DAV Celebrates 200th Birth anniversary of Swami Dayanand Saraswati

By Acharya Bramdeo

HOUSTON: On Sunday, February 25, students, parents, teachers, and volunteers joined to mark the occasion, and pay tribute to the eminent social, religious, economic, and political reformer – Swami Dayanand, the founder of the Arya Samaj at its location on Schiller Road on the city’s far westside. The educational reforms served as a forerunner to the DAV network of schools and colleges in India, inspiring the Indian Diaspora across the world to establish DAV schools.

The program started with yajna-havan followed by a composite program with skits, and PowerPoint presentations by students, sandwiched by the chanting of mantras, shlokas, and bhajans by younger ones.

The various activities during February included class-wise speech contests and class tests for grades 5-8 on a preset series of questions and answers as study material. Winners of the speech contests were called to showcase their talents during the program that covered his teachings that empower us to become better versions of ourselves.

AYM (grade 9-12) students teamed as groups to talk about Swami Dayanan’s four reforms, namely  Women’s Emancipation through Education; Varna, the competencies-based division of labor vs. the birth-based Caste system thrust upon us by foreigners; why the need for a holistic education that emphasizes on both worldly and spiritual teachings; and the Principles of Arya Samaj for good social construct.

The program concept was by Acharya Bramdeo, resident priest at Arya Samaj Greater Houston, coordinating DAVSS educational programs and activities.

Winners and participants were recognized by Dev and Sushma Mahajan before the vote of thanks and shaanti patha, the closing prayers for universal peace.

Here are some parents’ feedback:

“Teacher collaboration made it seamless. Everyone’s hard work was evident in the unfolding of a perfectly planned, executed, and successful event”. – Shilpi S.

“A wonderful event. Kids performed with enthusiasm, confidence, and passion. It was a great platform for all, from the 4-year-old toddlers to the 15-16-year-old teenagers to overcome the fear and anxiety of public speaking, more so talk about Sanatan Dharma, the rich Indian culture and the teachings of Swami Dayanand”. – Nilam M.

For more information on the Arya Samaj and its programs, contact Acharya Bramdeo at achbramdeo@aryasamajhouston.org.