It has been seven years, since the deadly Tsunami walloped the coasts of the Indian Ocean, the tremors of which was felt all over the world. It not only devastated lives and homes, but also the spirit of the people. The Art of Living had embarked on a major initiative to help the victims of the Tsunami reclaim their lives by providing immediate help such as tons of relief material, drinking water, and trauma care (which turned out to be the most vital requirement of the survivors) using traditional holistic methods such as meditation and breathing techniques.
Seven years, and The Art of Living- IAHV has tirelessly worked to reclaim the lives of the people, as the rehabilitation measures taken were for the times to come.
Sustainable development can only happen when a permanent presence of the leading development force is ensured. Keeping this in mind the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) bought a plot of land (7.9 acres) near Anakovil village in Nagapattinam district. The land was cultivated and they built, Sri Sri Vidya Mandir Matriculation School, Sri Sri Industrial School, and Multipurpose Community Centre, serving a population of over 15000 people in the surrounding villages.
Sri Sri Vidya Mandir (SSVM), a beautiful eco-friendly building was officially inaugurated on the 20th of July 2007, and had 11 teachers and 196 students when it started.
Today there are 38 teachers giving holistic education to 570 students. Besides the free tuition, mid-day meals, books and uniforms, there are regular medical camps that are organized in the schools for the students and their families.
The children also undergo the ART EXCEL and the YES workshop of The Art of Living in which they learn pranayama, meditation and the Sudarshan Kriya, helping them to focus and giving them confidence.
The school is also used as a hub for the social and economic upliftment initiatives of the surrounding villages. All the teachers receive special orientation and training (which emphasizes the overall development of a child) at the Sri Sri Vidya Mandir Matriculation School.
Sri Sri Industrial School, provides immediate vocational training in the areas of plumbing, electric works, tailoring, welding and computers.
In the Year 2011, efforts have been made in association with Shriram Foundation, the Shriram IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) study centers to be extended to the premises of Sri Sri Industrial School, Anakoil, Nagapattinam, providing distance education in graduate programs
Multipurpose Community Centre
A multipurpose community centre has been built to create a common space for the community. The people come together for satsangs, follow ups, meditation, and also for different activities, initiatives and discussions and get enriched as a community. The community centre has been constructed with the help of Chicago Balaji Temple Charitable Trust, U.S.A and IAHV Tsunami Relief Fund.
The Art of Living – IAHV has not only built Homes and Schools, it has also built lives that were devastated, spirits that were destroyed, hope that was washed away, and most importantly it has instilled the values of harmony and belongingness among the people, who continue to live as an example to the whole world.
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Writer: Eben Felix, Graphics: Gurudatt Anveker