At the start of 2013, Swamiji met with the BYMM children in Satyam Vatika. He asked them, how many would like to offer seva, leading up to and during the World Yoga Convention (WYC). Within half a second every single little hand shot up in the air and would not come down. A big smile came over the face of their guru, and from that moment on the children were focused on fully engaging themselves in their duties for WYC. As the word spread amongst the children, each week we would see new faces appearing eagerly to volunteer their help.
The Convention was not just an exciting experience for the children of BYMM but also an opportunity for great learning and development.
During and leading up to the WYC, the children of BYMM were fully engaged in their seva, throughout the ashram and various venues, in some of the most vital departments. Altogether 600 BYMM children attended the WYC. Out of these, 250 were involved in seva in the following areas: pandal management, seating, chanting and kirtan, akhand kirtan, pooja and havan, bhet, diksha, kitchen serving, crowd control and coordination, and Swamiji's security.
The children were so dedicated to their seva that they would come early in the morning, some of them from far away, on their bicycles or by foot. As soon as they arrived they would report, have a quick breakfast and go to their assigned duties. The children would spend the whole day absorbed in their seva and any free time was spent practising for the various performances they were to present. But the true favourite activity was participating in the akhand kirtan in Satyam Vatika taking place from 6 am to 6 pm every day during the Convention. There the kids would sing, dance and recharge, ready to go back to seva.
During the Golden Jubilee Celebrations the children were very fortunate to have the opportunity to perform dances and karate for people from all over the world. This was a highlight for the children as they worked so hard to perfect the performances for the Convention; their hard work was evident in their presentation and was witnessed by all present. One special BYMM child was selected to hold a workshop about 'Research in the Effects of Yoga on Children – an Experience' which over one hundred people attended, all of who gave positive and impressive feedback.
The kids worked through two programs before WYC as preparation for their duties. During Guru Poonima and Lakshmi-Narayana Yajna they were given the opportunity to learn and perfect their duties for WYC.
During the Convention and leading up to it, the children learnt so much from their experiences. They grew closer and the previous division between seniors and juniors started to dissolve as they began to work together and cooperate. Many children were able to express their talents and new stars shone forth.