Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Swinhoe Street School was started by Baba Shuddhaanandaa to give the slum children the feeling that they are important in this world,
and that there are people from their own country and other countries of the world who love them and adore their capabilities and creativity.

The children who come to Swinhoe Street School are from nearby slums in Calcutta. Their parents do menial work such as cleaning people’s homes, and carrying luggage on their heads in the nearby railway station. The road to the slum is a dark narrow lane with small shacks on the both sides. The shacks are so small that it is difficult to believe that any human being can fit into it let alone live in it.

The parents are so poor that they are unable to send their children to school. Some parents force their children to do odd jobs to earn money for the family, robbing the child of their right to go to school and have a natural childhood. These children are abused daily at home. Some of the children roam the streets the whole day doing all kinds of mischievous activities. Our mission’s main role is to make them feel that they are loved. One of the major focuses of the street schools is to fight the curse of child labor. The Mission continually educates the parents on the need for education for the children and encourages them to not just think of earning some money out of their child's labor.

The major challenge for the Mission is to first bring the children to the school and then hold their attention. To facilitate that major focus is given to the Play Way Method of education. Along with literacy they are continually encouraged to explore their innate creativity and playfulness.
The children are offered training on the practice of Hatha yoga, Meditation, Creative art, Dancing apart from literacy. The initial batches of students from this school were groomed enough to join better schools run by government and private houses. Our task was to create interest in their hearts through fun, playful education and love. Our experience says what they needed most is for somebody to say they are wonderful children of God and deserve to become worthy citizens of mother India.

The Naperville, Il, USA Meditation Group has recently agreed to sponsor this school. Their contributions will cover a honorarium for teachers, school supplies, daily snacks for the children, and an outfit of clothing during the holiday season. We on behalf of Lokenath Divine Life Mission in Calcutta express our sense of gratitude to the Naperville Meditation Group for their generosity and love for these destitute yet smiling children of God.

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