When you dissect every single aspect of life, you will notice how a good family environment beautifully trains a child’s senses. Believing on these lines, a Bengaluru woman started a wonderful initiative that is helping children to stay connected to their roots and become emotionally strong.
In a heart-warming conversation with Life Beyond Numbers, the founder of Gurukulam, Divyaa Doraiswamy tells us why it is essential to stay connected to our roots, chant shlokas and what prompted her to start this global initiative.
“India is not short of music schools, dance schools, art schools or yoga schools. So why not an online shloka school to keep our traditional roots in place and keep our children abreast of our cultural traditions?,” asks Divyaa.
After completing her Masters in Economics, 37-years-old Divyaa worked as a branch head for a software company and was a writer for a start-up before starting Gurukulam, a mobile Sanskrit shloka school, on October 20, 2014.
“It is a self-funded initiative. We work all 7 days a week and work US Timings, UK Timings and mostly as an after-school activity for kids in India. It is the first of its kind shloka school and all our classes are done through Skype and Whatsapp videos. We cater to kids of India and students across the globe – US, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland,” says Divyaa.
Why teach shlokas to kids?
Not one, but there are numerous benefits of chanting shlokas as it improves concentration, reduces violence and anger among children, helps them to think in a positive manner for self and for others. Here, kids as little as 2-year olds learn shlokas with their mothers, so that they can also help them practice the study at home.
On weekdays, Divyaa’s daily routine includes waking up at 5 am to start her classes with the kids in Canada, US, and for students of India (3-8:30 pm) and for UK children (9-10pm). Between the classes, she takes out time for herself as well. She constantly works on the lesson plans to improve it, read on various topics, swim and pray to keep herself busy till afternoon.
At Gurukulam, the classes are actually happy interactive sessions for kids and their parents. “This makes them want to come back for more every time. At times, the sessions take place by the poolside, garden or anywhere that brings a smile to a child’s face.
Divyaa teaches kids with special needs as well – be it autism, ADHD or speech difficulty. “It is less of a study and more of a therapy for them. You have to try it to believe it,” she says.
Children teach you that KINDNESS matters
For Divyaa, success is happiness. “The very thought that I am able to influence a child’s life and contribute to their development brings me immense joy.” Also, kindness is something she has learned from children.
While talking to LBN, she says, “Learning is a constant process and everyday children teach me something new and I believe, it is only because of them, I have become a better individual. While patience is something that I learn every day from teaching a child, the kids also teach me how to be kind and compassionate.”
Shambhavi Ananthaswamy, whose son attends Gurukulam says, “It is one of its kind online shloka classes and I am very happy that my son is part of it. I hope that for my child, this little beginning will turn out to be an exciting learning experience.”
Mohit Jain, CEO of a startup, says that he strongly recommends learning of ancient shlokas as “it has a powerful influence on our wellbeing.”
To book a class for your kids, click here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“When we started the school four years back, there were 6 kids and now there are 50 kids. Even though we are small, but we are growing well. Thanks to parents who continue to believe in us and enroll their kids here. By 2020, we are planning to reach out to 100 kids,” says Divyaa.
But, four years back, her life was anything but easy. “To run an initiative single-handedly requires immense courage and discipline. I did have doubts about whether to return to the corporate sector or teach children. But, after being with these children for 5 years, I just want to continue teaching them shlokas and GURUKULAM is definitely here to stay!”