Free Education : A tour through Guntur... Sri Sri Seva Mandir!

Innocence in the eyes, Curiosity in their speech,
Sharp, observant mind, yet playful all the time,
They exhibited the qualities no different from any other child.
Yet, they were not just any kids - special, one of a kind.
Running around joyfully in the wet mud, drenched by the showers,
One might fail to comprehend the smile that has come after many meditative hours,
For life had something else in store for them,
Abandoned by their families, yet nourished by the creation,
Their stories reflect love, belongingness, courage
And the power of transformation that selfless service can bring about…
We tell you a few tales!

Without parents, there is a vacuum in life, which cannot be filled by anyone.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Seva Mandir, Guntur, built at the foot hill of the three surrounding mountains is currently providing free education to 252 students. The school also hosts a hostel to 60 kids. All the children studying here are perhaps, the first generation from their family to ever attend a school!

These 60 kids have only one family, and that is The Art of Living. Their parents are either encountered as the area is Naxal-affected, or they are from distorted family, either their parents died due to HIV or they wanted to have a new life with a new partner and thus they do not want the born child...!

Well, it's said there is exception in every situation and for parents who have missed being in wisdom or are entangled in the narrow societal mind-set, these consequences for children is but, normal in rural areas. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Seva Mandir, Guntur, has a building to accommodate these kids, becoming the first Art of Living free school to also have a hostel!

Today, The Art of Living's Schools provide holistic free education to over 40,000 students in 404 schools across 19 states of India.

We present to you the transformations in the life of some children who have been nurtured in this school through the stories below...

Nurturing the Abandoned

The Little Angels

The Stories of Shravani, Tattvamasi and Jyoti

Reaching out and catching them young

Writer: Monica Patel

If you like to contribute to the Art of Living education projects, please write to us at webteam.india@artofliving.org or just drop in your comments below!