| Bal Vikas
IACC&T Bal Vikas Program
Some of you may not know that the origin of
the IACC&T Bal Vikas program dates back to over ten years ago from early 2001.
IACC&T has been very fortunate to have several groups of dedicated volunteers who have devoted
a lot of energy in teaching basic understanding of Hinduism, cultural heritage, and teachings
from Bhagvad Geeta, Ramayana and Mahabharata to children
from the community.
IACC&T is proud to continue its focus on educating children who are the future caretakers of what the community has built. During the past year
and continuing in 2010, the Bal Vikas program has been re-established with a deep commitment by several volunteers most notably Sridevi Ghantasala, Lina & Sunder Hattangadi, and Janaki Sunkara.
The IACC&T Board greatly appreciates
their dedicated efforts as well as support from many others involved with the Bal
Vikas program. IACC&T cordially invites the parents to seriously consider enlisting
their children ages 4 to 12 in IACC&T Bal Vikas program. It is the best investment we
can make in educating our children. The following paragraphs by Sridevi
Ghantasala provide a brief description of the current Bal Vikas program.
Bal Vikas program was restarted last year with the intention of instilling and
developing in our young children Hindu cultural, moral and spiritual values. From the
time it started, Bal Vikas has enrolled 15-20 children, aged 4-11 years.
are held every Sunday in the Temple premises from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. On
Sundays when no-satsangs are scheduled, an additional half-hour is spent in teaching
the Devanagari script (used in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi and other languages).
The Bal Vikas program is mainly divided into three segments
The children are exposed to learning
important aspects including prayers, selected shlokas, and bhajans. Learning is mainly focused on talking about
festivals, moral stories, golden rules of Dharma, and important places in India.
The final segment enjoyed by the
children include group activities - educational games, puzzles, coloring, painting, drawing, making clay models (e.g.
Ganesha), making cards for special occasions, Yoga exercises, asanas and Surya Namaskar and others. The children
participate in singing Bhajans at Satsangs.
Bal Vikas program teachings are primarily conducted by Sridevi Ghantasala, Janaki Sunkara, Lina Hattangadi and
Sunder Hattangadi. Several parents assist in various aspects of children’s activities, such as story-telling, yoga
asanas, Surya Namaskar, bhajans, and games. We owe our thanks to Praveen Betala, Kiran Palyada, Shailesh
Dubey, and Sujatha Krishnamurthy, to name a few parents who have helped on several occasions. Some guests
have also given lectures about festivals in India. Community participation also includes the IACC&T webmaster,
Manish Khandekar, who has uploaded many pictures of the Bal Vikas group on the IACC&T web site
The Bal Vikas
program is directed toward pre-school and elementary school
children. They meet each Sunday between 11:30am and 12:30pm
Parents and children are encouraged to suggest topics, prayers, stories for class discussions.
Note: Those who would like to receive messages sent to the Bal-Vikas enrollee group, please send e-mail to
Click here for more information on: Bal Vikas Program
Sunder Hattangadi: (269) 962-8466
Sridevi Ghantasala: (269)-353-1763
Janaki Sunkara (269)-372-3872
Click Here for:
Previously discussed topics:
What is OM (AUM)?
How to chant OM
Golden Rules - satyam vada...etc.
Mother's Day activities
Topics for future classes:
What is Dharma? What is Hindu Dharma?
Prayer and its significance.
Different prayers for chanting/learning by heart.
Names of deities in their homes, and those in the temple.
Puja, and its significance.
Stories to highlight moral values
Following website can be referred for information:
Another good resource:
Various Hindu Prayers: