ducation should inculcate in students the spirit of self reliance and self confidence. The first thing in life is self reliance. Second is self confidence, third is self sacrifice, fourth is self realization. With self-realization, life finds its final fulfillment" -Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Bal Vikas is an important wing of the SSSSO worldwide, deeply committed to the sacred task of imparting human values to children of varying, faiths, cultures and backgrounds from the age of five years to fifteen years. This programme which was inspired by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, was started in Delhi State in the year 1971. With the Divine hand guiding the teachers along this new and unfamiliar path, a few tentative steps were taken in the direction of the teaching of values. “And how are we to start?” was the query on the lips of the mahila devotees who had been directed to begin this sacred work. The answer of Baba was simple, “’Tell inspiring stories and make the children enact plays,” He said, “What they do they will never forget.” And that is how it all began. Just two or three classes in the entire city of New Delhi, with small groups of students, perhaps six or seven per class and two or three dedicated and devoted mahilas, trusting in the Lord and His wisdom. He reassured them,“ It is quality and not quantity that is important.” Thus was laid the foundation of this movement which has now, with His Grace, spread its influence in the far flung areas of the state.
The initial classes were held in small groups in homes and the warmth and love of the teachers gradually attracted greater numbers of children. Depending on the divine Master Himself for His guidance, the teachers gathered further knowledge, honed their skills and added the now well-used five teaching techniques to their methods of teaching. As a follow up to the initial directions, the teachers were privileged to attend gurus’ training camps, held at Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi and at Brindavan Ashram, at Whitefield. Slowly but surely, He endowed them with the required skills and confidence to spread out and enlarge the activities of this wing. The first few teachers never imagined that the small activity they had embarked on would grow to the proportions that it has done so today.
Bal Vikas classes are presently being held in all five districts of Delhi. These classes are conducted, once a week, for an hour, in residential areas and in several schools by trained Bal Vikas gurus. In addition, there are classes held for under privileged children in rural areas and slums as well. Apart from focusing on character development and human values, gurus also teach children the basics of Indian culture and spirituality. They also explain the principles on which other faiths are based. As in Baba's Divine mission, people of all faiths and cultures are warmly welcomed, the children are taught to respect all religions and to see the underlying unity rather than the superficial diversity