BENGALURU, India, May 7, 2024 -- The Art of Living provides free and value-based education. The organisation operates 1,262 free schools in urban, remote rural and tucked-away tribal areas across 22 states in India. More than 1,00,000 happy children are benefitting from a unique, value-based holistic education in a stress free environment. Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's vision, The Art of Living is building personalities that are resilient, have a sense of belongingness and a broader perspective of life.


Manu's story:

Poverty is a cruel adversary. It has a harsh grip, tightening with each passing day, rendering its victims powerless in an endless struggle for survival. It casts a long shadow, robbing families of dreams and opportunities, ensnaring them in an unending cycle of need and uncertainty.

And yet hope springs eternal. A young boy from such a family has broken free of the shackles binding him and has emerged a winner.

Meet Manu, the younger son of a family grappling with hardship. Manu's mother Sita Devi, is a simple woman stitching together scraps of income by caring for the neighbourhood's children. Manu's father, toiling as a coolie, scratches out a meagre livelihood under the scorching sun; weighed down not only by his own difficulties but also by the physical burdens he has to shoulder. The family engages in basic seasonal farming during the rains, for just a couple of months, to supplement their earnings. For this humble family, each day brings with it the worry of when the next rupee will trickle in. The financial constraints weigh heavily on them. Struggling to make ends meet, they had little hope of educating their two sons. 

Manu is a student at The Art of Living Free School in Khunti, Jharkhand - a standout student. He soared to the fourth position in the recent 2024 district exams, securing an impressive 92.4% in Class X. Like most children studying in the free schools run by The Art of Living, Manu is a first-generation learner. His parents never had the opportunity to attend school; in fact, the thought of such a possibility never even crossed their minds. Naturally, they are deeply grateful that The Art of Living's free school in their village bestowed upon both their sons the precious gift of education. Their elder son now stands on the threshold of an army career; while Manu's achievements have ignited a flame of hope in his parents' hearts for the future. Against all odds, he blossomed like a lone flower in a barren field. His achievement goes beyond an examination percentage, it reflects the human spirit's ability to rise above adversity. In Manu, his parents see not just a son and a student, but a symbol of the transformative power of education, and a promise of a brighter tomorrow.

Perhaps it won't be long before their tale is retold. 

About The Art of Living - Social Projects

The Art of Living is a non-profit, educational, and humanitarian organisation founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Through its social projects, The Art of Living aims to reach remote corners of rural India and empower everybody with skills to earn sustainable livelihoods.

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