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Manjakkudi: A microcosm of India

Sri. M.P. Narayanan, one of the founder members of AIM for Seva recently visited the Janmabhoomi of the founder of our movement, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Recalling his visit, Sri. Narayanan said his dreams have come true as Pujya Swamiji had told him many times that he should visit Manjakkudi.

At Manjakkudi, Sri. Narayanan visited our farm and was impressed with our effort in cultivating and preserving over 140 varieties of organic heritage and artisanal rice. He was also taken to the display room where the varied paddy grains have been carefully collected and preserved.

He also visited the Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School and the Swami Dayananda College of Arts & Science, Manjakkudi. On its part, the Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School organised a felicitation programme in its auditorium for the esteemed visitor. Sri. Narayanan also visited our Chatralayams located in Sembangudi.

During his visit to Manjakkudi, Sri. Narayanan recounted the vision of our founder Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati who did not restrict his mission to just teaching and spreading Vedanta. “He wanted to propagate education especially for girl students. This has been successfully implemented by Smt. Sheela Balaji (Chairperson and Managing Trustee of AIM for Seva). Manjakkudi is no longer a neglected village. The region is now making an impact not only in the area of education but also in organic farming.”

Sri. Narayanan said that Manjakkudi symbolised unity. “When you find students from north east India and paddy seeds collected from all over India in Manjakkudi, the place is an example of national integration. “

Sri. Narayanan also visited the Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple located in Kodavasal nearby. The temple was originally built by the Chola kings in the late 9th century. After centuries of plunder, and then disuse, the temple got a lease of life when the Swami Dayananda Educational Trust (SDET) took over its administration in 2006.

The revival of the Vedic traditions has not just renewed the sanctity of the temple; it has also spawned a micro-economy of traders and service providers around it: flower makers, musicians, weavers, ornament makers, etc. The temple, which follows the Vaikhasana Agama, also provides the students of the Swami Dayananda Vedapatashala, Kodavasal valuable experience on temple worship procedure.

Sri Narayanan who has held top positions in various public sector units also paid a visit to the AIM for Seva central office in Chennai and interacted with all the staff. As founder member of AIM for Seva, Sri. Narayanan played a critical role in getting the organisation registered as a charitable trust, 80 G exemption under the Income Tax Act and FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010) bank account.

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