Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, organised an annual cultural orientation and retreat programme, "Sadgamaya", for the faculty members of the campus, on 29th and 30th of June, 2017, with four academic sessions centering on various facets of Indian culture and civilization, and a host of other activities.
The camp was initiated with a very specific objective of enhancing the awareness and understanding of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s core vision, culture and ethos amongst the members of the faculty, which is , “To provide value-based education and mould the character of the younger generation through a system of wholesome learning, so that their earnest endeavor to achieve progress and prosperity in life is matched by an ardent desire to extend selfless service to society, one complementing the other”.
The camp was inaugurated by Brahmachari Dhyanamrita Chaitanya of Mata Amritanandamayi Math in presence of Dr. Sasangan Ramanathan, Dean, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore and Dr. K. Sanakaran, Registrar, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Dr. S. Mahadevan, Deputy Dean, Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore, offered the opening remarks.
Br. Dhyanamrita conducted the first academic session on the theme “Learning Makes You Young” and highlighted Chancellor Amma’s vision for Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham as enunciated in her keynote address at the United Nations Academic Impact Conference (2015). His session reverberated with anecdotes and underlined the crucial fact that our Chancellor Amma and the senior management of the institution have very high expectations from the faculty community at Amrita.
The second academic session of the day was conducted by Dr. Anirban Ganguly, a young and dynamic scholar of Indian civilization. Dr. Ganguly, who heads the Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi, spoke on “Striving to re-Create a Grand Narrative for Bharat & the Struggle for the many Ideas of India”. Dr. Ganguly’s session underlined the need for accelerating the decolonisation of our education system and how this process was derailed during the post-independence era. Scholars like Dr. Ganguly look up to Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham as a pioneer in bringing about this much needed transformation of our national education policy.
Post-lunch, the members of the faculty involved themselves in thematic seminar presentations. Many came forward to read out interesting papers that they had penned down for the camp. The prelims to the quiz programme was also organized on June 29.
On June 30th, Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh, Sanskrit Scholar from Bengaluru, conducted the first session, “Understanding and Appreciating Indian Culture." Dr. Ganesh elevated us with his fine erudition and touched our hearts deeply with his simplicity, humility and profound scholarship. He is verily a personification of the Sanskrit dictum ‘Vidya Dadati Vinayam’.
The last academic session was conducted by noted social worker Sri Krishna Jagannathan, centred on the theme, “Bharata Desa Bharatiya Vidya”. His session was a stress buster, a light hearted rejuvenation of the mind and soul. With his brilliant wit and humour, he drives the point home with great accuracy and precision. He emphasized, during his talk, that positive ideas need to be repeatedly hammered into the minds of the students and one cannot expect a quick fix change in their mindset overnight. But sooner or later, these ideas will penetrate into their personality. This is a clear validation of the effort and activities and help one to strengthen the resolve to continue what he or she is doing through camps like Sadgamaya and to expand and improve the scope and reach of these activities.
The quiz finals were also held on 30th June. Prof. Udhaykumar C.S., Associate Professor, Amrita School of Business, Coimbatore, conducted the quiz finals with his usual brilliance and wit. There were several rounds of questions reserved for the audience that saw the most enthusiastic participation. The camp closed with a valedictory session where senior members of the faculty stressed the need for conducting similar programmes at regular intervals apart from the annual event.
The sangha ganam (camp song) which was sung at periodic intervals enthused the audience and infused in them patriotic spirits. The concluding session of sangha ganam also saw the performance of Sri Pushparaj, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, enthuse his colleagues with a camp song on his flute.