was yet to be taught by my teacher for that term. I learnt it from my cousin while doing my homework and showed my extra performance in test. When teacher evaluated my test paper, she appreciated me by giving chocolate and asked the class to give a huge round of applause. That was my most unforgettable event in my life which made me to like mathematics. In succeeding years, I started to love mathematics and scored 100 out of 100 many times. During my 1st standard, I remember my Mathematics cum English teacher Sudakar anna wanted to know our ambition and asked “What do you want to become when you are grown up?” At that time, I was in assumption that one should have good problem solving skill in mathematics to become an Engineer, so my interest towards mathematics made me to tell him that I want to become an Engineer and now this has become true in my life.
I attended drawing class from Kindergarten to 9th standard. I still continue this drawing practice. When I do some creative drawing it brings happiness and peace to my mind.
School provided extracurricular activities like music, dance, tailoring, carpentry and clay work. For 2 years I learned music from Sangarabaranan anna. I had sung devotional songs during daily Morning Prayer and also performed few stage performances in school programs. Even though I’m not using my musical knowledge now, it had helped me to overcome my stage fear. Later during my last 2 years, I joined tailoring class. Sumathi akka was my tailoring teacher. She not only taught tailoring but also taught students how to live with discipline and motivated to study well. I had participated embroidery competition held in Pondicherry for the year 2002-2003 and won 1st prize. I learnt to stitch dresses and now I’m able to stitch my own dress.
Cleanliness is part of health. My school taught me the importance of cleanliness by involving us directly for 45mins ‘School Maintenance’ class per week. We had cleaned our own class room, inside school compound and outside school compound. We also involved in gardening works like planting, watering and removing unwanted plants.
I got a chance to play many sports in one place that is UGM School. I had played Volley Ball, Basket Ball, Base Ball, Badminton, shuttle cork, Table tennis, Ko Ko, Kabadi, King Ball and also had athletics. Even though these games are not part of my life nowadays, warm up exercises which I learned from my school helps to keep myself fit.
Udavi which means help is not only there in the school name. It is given in many ways to the students of this school. Now I could see the surrounding areas have developed due to good improvement in employment in Auroville. But when I was studying many parents were not able to provide proper food and good dress to their kids. UGM School provided bread and milk for breakfast, healthy lunch and snacks or juice in evening after sports. From LKG to 6th Uniform were also provided by the school with laundry facility. They also provided all stationary items regularly. All these were provided for free of cost with very less tuition fee. I remember my LKG tuition fee per month was Rs.5 and 10th tuition Fee per month was Rs.70. Udavi school also helped many students for their higher studies. When my parents faced some problem in paying my 3rd year college fee it was UGM School which helped me at that time by giving scholarship from school fund. For a strong building the foundation should be laid strongly. Like that UGM School had laid a strong foundation for knowledge development and disciplined life into me. Now I’m having complete self confidence that I can handle any situation in my life, only because of my UGM School.
I wish more students should cherish the fruits in UGM School. As in Udavi School logo, School’s PROGRESS should be ENDLESS PROGRESS with Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s blessings and guidance.
— K.Ranjini (student of Udavi from 1991 to 2003)