This prayer from our Shastras has been the inspiration for VESLARC, a unique, soft-skills cum values oriented Institute of VES.
The genesis of VESLARC:
“Are successful people happy?” “What makes for a productive young citizen?” “How do we balance between mental-emotional satisfaction and worldly achievements?” These are some of the contemporary questions of the educated, urban youth. VESLARC was created in 2010 to empower students and executives, with the skills to navigate their way through the world and the values for emotional resilience. The objective? To create a joyous professional, fulfilling his potential while being of service to the world. “Manage the self, manage the world” is hence the apt motto for VESLARC-ians.
“Come to us to seek answers beyond your textbook” became our motto. Hence we began with two categories of workshops for students” external world skills and inner-world values. Some of the skill-based themes include: Effective public speaking, confidence and body language, impactful resume writing, giving successful interviews and participating in group discussions, personality development, creating a healthy self-esteem, transitioning smoothly from the campus to the corporate world, grooming and etiquette for professionalism and so on.
Interestingly, while these workshops were and continue to be very popular, the students responded even more enthusiastically to sessions related to inner-seeking and clarity, such as: “Who am I?” – managing one’s own brand, goal planning, time management through self-management, attitudes for happy productivity, team-work and gratitude, ethics in daily life, handling oneself vis-à-vis one’s peer-group, stress perception management and so on.
Next came counselling, proactive counselling “Jigyaasa”, and unstructured, life skill talks under “Ask VESLARC” and “Guru Cool”. Helping students overcome addictions, overcome depression, gain mastery over their emotions, rise over their challenges, and restore their confidence in themselves – these have been and continue to be some of the objectives of VESLARC.
Expanding our circle of influence:
Along the journey of growth, VESLARC discovered that while the students and young executive is the primary stakeholder, the teachers, support staff and even the parents constitute very important stakeholders in the lives of our young citizens. After all, if the student is to feel confident, capable and purposeful, he or she needs to be ably supported by the teacher in the classroom and the parents at home. Hence VESLARC expanded its “Circle of influence” to include these important categories of people. We conduct short talks, workshops and customised training sessions for each of these groups.
The wider objective – A vibrant, productive society, with teachers and staff who work with a sense of fulfilment and parents who nurture their children with joyful spirituality.
— Swami Vivekananda
From a seed, to a sapling, and now a young tree:
Since December 2013, VESLARC initiated the idea of creating a forum of teachers-professors, of various institutes of VES, in order to work towards excellence in education. Called Aadharshila, this group of professors has shared ideas for innovative teaching methods, conducted cross-institute collaboration, and worked towards motivation, training and self-development initiatives for the teaching fraternity. In June 2015, the group launched the first-ever Reference Compendium of Innovative Teaching Practices, Gyaan Vistaar. The result? A more enthusiastic teacher, leading to more vibrant student-teacher interactions.
Knowing that there was a wealth of untapped wisdom among the Principals and Directors of VES, led to a peer-to-peer learning initiative, Gyaan Kosh, launched on Guru Purmina day, 31st July 2015. Again, the objective was to share insights and experiences so that each institute of VES may cumulatively benefit from the same.
And further, VESLARC also embarked on special activities such as “Prangan Prayas”, open-air pranayam and yogasana, to revitalize bodies and minds and also rejuvenate the ambience of the central courtyards of VES complexes, and Go Green – Nisarg Aushadhi, a pop-up exhibition of medicinal plants for preventive and holistic health care.
“…And miles to go before I sleep…”
The words of Robert Frost epitomize the approach of team-VESLARC. Plans, dreams and a grand vision – all come together to create inner motivation towards the cause of well-being of students and society. In the words of Swami Vivekananda:
It is this character that VESLARC dreams and hopes to shape, for a cleaner, happier, stronger, healthier India and world.