Monday, April 3, 2017

Run.... Run Isha.... Run for Isha

     I am not a runner, I never was. However, I eagerly wait for the month of December every year, when my employer JP Morgan Chase announces a 5Kms run scheduled for February in the following year. Just the announcement gives me a motivation to kick start my practice. The exact date of the event is in-fact the biggest motivation. Looking at the date everyday, I start increasing my running distance, and a week before the event, I make sure to reach the target of 5Kms. My goal is simple: I want to run non-stop and complete the run. My run timing is not great, does not matter anyways. It gave me a good opportunity to increase my fitness level, it gives me a good 2 month break to enjoy with the nature. 

    I am going to run again this year, TCS World 10k run on 21st May 2017. This run is going to be a lot different from the earlier one. Because this time I am going to run for a cause, Isha Vidhya.   What is Isha Vidhya? Isha Vidhya is a chain of schools run by Sadhguru's Isha foundation, 8 in Tamil Nadu and one in Andhra.  Around 60% of the schools studying in these schools receive full scholarship, meaning their education is completely funded by donations. The remaining children are charged a nominal fee. In addition, Isha Vidhya adopts a lot of government schools where Isha trains the government school teachers. But, why am I campaigning for Isha Vidhya? Because I was in one of the Isha Vidya schools last Saturday, the one in Dharmapuri, and I saw what they do.

     This Isha school in Dharmapuri is located in a very interior place, around 10kms inside from the highway. The moment we entered the school, the first thing we got to know: 27 kids from the school have been selected for the National level Spell bee competition.  People who have been in rural areas would not be able to fathom this because they know better the prevailing education system. Kids there struggle to form a sentence. To get 27 students selected for an English spell bee competition is a huge achievement. All the kids could speak very fluent English. Once we entered the school, we realized that the Isha way of teaching is much different than the regular ones. For example, say a 7th standard students are shown videos of history once a week. Even if they are not able to grasp when being taught, they understand well during the video demo. For the little KG kids, majority of the stuff are taught through singing and dancing.

    All the kids have a yoga period as part of their curriculum, where they are all taught basic yogasanas. Students are also taught about natural farming. They have 2 classes a week where they are taught about planting sapling/seeds and farming. Its a different story that due to lack of water, the fields have gone totally dry. All the kids are provided lunch in the school itself. The kitchen is maintained so nice and clean, the entire surrounding looked very hygienic. True to Sadhguru's words, where he says any cooked food should be consumed in less than 90 minutes, the food preparation gets over by 12 in the afternoon, and by 1:30PM, the students have finished their lunch.

Why am I telling you all these? Because I need your support,I need your help. Because I want you to be aware of Isha Vidhya and the work they do.  I am running a fund raising campaign as part of the 10K run to support Isha Vidhya. If you find this is a worthy cause, if you feel Isha is giving life to rural children, please donate to Isha Vidhya. Your donation will go a long way in giving a future to a child. There are quite a few options:
   1. You can choose to donate any amount of your choice OR
  2. A specific donation amount of Rs.3,000/- will take care of a nutritious food for a child for an entire year OR
   3. A donation amount of Rs.12,000/- will take care of education of a poor child for an entire year.
     You can donate by clicking on this link : Donate to Isha Vidhya

 Every day now, when I am practicing for the run, I run with a lot of purpose. When you run, if you lock your mind with a particular thought, I felt you will not even realize the time ticking, you will just keep on running. I think about these 2 faces. These are kids studying in the Isha Vidhya schools.  A look at these faces tell you they dont know what is in store for tomorrow. My goal is same: I want to run 10kms non-stop and complete it. I want to make this run count. When I am going to run on the day of the event, I will be wearing an Isha Vidhya T-shirt. Hundreds of people will look at us, the t-shirts we are wearing which has the words "Isha Vidhya".  These hundreds of people will try to know what "Isha Vidhya" does, they might discuss this with 100 more people. With so many people becoming aware,  we are trying to create a chance for many such rural kids to get better quality education. As Sadhguru tells, we should do our job... How to make it successful, nature will take care of it.

  I am waiting for the Run.. Lets run Isha, Lets Run for Isha Vidhya...
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