BENGALURU, India, April 26, 2024 -- Over the span of March 2023 to March 2024, The Art of Living, in partnership with NTPC Korba under CSR initiatives, has been actively involved in addressing a myriad of issues in villages situated in and around the area. The project targeted villages like Dhanras, Gopalpur, Saliabhata, Chhurikhurd, and Jhora, aiming to tackle challenges identified by the community.

Driving Change Through Engaging Programmes

Inspired by the world renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the initiative's core objectives address health, addiction, and women's empowerment issues. Objectives include promoting local self-governance, establishing teams of trained youth leaders in each village, sensitizing the community to community-led development processes, and supporting increased community participation in development efforts.

The Art of Living has implemented various programmes aimed at achieving these objectives:

  • The Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP): Cultivating Change Catalysts

Over 200 participants engaged in a comprehensive curriculum covering leadership qualities, communication skills, community development, health and hygiene, environmental awareness, and substance abuse sensitization. Through interactive sessions including games, group discussions, and activities, participants were equipped with the skills to become change agents in their communities. Additionally, women received leadership training, enhancing their communication, self-defense, and organizational abilities. Post-training, participants felt strong and motivated, actively contributing to community events and advocating for health, hygiene, and skill development initiatives.

  • Project Pavitra: Exclusively for Women

This excellent programme was attended by 500+ females. Pavitra focuses on menstrual health and personal hygiene for females aged 13 and above. The workshops aim to dispel misconceptions, promote balanced diets, and provide pain management techniques, empowering women to maintain optimal health during menstruation. Simple yoga poses and mudras for pain relief are also covered.

  • Nav Chetna for Community Cohesion

Nav Chetna encourages personal lifestyle changes and community harmony. These sessions encourage individuals to collectively address local issues and maintain a clean environment, creating heightened awareness and a sense of personal responsibility within the community. Attended by over 500+ participants.

  • De-addiction Awareness Programme for Natural Release

The 'Program for Release Addiction Naturally' (PRAN) is aimed at empowering individuals to lead addiction-free lives. PRAN focuses on raising awareness about addictions and their long-term consequences. It incorporates stress management techniques such as Yoga, Pranayama, and Sudarshan Kriya from The Art of Living, uniquely designed to combat cravings for smoking or alcohol by addressing stress, a key factor in addiction development. Beyond addiction management, the programme offers participants a holistic outlook on life, enabling them to envision and pursue a brighter future. Attended by 200+ participants,

  • Promoting Government Scheme Awareness

Organized campaigns inform communities about available government initiatives, enabling them to access their benefits effectively.

Additionally, initiatives such as tree plantation drives (43), Swachh Bharat campaigns (153), and a marathon involving more than 750 participants have spread awareness on cleanliness, hygiene, communal harmony, women's health, and de-addiction - further contributing to the overall development and transformation of these communities.

The Goals of this Collaborative Effort are Multifold

  • Sensitize the community towards community-led development processes.
  • Establish a team of trained youth leaders in each village.
  • Build the capacity of the local community, empowering and motivating them to take ownership of the desired change.
  • Enhance community participation in bottom-up community development approaches.
  • Cultivate local change agents who will spearhead transformation within their communities.
  • Address issues related to health, education, skills development, livelihood generation, addiction, and women's empowerment according to the needs of the community.
  • Promote local self-governance.
  • Increase awareness among the community about various government schemes related to community development. The beneficiaries of this project are senior citizens, adults, and youth belonging to the village community.

Testimonials from beneficiaries underscore the tangible impact of these initiatives

Chamaar, a beneficiary of the De-addiction Program from Dhanras village, shares his experience: "Before joining the programme, I struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. However, since participating, I've successfully overcome these habits, and even noticed improvements in my breathing. I feel much better now."

Mama Bharti Devangan, another beneficiary from the same village, expresses her gratitude: "My name is Mamta Bharti Devangan. Through Project Pavithra, I've gained valuable insights into my body's needs, particularly during the monthly cycle. Learning about stress reduction techniques and practicing yoga has energized me and aided my studies. I'm thankful to NTPC and The Art of Living for this opportunity."

All these awareness campaigns have seen widespread participation, fostering a sense of collective responsibility and empowerment. As the project unfolds, the collaboration between The Art of Living and NTPC Korba reinforces the transformative power of community-driven initiatives, enriching lives, and promoting holistic development in rural India. The profound impact of collaborative efforts in driving social transformation and sustainable development at the grassroots level is well illustrated. 

About The Art of Living Social Projects  

The Art of Living is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to peace, well-being, and humanitarian service. Committed to holistic development, The Art of Living champions various initiatives, including water conservation, sustainable agriculture, afforestation, free education, skill development, women empowerment, integrated village development, renewable energy and waste management. Through these multifaceted efforts, The Art of Living strives to create positive social and environmental impact, nurturing a more sustainable and harmonious future for all.

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