Shrimad Dayanand Bal Sadan

Introduction


Since time immemorial, India has been a land of sages and seers who, from time to time, through their unwavering perseverance, severe penance, selfless sacrifice and depth of knowledge inspired people and guided the course of human history as well as humanity.

 

Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was one such leading light whose contribution in social and educational field is clearly visible, not only in India but across the world, especially in those geographies where Hindus live.


Swamiji has inspired generations to lead an enlightened life and make selfless contribution for the welfare of the humanity, especially those who are less privileged and need a helping hand to standup, grow and prosper.


Bal Sadan


Inspired by the life of Swamiji and ideals of the Arya Samaj, Shri Banarsi Lalji gathered like-minded persons and established ‘Shrimad Dayanand Bal Sadan’ on May 11, 1915. It was registered as a society on March 30, 1915, under the Societies Act, 1780.


The overarching objective for setting up the Bal Sadan was to create a permanent and lasting institution to take care of the unfortunate children who had either lost their parents or had no means to sustain
themselves.


The noble cause got widespread support from the different sections of society. People from different walks of life, according to their economic status, extended support to the institution in cash as well as kind. They still continue to do so.


In the initial years, Shri Banarsi Lalji guided the activities of the Bal Sadan. He introduced a curriculum which, with necessary modifications, is still followed in letter and spirit.


Later, Shri Banarsi Lalji took Sanyas and assumed new identity and new name -- Swami Nirbhayanand. He continued to work relentlessly for the welfare and uplift of the society till he breathed his last on October 26, 1931.


After his demise, the condition of the Bal Sadan gradually deteriorated for want of better management. There was no dearth of people who were willing to support the institution, but somehow the management failed to move with the changing times.


Shri Dharm Dutt


A philanthropist to the core, Shri Dharm Dutt was involved in the activities of the Bal Sadan for several decades. He contributed to the welfare of the institution as an enlightened citizen and did his best to ensure that food, lodging and education are provided to the children living in the Bal Sadan.

On his retirement from the UP State Electricity Board (UPSEB) as Joint Secretary, he got himself involved fulltime in the activities of the Bal Sadan.


Impressed by his commitment to the ideals of Arya Samaj and the burning desire to work for upliftment of the underprivileged children, the Society of the Bal Sadan appointed him manager in 1990 and elevated him to the post of secretary in 1994. In his noble journey, he was joined by his wife Shrimati
Omeshwari Shrivastava who is still working fulltime despite the old age complications.


Shir Dharm Dutt worked relentlessly and focused on rebuilding the basic infrastructure which was in dilapidated condition. The first and foremost priority was to provide safe and hygienic living space to the children and for that he invested his retirement benefit and also the funds raised from sale of his property. Seeing his commitment, several like-minded people joined him and accorded assistance in every possible manner.


In order to ensure security of children and the campus, he decided to construct a boundary wall. His decision to erect a protective wall around the campus evoked very strong reaction from anti-social elements and encroachers. Although Shri Dharm Dutt was threatened and even attacked with iron rods by anti-social elements, he did not relent. He continued to struggle till the task of building the protective boundary wall was completed.

 

After that, his focus shifted to construction of hostels for boys and girls, school, library, dining hall with attached kitchen, yoga and multi-purpose halls, two Yagyashalas, recreational hall with projector, and gaushala for dozens of cows.


Modern Gurukul


Shri Dharam Dutt’s dedication has transformed the once struggling Bal Sadan into a ‘Modern Gurukul’ where underprivileged children come from far off places like Nepal and Mizoram to seek knowledge and thus become good human beings.


Bal Sadan admits underprivileged children, both boys and girls, of 8 years. They stay in the campus till they attain the age of 18 years. All their requirements of food, clothes, books, medicine etc. is taken care of by the institute with generous contribution from patrons and members of the society.


Once admitted in the Sadan, the children are required to abide by its rules and regulations which are on the lines of a ‘gurukul’. Their activity include Yoga session from 6 to7 a.m. and recitation of mantras and performance of ‘hawan’ from 7 to 8.30 a.m. They attend school from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The children are served nutritious meals at scheduled time. There is also a provision for games which children enjoy every evening.


They are taught up to class eight in the school which is affiliated to the Uttar Pradesh Board of Secondary Education. For higher studies, the girls of the Sadan study in the nearby colleges.

The emphasis in the Sadan is to make the children economically independent by teaching them Arya Samaj practices and rituals. These children earn a reasonable amount by performing ‘hawan’ and Arya Samaj rituals on different occasions.


Road ahead


After the sad demise of Shri Dharm Dutt on December 19, 2019, Shrimati Omeshwari Shrivastava has started overseeing the activities of the Bal Sadan fulltime, ably assisted by a team of dedicated and selfless individuals driven by the zeal to do something good for the society.


The team is working round the clock and will continue to do so in future to preserve the glory of the century-old institution, help underprivileged children become good human beings, serve the society in all possible ways, and above all, spread the message of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati.

Dayananda Saraswati

was a Hindu religious leader and founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movements of the Vedic tradition. He was also a renowned scholar of the Vedic lore and Sanskrit language. He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as "Indian for India" in 1876, a call later taken up by Lokmanya Tilak. Denouncing the idolatry and ritualistic worship prevalent in Hinduism at the time, he worked towards reviving Vedic ideologies. Subsequently, the philosopher and President of IndiaS. Radhakrishnan called him one of the "makers of Modern India", as did Sri Aurobindo.