‘Sarvodaya’, the RS conference and a challenge for our students

Sarvodaya is an Ancient Indian word (still used today) meaning progress for all. The word is a combination of two terms: ‘Sarva’ meaning one-and-all and ‘Uday’ meaning welfare – combined – the word signifies ‘Universal Uplift’ – Sarvodaya is the theme for the Round Square International Conference 2019 which will takes place at Emerald Heights in India at the end of this month. Our delegation of six Year 12 pupils will be accompanied by Miss De Miranda and Mr Hayden.  

Mrs Marland used the concept of Sarvodaya as a basis for introducing this half term’s Round Square focus by posing a challenge in last week’s assembly, “If sarvodaya means in its simplest form, ‘The World we Wish to see’, what does your ideal ‘world’ look like?”.  She went on to explain that Mahatma Gandhi (the Indian political and spiritual leader) famously said: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the World.’ He believed that for change to happen we must look to ourselves first and change our own behaviours to mirror those we wish to see:  

  • If you wish for a kinder World; be kind. 
  • If you wish for more justice in the World, fight for and on the side of the just 
  • If you wish for more equality in the World; treat everyone as equally as is feasibly possible.  

Mrs Marland then went on to explain that these words are a call to action and how it is “your duty, your moral obligation whilst in education, whilst at AKS to discover within yourself a sense of personal, moral, ethical, social and civic duty”, hereby reinforcing the school’s key characteristic of “Success and Value”. Examples of how students can do this on a practical level include being a student council representative, or by joining up with or participating in one of the many groups with community partners, or who undertake charity work. These include the Young Soroptimists, who focus on improving the lives of women and children across the globe; Just Good Friends, whose focus is on reducing loneliness and AKS Action who undertake a range of fundraising activities for a selection of charities closely affiliated with our school.

The assembly ended with a quote from Gandhi, ‘The best way to lose yourself is in the service of others’, noting that it is the 150th Anniversary of his birth in October. In the spirit of this half term’s Round Square focus about having a ‘Sense of Responsibility’, we were challenged to “spread a little happiness and kindness in the World because that’s ultimately what will make this world a better place…by taking small steps and thinking about our behaviours (both at school and at home) we can be the difference, that makes the difference.”