The Half Yearly Alumni Meet was convened on the February 24 and 25, 2018 on Swami’s Divine command. This was the first of it’s kind, held six months after the Annual Alumni Meet held in October, 2017.
The morning session of the first day of the Half Yearly Meet, 2018 was held in Sri Sathya Sai Premamrutham Auditorium.The programme commenced with an introductory talk by Brother Praveen, the global Alumna Coordinator. He gave an insightful talk that centred on the origin of the Children for Sathya Sai, the importance of staying connected with each other as a community and also encouraged the outgoing students, the recent pass outs, in sharing their bit, to shoulder the responsibility, in being a part in Swami’s grand education mission. He also stressed on the necessity of having their fingerprints nailed on the Each One Educate One initiative which is about educating one brother / sister studying in any of Swami’s Institutions.
The next speaker was Sister Achintya whose talk centred on nourishing the growth of that special inner connect with Swami which is very necessary for life as Sai Students. Her talk highlighted a couple of her personal experiences with Swami that strengthened her faith and love for Swami.
The third speaker for the morning session was Brother Rajat, an alumna from the Sri Sathya Sai Sharadhaniketanam, Mandya Campus. Having passed out recently and having been a direct recipient of Swami’s Love, attention and Grace in this Subtle Form, he spoke with a lot of conviction on identification of his role in Swami’s Mission. He threw light on the fact as to how the little hearts from many of Swami’s campuses started saving money by cutting down on their expenditure for their little desires like ice-cream, chocolates, etc thus putting a Ceiling on desires for a noble cause. He asked the audience to draw inspiration from these enterprising and sincere young buds.
The last session was taken over by Brother Madhusudhan Naidu on the topic “Be the Change”. He began his talk by narrating an incident that dated back to his college days and how Swami Himself drove home the message to him that it was important to see each other as brother and sister. He thanked Swami for choosing him, allowing him to be a part of His grand and great mission. He insisted that entertaining the feeling of brotherhood is a key ingredient to sacrifice and that the spontaneity of sacrifice is a noble thought.
He quoted his own example of how Swami slowly and relentlessly made him experience different hardships during the construction of the Gulbarga campus and thereby derive many lessons. “You will not know the sacrifice of a father till you become a father”. Brother Madusudhan said that the experience had brought in him the understanding of the magnitude and seriousness of Swami’s Mission, the extent of effort that Swami invested in building these educational Institutions for bringing about transformation of the heart, right from a young age.
Swami always lives His life for our sake, he said. He told the students “You are special, because you are a student of Swami”. He reminded the audience of how Swami had clearly stated that, “While devotees from different parts of the globe support the huge infrastructure of Swami’s campuses, facilitating the manpower, sponsoring the education of the children studying in these Institutions and thereby carrying His Mission forward is the bounden duty of Swami’s students as a way of paying back to the society what they had received.”
Consistent efforts on staying focused on our goal, being in the right company, being a change in oneself is what would help us create a distinguished identity for ourselves as lion cubs and not be mere sheep, since we certainly not just one of the many, but that we are different, he said. He underlined the importance of “Be together- stay together- serve together”. He concluded his soul- stirring talk with a deep message by listing out the 5 C’s that are of primary importance in our lives:
Then the students were given an OMR sheet with an elaborate questionnaire attached with a feedback form, both to be filled after reflecting on the content of the questionnaire.
The post lunch sessions were arranged separately for the outgoing and the recent pass outs and Senior active alumni. While the former was organised in Premamrutham and was handled by the recent pass outs, the latter was held in the Vidya Deep.
The session at Premamrutham had few of the recent pass outs who shared their experiences briefly on how they withstood the test of living in the outside world and still following what Swami wanted. The speakers consisted of recently passed out alumna and alumnae from all Swami’s campuses.
In the evening, was the most awaited GRATITUDE PROGRAMME. Swami arrived at Premamrutham and the programme included rendition of different songs that reflected the students gratitude to Swami for His matchless Love and Care. The programme also had a few short speeches by students from all of Swami’s campuses. Swami was overwhelmed with joy and He also took snapshots with each of the outgoing batches in all His Educational Institutions. Truly, it was a very emotionally touching and poignant evening for each of the students seated there. Swami also blessed all of them and He gave them tokens of His Love.
In parallel, the Senior Alumni focussed their evening on elaborate discussion about the Each One Educate One programme. It began with an introductory talk of the whole concept of how the programme evolved and what was in it for each of them who were there. The interactive sessions were driven forward by sharing of individual experiences and also bringing to light the challenges faced in taking the ‘each one educate one conversations ‘ forward.
The necessity for multiple follow-ups, indulging in multiple conversations, involving more hands in the joint efforts towards achievement of the set targets were discussed.
Enhancement of base numbers through investment of quality time in having regular, well-planned Satsangs, equipping with an armamentarium of newsletters, updates from websites, a thorough knowledge on the vastness of the Mission with the basic interpretation of the whole initiative were few more aspects touched upon. The inner significance of this motive in developing selfless love, focussing more on team work and journeying together on our individual transformation on the spiritual path were recognised as outcome of the meeting.
The 2018-2019 charter was also shown to the audience with a clarity on the different zones of the Central Council for each one educate one, this was to facilitate the individual identification with a one furthering their participation thereon.
The fact that Each One Educate One was not only about monetary contribution and that it was an important aspect of the transition from I TO WE TO HE was the key take away. In continuation of the same theme, a drama was staged by the Alumni of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions. The grand finale of the drama was a song written and composed by alumni called “Pyaar Hain”. Swami was very happy and He blessed all the participants of the drama.
After the Mangala Arati, Bhagawan returned to His Abode. This brought the day one’s programme to a close.