Baal Vikaas prelims begin next week

Students getting dressed before they perform on stage for Baal Vikaas 2023. Photos courtesy SDMS -
Students getting dressed before they perform on stage for Baal Vikaas 2023. Photos courtesy SDMS -


The preliminary round of Baal Vikaas Festival takes place from May 20-24 and will honour Dharmacharya Dr Rampersad Parasram for his 80th birthday.

Parasram is the sixth dharmacharya of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), inaugurated on October 12, 2019. Parasram is a specialist medical officer.

The prelims will be held at Ramai Trace Hindu School, Arima Hindu School, Tulsa Trace Hindu School, Spring Vale Hindu School and the Caroni Hindu School.

Forty-three SDMS primary schools will participate in seven categories.

The finals on June 8-9 will be at the Maha Sabha headquarters, Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, Eastern Main Road, St Augustine.

SDMS executive member Khimchand Bhairosingh said the Baal Vikaas, “Is a Sanskrit term which embodies the essence of nurturing children’s growth, fostering character development, and instilling spiritual transformation. Its core mission lies in cultivating self-respect within each student, guiding them towards a holistic blossoming.”

The festival’s categories include, Gita
slokas (verse), Ramayan, bhajan and classical singing, instrumental, folk song, dance, chowtaal singing, Hindi and Ramayan quiz, and Ramayan art.

There has been a growth in interest in the festival over the years, Bhairosingh said.

“It’s wonderful to see the enthusiastic participation and support for the Baal Vikaas competition, both from students and parents, as well as from generous sponsors and contributors like Republic Bank. The overflowing support at the SDMS headquarters reflects the significance and popularity of the event within the community.

“Having esteemed guests like their excellencies President Christine Carla Kangaloo and Kerwyn Garcia SC attend the Chowtaal Sammelan competition further underscores the prestige and importance of the event. Such high-profile attendance highlights the cultural significance and impact of Baal Vikaas in promoting and preserving cultural heritage,” Bhairosingh said.

The quality of the performances have significantly improved over the years, he said.

“It seems like there’s a growing culture of excellence and healthy competition among schools, motivating teachers and students alike to continually improve and aim for the big stage for the finals. These opportunities not only foster creativity and skill development but also create a sense of pride and achievement within the school community.”

Championship schools in Baal Vikaas win trophies and substantial cash prizes.

So how does the Maha Sabha contribute to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Indian culture and heritage?

Bhairosingh responded by quoting the late SDMS head Satnarayan Maharaj in his Baal Vikaas message published in the 2015 Baal Vikaas Syllabus:

“It aptly states, ‘The Baal Vikaas Vihaar has ensured the survival and development of many aspects of our religion and culture. Our pupils study the Hindi language. They chant Sanskrit verses from the Bhagavad Gita and they study our holy text, the Ramayan. They sing bhajans and traditional folk songs in Hindi. They display excellence in dance and drama. Many of our pupils who have graduated from the Baal Vikaas programme have become ambassadors of our culture as they continue to perform throughout the country.’”

The free festival will be aired on Radio & TV Jaagriti with live streams on YouTube and the SDMS Facebook page.


"Baal Vikaas prelims begin next week"

More in this section