“We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.” ~ Swami Vivekananda
In keeping with Swami Vivekananda’s philosophy, the Ashrama continues to advocate the view that holistic education of young people is a collective responsibility of society, and that every child must be given the right opportunities to develop in a beneficial way. This is in line with the Vedic philosophy “Service to man is service to God”.
The Ashrama’s vision and mission lies in the advancement of educational, spiritual and cultural activities, with the following objectives:
- To promote the study and practise of the Hindu Religion and its principles
- To promote the study of the Arts, Sciences and Industries
- To establish, maintain and assist schools, colleges, hostels and other educational and charitable works and institutions of a like nature
- To serve and benefit the Country irrespective of race, creed or religion
Service to the community is one of the Ashrama’s core values, deeply embedded in its day-to-day functions. The Ashrama building in Brickfields, began as a reading room where the budding Tamil community could congregate. Initially, cultural and religious talks were held at the Ashrama; today, the Ashrama hall is used as a temporary classroom and for personal development classes.
Cultural and religious activities are either held at Kandiah Hall at the Vivekananda Primary School, which can accommodate more people, or the former Hostel, now used by the Sangeetha Abivirithi Sabha, which organises cultural activities such as the annual Navarathiri celebrations.
These efforts are important for building a stronger community, and complement programmes such as incentives and various forms of support for students in need. Today, an estimated 20% of the student population come from poverty-stricken families while another 40% are from lower income groups; without assistance, they would be unable to pursue an education. Their plight underscores the ongoing needs of the community, which the Ashrama strives to meet. Initiatives such as transportation allowance, meal programmes and free books and uniforms for those unable to afford them have been part of the school’s outreach since its inception.