Ramakrishna Mission Singapore
                             Swami Vivekananda on his way to America to attend the Parliament of Religions, visited Singapore on 12th June 1893. During his short stay he went to see the Botanical Gardens and the Museum. After his brief halt many monks of the Ramakrishna Order paid their visits to Singapore and created interest in people. In a way they laid the foundation for a centre to begin its welfare works here. The devotees and admirers of Singapore requested the authorities of the Ramakrishna Mission in India to start a branch centre here. In response to their earnest appeal Swami Adyananda was sent in May 1928. The Swami with the help of devotees and well-wishers on the 7th August 1928 started a branch centre of the Mission. The Mission set before itself some general guidelines to direct its activities:
1.  Educational work – starting a day school for children and night school for adults.
2.  Charitable works for all people.
3.  Dissemination of spiritual ideas.
                             To facilitate the increasing activities of the Mission a spacious building was built at Norris Road in 1932. In the same year the centre started the Vivekananda school with thirty-two students. Both English and Tamil were taught in this school. The Mission realized education for the adults would be the best way to remove the problems of alcoholism and unhealthy living habits and conditions among the poor sections of the community. The Mission started a night school for these people. A separate school for girls – ‘Saradamani girls’ School’ was opened in 1937. As soon it was opened it was filled to capacity and the school had to turn away many. The high academic standards maintained by these schools were praised by the Education Department. Much later, these schools because of declining number of students were discontinued.
                             The Boys’ Home which has been rendering commendable service for the last sixty years began its work in 1940, as five destitute students came under its care and protection. A spacious land was purchased at Bartley Road in 1941 to provide shelter to increasing number of poor and orphan boys. These boys lived in temporary dormitories. The orphan girls were provided accommodation at Norris Road. The Boys’ Home permanent building was built only in 1950.
                             During the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, the Mission sheltered hundreds of homeless people. The Mission did commendable work during the war by providing food and medicine to the victims of the war. It started a temporary hospital with eighty beds and dispensaries to help the sick and wounded.
                             The Governor of Singapore Sir Franklin Gimson, while inaugurating the workshop for the boys at Bartley Road in April 1948 said: “The Ramakrishna Mission has always enjoyed a good reputation for Charitable work and the Government is pleased to assist anybody of this nature which has interested itself in the care and upbringing of the young.”
The Present Welfare Activities
Boy's Home
                             The Boys’ Home began its work in 1940 with five destitute boys at Norris Road. To accommodate increasing number of poor and orphan boys it was shifted in 1942 to the newly acquired spacious land at 179 Bartley Road. The boys attended the schools at Norris Road from this place. In addition to their academic studies they were given vocational training in carpentry, machine repair, tailoring, basket weaving and toy-making.
                             The Boys from temporary dormitories at last were shifted to the present permanent building in 1950. It was opened by Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. A second storey was added in 1959. The Boys’ home activities are partly supported by the Ministry of Community Development and Sports. Since its inception thousands of boys have gone out of the Home.
                             To impart character-building education and to implant moral values in young children at tender age, the Mission started a Kindergarten in 1992 with 126 children with an initial grant from SINDA. The Kindergarten is registered with the Ministry of Education and is open to all.
   More details please go to Sarada Website. www.sarada.org.sg
Councelling Centre
                             Realizing the growing need for counselling services the Mission started a counselling service centre in 1995. During this short period the centre not only widened the area of its services but also gained rich experience and insights. In the beginning the centre focused its attention on the school students and their problems. The professional counsellers visited the schools in the neighborhood and offered their valuable services. From this beginning it has expanded its horizon to include talks, workshops, guidance to parents and teachers, psychiatric service, Rainbow and language enrichment programmes and many other result-oriented services. With the expansion of the services the centre is focused on providing a more holistic approach to meet the needs of children and adolescents.
                             Helping those who are in need is a wonderful service which brings joy and a sense of fulfillment. To be happy is to see the happiness of others.
                             The generous financial support of the National Council of Social Service has enabled the counselling centre to render its services to the children and adolescents of Singapore.
Spiritual and Cultural Ativities:
                             The Mission has a beautiful temple dedicated to Sri Ramakrishna. People without any distinction of race, religion or creed are allowed to make use of the peaceful and spiritually vibrant atmosphere for prayer and meditation. The birthdays of great saints and prophets are celebrated with worship, prayers and discourses. Occasionally seminars and inter-faith dialogues are held to enhance inter-religious understanding to promote Religious Harmony. Saturdays and Sundays weekly scriptural classes are held.
Yoga Classes
                             Training in Yoga is given to a large number of adults on all Sunday mornings. This Yoga course is free and open to all. It has become very popular in Singapore.
Homeopathy Centre
                             This centre has been operating very successfully since 1993. Consultation and medicine are free. Lot of people are showing interest in Homeopathic treatment.
Lectures and Classes
                             On Saturdays and Sundays children between the ages of 4 and 12 years are taught music, Bhajans and moral values.
Quarterly Publication
                             The Mission publishes a quarterly journal called ‘Nirvana’ to disseminate racial and religious harmony.
Above noted are some of the main activities of the Ramakrishna Mission Centre in Singapore.
Photos from the Albums of Ramakrishna Mission Singapore:
a. H E Mrs W. A. C. Goode, the wife of Viceroy with the Mission inmates in Sep. 1959
b. H E Yusof Ishak, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara and a famous Chinese scholar Mr. Lee Siow Meng visited the Mission in February 1964 on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda Centenary Celebration.
c. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the then Prime Minister of Singapore visited the Mission in April 1965 on the Occasion of the Birthday celebration of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda
d. Mr. Goh Chok Tong, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, visited the Mission in July 1983
e. BG Lee Hsien Loong, addressing the Parliament of Religions organized by Ramakrishna Mission in April 1989.
f. Mr. J. Y. Pillay, the then President of SINDA opening the Sarada Kindergarten in December 1992
g. Dr. Tony Tan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence opened the New Building for the Kindergarten in July 1997
h-1. Her Excellency Mrs. Nathan in one of the classrooms of the Sarada Kindergarten in 2000.
h-2. H. E. Mrs. Nathan in the computer lab of the Kindergarten.
h-3. H. E. Mrs. Nathan welcomed by the boys of Ramakrishna Mission Boys’ Home.
h-4. H.E. Mrs. Nathan with inmates of the Mission