Along the activity-filled lanes of resettlement colonies in Delhi, the police reported a phenomenal decrease in the rates of crime and violence. Seelampur, Shadhara, Gokulpuri, Nand Nagri, Jafarabad, were once the hub of criminal activities including juvenile delinquency, violence, unemployment, drug peddling, addiction. A series of YLTP programs, focused on the youth, seeded a dramatic transformation.
After interacting with police and the locale, the volunteers have developed an understanding of the economic and social factors influencing the youth and forcing them into criminal activities. A series of YLTPs(Youth Leadership Training Program) were conducted across these areas. Since then, there has been no turning back.
Apart from YLTP, Art of Living also conducted counseling sessions for teenagers with abandonment issues who were deliberately forced in to activities such as drug peddling, being informers and even anti-national activities. At such a tender age, many of them had cases registered against them. Around 13 YES (Youth Empowerment Seminars) were conducted in North East Police station and three for the Government schoolboys. In a period of 7 months, 300 youth were introduced to Pranayama, Meditation and Sudarshan Kriya. These techniques free them of the stresses and negative impressions and nourish human values and peace in them. They were finally able to get over the bad habits and channelize their energy. They felt a great self-confidence.
The story doesn’t end there. Now, that there are empowered youth ready to power up and conquer life, what next? Education. On November 5, 2011 Sri Sri Pustakalaya (library) was inaugurated in Gokulpur, so that even the dropouts could pursue their love for books. The highlight is that the whole set up was undertaken by the local youth. The library is equipped with a desktop to encourage the young to learn about computers and provide them the knowledge base to kick start their dreams. Also, soft skill training is being provided to assist the unemployed youth.
And here are a few inspiring experiences from the participants.
“This course taught me to serve society & guide people who are in the grip of addiction to be free” -Saleem chaudhary
“I have started living my life to the fullest and I want to thank the teachers and the DCPs” -Arun kumar
“This course inspired a boy (myself) who didn’t want to live, but now I not only want to live, but live happily and inspire others to live happy.” - Sant Ram
“I got the inspiration to maintain my enthusiasm and remove the negativity within me. Now there is only one aim of life to make my surroundings alcohol free. For which I am grateful to my teachers of AOL and the Delhi Police.” - Joginder kumar
“I used to be very depressed but after doing the Art of Living course I feel more fresh and can express myself more” -Harinder Singh
“ I have my shop on the footpath and I have seen many things in my young life. All the dirt and filth from inside has come out completely in these six days of the art of living course. No one in the world can give me what I got here. I am so grateful to the DCP and the police people and the art of living for organizing this workshop.” - Deepak
“ I have got lot of energy from this course and amazing experiences, Firstly that I am standing on the stage & speaking is itself a miracle, I have thrown out all my fear and brought in self confidence in me. I have learnt not to think negatively of any person; no one is bad. Now I am 38 years old but I feel like a youngster. I don’t see intentions behind others’ mistakes. Whatever I do, I do it 100%. I feel that now my level of commitment has risen in the last few days and I am ready to take any responsibility. The most important thing is this course has thrown out all my laziness.” -Ramesh
“ We were living in darkness till now, jeevan dhanya kardia hamaara (our life is blessed now). Now I am feeling healthy, feel the sankalpa (intention) to fight against the negativity and not the person. The person also belongs to us. “ -Sher Singh
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Writer: Aparna T.A, Graphics: Gurudatt Anveker