Akshara is the education arm that runs Sri Krishna Sevashram Nursery & Primary School. The medium of instruction is English & most of the children are first generation learners. The SRI KRISHNA SEVASHRAM NURSERY & PRIMARILY SCHOOL, a Tamilnadu Government Approved School which has now completed 8 years since its inception has a modern building with individual class rooms for Classes L.K.G. to Std. V. The school has a facility for 200 students as per the approval, but currently has a strength of 80 students from the local and nearby villages. The students are all provided with the necessary school uniforms, books and other educational aids and have now begun to learn the basics of computer education.
The school has three honorary staff besides fully paid staff numbering six qualified teachers. Yoga, Karate and art sessions have been introduced as extra-curricular activities at the school for the children to have a holistic development. The school follows the syllabus as prescribed by the Tamilnadu State Matriculation Board and the students are admitted to nearby Govt. Schools after passing out of Class V based on their Transfer Certificates. The outgoing students have no difficulty in transitioning to a new school and are fully prepared for further schooling and mostly there are no dropouts.
The primary aim is to provide the initial foundation for a student to get them prepared to excel in the areas of education and aspirations of a child, without being subjected to the harsh reality of high cost of education and nutrition, and this is well taken care of by the school.
The student to teacher ratio is 1:15 and this adequately ensures proper guidance and care is given to motivate every child to improve their basic education. The school has a very good mix of both boys and girls in equal proportion and is well patronised by the local villagers who wish to educate their children, mostly first-generation learners. Books & other essentials are given at a concessional rate & a nominal fee is charged.Educated members of the local community are employed as teachers after they are trained. The children are given a freshly prepared midday meal, from the Community Kitchen on all working days. The children are also periodically medically checked by a visiting doctor. The school is currently housed in a land area of 4000 sq.ft with a Proper RCC Roof Building with Toilet and wash facilities and a playpen area of 2000 sq.ft. within the Ashram compound. The School has an open-door policy and admission is not restricted by religion, caste or creed. The students’ profile is mostly from the backward and under privileged sections of the society, which in essence is the spirit of the Ashram and its founder.
The Vision is to improve upon the school facility to upgrade it to Class X for which there would be a need to add the infrastructure and teaching faculty. This would soon happen to avoid displacement of the children after class V and keep a check on the education and continuity.
The Skill Development initiative of Sri Krishna Sevashram started free tailoring classes for rural/illiterate women in the community to empower them financially. This initiative commenced in July 2017 and Anubhava has completed training 6 batches of women. As a part of our rural women empowerment initiative, illiterate rural women are given free tailoring tuitions and we teach them to make various products to enable them to earn while they learn. These bags have received tremendous support from good hearted samaritans and is a boost in our arm, encouraging us to work harder. In line with this, we started project “Eco-friendly cloth bags” to produce vegetable bags, tamboolam bags etc. The bags are designed in-house, stitched by a few women trained at the Skill Development Centre and at present generates a modest income for them. This initiative aims to induct more women from the community into this project and help them gain a level of financial independence. Apart from this, regular classes in Computer basics and spoken English are conducted free of charge for young adults, especially during the summer months in the form of a free summer camp. We also maintain a mini library of story books to encourage the reading habit in the rural children.
In the year 2000 a weaving centre was started. The aim of the unit was to train a couple of girls of the village through weaving a saree leading to employment opportunities later outside. A main weaver with the assistance of the two trainees were provided with three looms and nearly 9 sarees were weaved per week. Close to almost one thousand sarees were woven by this centre that was sold to ashram members and their friends in about six years.
Annapurna is our initiative to let no person go hungry. Annapurna kitchen provides daily free lunch to the school children and also the staff working there on all working days. The scheme also accommodates the occasional visitor of the ashram if they happen to be present during the lunch time. The vision is to make the kitchen a 24/7 open one & to provide food to anyone who comes to Sri Krishna Sevashram.
In the late sixties and early seventies, Smt Vasantha Lakshminarayanan with a group of like- minded friends provided daily free meals to a colony of individuals affected by leprosy in New Delhi. After she moved to Sriperumpudur, an Annadanam scheme was started in the year 2004. The Annapurna hall was built in 2005 and an Annapurna idol was consecrated in the hall. Earlier Annadanam was given every fourth sunday of the month catering to about 200 people of the village. Annadhanam was also given on special days preferred by members on anniversaries and days of their choice as and when they requested. Currently Annadanam is done by the Ashram once a year for 600-700 people.
Aarogya is the health service arm of the Ashram. Regular medical camps by NGOs & other doctor groups are held. The Medical centre was duly inaugurated in 2003. We also had a resident doctor earlier who dispensed free medicines & gave free consultation. Dr.Pitchumani who was working with a local hospital in Sriperumbudur dedicated himself to the ashram and had been attending the centre ever since its inception. He used to visit the centre daily and attend to patients till his passing on. Every month the Ashram would contribute to the medicines supplied to patients free of cost.
Doctors from the Sai Seva Trust come in voluntarily to check the patients both from the villages and school through medical check-ups. They have enabled a student to get an almost free surgery for heart valve at a hospital with minimum cost for medicines to the child. They first screened the ashram's school children and then extended it to people around the villages, screening them for diabetes, malnutrition, and other similar diseases.
The Medical centre had a few eye and ortho medical camps organized through rotary club that resulted in the club providing glasses, some wheel chairs, ortho chappals, tripods and artificial limbs to the needy. The camp also arranged for cataract operations. Nearly around 80 patients are issued with cards for regular treatment and more than 500 patients are listed and issued with cards for treatment as and when required. Sai Seva Trust supplies the medicines free prescribed by their doctors. Patients with serious illness are referred to a nearby hospital by them and are treated almost free with minimum cost for medicines.
ASTHA Spiritual Development is as important to a person as are education & skills. The Ashram has two temples and a meditation hall open to all. Daily & special pujas are performed on a regular basis and meditation sessions are also conducted. The meditation hall is open to anyone who wishes to experience some quiet peaceful moments.
The faith and inner visions of Vasanthamma resulted in her moving to the little mud hut way back in 1993 and later on moving to the three-room complex built in April 1994 to accommodate her and the lord through her own little funds along with the support of her few close relatives who had faith in her visions. With the designs and shape of the building that came to her from time to time the construction of the main temple complex started in 1995, carried through various stages of financial constraints of construction till 1998, it progressed slowly getting the intermittent support of the family, friends and unknown quarters and fuelled by her never say die attitude and her belief.
The main temple housing the various idols and Dyana Mandapam was consecrated through Sthapana Homams and various Poojas associated with it. The Ashram was blessed by the visit of H.H.The Kanchi Kamakoti Peetathipathi Sri.Sri.Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal along with H.H.Sri.SriSri.Vijayendra Saraswathy Swamigal in the year 1999.
In addition to the daily poojas special poojas are conducted on all Karthikai, Thaipoosam and other important festival days. Group Poojas are conducted on Navarathri, Deepavali and Aksahya Thritheeyai days of the year. The Akshaya Thrithiya is celebrated as the Ashram's Anniversary day with Poojas and visits of all members available at that time.