Balvihar: A Strategic Framework for Education of Youths Living in USA
Amrita Kumar and Preeti Gupta, Atlant, GA
Hindu Dharma is rapidly evolving from being the primary religion in Bharat to being a world religion. According to the Pew Research Center more than 31 million Hindus live outside of Bharat. In addition, practices and beliefs of ancient Hindu traditions are being adopted socially, culturally, and morally by many other world religions, cultures, and societies. The prominence of yoga, use of probiotics in human health, and meditation are just a few examples. Embedded in this ever-changing cultural landscape are millions of Hindu youths who are growing up in countries outside of Bharat. To systematically expose these young minds to the values and traditions of Hindu Dharm and culture, Balvihar, an educational program of World Hindu Council of America has taken a three-pronged approach. Children from the ages of 4-18 years-old are exposed to the language, cultural and traditional customs of Hindu Dharm, and community outreach programs. This poster will discuss this structured framework for educating these youths and the success it has achieved in influencing and developing a young and bright generation of youths who are proud of their cultural heritage. We believe spreading the excellence of Hindu culture is within reach in countries outside of Bharat.
Thus the Balvihar model attempts to combines educational curriculum with cultural activities to connect our next generation with their rich heritage in a fun-filled atmosphere.
About the presenters…
Amrita Kumar (PhD) works in the STEM field and is an MPH student at Rollins school of Public Health (Emory University, Atlanta, GA). She is a volunteer teacher at Balvihar Hindi School VHPA of Atlanta and serves on the board for the Georgia Chess Association.
Preeti Gupta (MS Chemistry) works at Fulton County School System, Atlanta, GA. She is also a volunteer teacher at the Balvihar Hindi School VHPA of Atlanta & STARTALK Hindi program. She is active in the Indian community in Atlanta and volunteers her time generously for VHPA. Through her various teaching and volunteering activities she has influenced and impacted the outlook of many youths.
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