- Tour Schedule
- Tour Diary
Taking free education to the grassroots9 Apr 2014, Kachar, Assam, India
It was a day dedicated to education and a dream come true for many as they watched Sri Sri Ravi Shankar address the inaugural ceremony of the Sri Sri Gnan Mandir School in Bhunbaneswarnagar, Kachar Dist., Assam. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony and honored the school that will educate over 400 children for free.
The next day, Sri Sri met children from 2 of Art of Living’s free schools from Nalbari and Barduarbagan near Guwahati. Inspired by Sri Sri’s vision of a stress-free, violence-free world, the Art of Living has committed itself to empowering underprivileged children through quality education. There are 404 schools that are being run in India with each one being a story of transformation itself. These schools educate close to 40,000 children.
“We don’t have the facilities here that we hear about towns, but the standard of education in this school is so good that we feel we live in a developed town,” says Sapna Deb of Shantinagar, Tripura, whose daughter studies in one of the Art of Living schools.
“It is very encouraging to see parents, who have never gone to school, lining up to get their children educated. The response of the parents is so overwhelming that we have decided to start classes for adults too,” said Project Co-ordinator, Mitra Agarwal.
Here, apart from good education, art, yoga and meditation are also taught. “The biggest growth is seen in the area of their mannerism and discipline. This is remarkable because these children don’t have a conducive atmosphere at home,” opines Sudangshu Das, a graduate who has been teaching for last four years at the Gourangatilla school.
For more information on the free school project, visit: www.artoflivingschools.org
City of Joy urged to Vote for a Better India8 Apr 2014, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Citizens of Kolkata turned out in thousands to welcome the Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on April 8th, 2014. Sri Sri interacted and addressed more than 10,000 enthusiastic volunteers that morning at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. They had worked dedicatedly for the Volunteer for Better India (VBI) Campaign with the aim of raising public awareness for exercising one's vote. VBI drives have been conducted in corporate, housing societies, etc. in Kolkata and surrounding areas. Volunteers even conducted ‘Voteathon’, an inter-college competition aimed at increasing the awareness and importance of voting in our civil society, especially amongst the youth. ‘Nukkad nataks’ and bike rallies were also organized. The efforts put in resulted in 3,912 new voter registrations.
Sri Sri then inaugurated new seva initiatives for slum development, diagnostic center, blood donation camps, zero-budget chemical free farming and a tree plantation drive undertaken by Brij Chawla, head of the Art of Living Tribal School in Ghatsila, Jharkhand.
Later that evening, Sri Sri led a meditation and interacted with the public on various issues confronting the country. His words instilled a sense of responsibility and nationalism amongst all.
Mumbai, Maharashtra7 Apr 2014, India
Come together, create a group, and do social work. Wherever you find injustice in the system, put collective pressure, but with a smile. The Volunteer for a Better India initiative can bring about a positive change in many areas. ~ Sri Sri
Volunteering for community welfare was the single message that resounded at a closed-door conference called "India First", as well as at a volunteer convention that was attended by over 10,000 people representing different sections of society.
A number of youth shared their experiences of volunteering as well as speaking to people about voter awareness. The apathy of many people changed when they saw the determination and enthusiasm of the volunteers to engage people in the electoral process.
There was also a special session of meditation and prayers for peace.
Calling on people for community service5 Apr 2014, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Inspiration, aspirations for progress, and determination to give back to society were the predominant feelings at a volunteer convention that saw the presence of over 15,000 people from Pune and surrounding districts. The audience pledged to make society corruption-free, ban alcohol, and dedicate seven hours a week towards community service.
Later that day, thousands of youth pledged to work in villages and help their rural counterparts. Amid a galaxy of community leaders representing different political parties, over 100,000 people said they would come forward to work for the country.
Inspiring people towards better governance, Buldhana and Nagpur4 Apr 2014, Maharashtra, India
"If we give seven hours per week to the nation, we can do a lot for the country," said Sri Sri at a special morning session in Buldhana. Inspired by Sri Sri's words, over 3000 people pledged to work with Volunteer for a Better India.
Sri Sri also spoke to the gathering about the urgency to save cows and urged farmers to practice organic farming. He assured them of support from the Art of Living Foundation. In the past, the Art of Living has successfully rehabilitated farmers who were on the verge of suicide in the Vidarbha district of Maharashtra.
From Buldhana, Sri Sri travelled to Nagpur, where he met with 4000 people from all around Vidarbha.
"I don't want people to exercise the NOTA (none of the above) option during voting. I want them to vote decisively," said Sri Sri.
Later, at a mahasatsang, Sri Sri urged the audience to avoid the use of plastic and encouraged chemical-free farming.
He focused on everybody attaining a sense of belongingness with others around them. "Corruption is not going to stop just by changing the law. We need to have a wave of belongingness. Where there is belongingness, there is no corruption," said Sri Sri.
Serve the nation3 Apr 2014, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Over 8000 people from a wide range of districts in Marathwada, Vidarbha,
and Nashik participated in the Volunteer for a Better India (VBI) convention with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Addressing the gathering, the groups of volunteers shared experiences from the several service initiatives that they had undertaken after the launch of the VBI program in February 2013. Inspired and launched by Sri Sri, the initiative aims to empower people to volunteer for their nation for at least one hour a day.
Many in the audience shared their experiences of greater community cohesiveness and collaboration after the VBI projects started.
One such service initiative was the rehabilitation of 250 former beggars. After a stress-elimination and vocational training program, the group began earning wages and today earn Rs. 2000 a month. Members of the groups were felicitated and encouraged by Sri Sri at a special event in the evening, attended by 35,000 people.
Sri Sri also conducted a meditation for the gathering and answered many of the audience's questions, ranging from the qualities of good governance to faith and divinity.
Recognizing the good work of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri was honored with the Aurangabad Citizen Forum.
Earlier in the day, Sri Sri also visited the historical monument of Bibi ka Maqbara, a replica of the famous Taj Mahal monument.
Interfaith Council in Vienna27 Mar 2014, Vienna, Austria
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spoke at the Interfaith Council in Vienna which deliberates on the current issues around the globe. Convened by former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, the forum comprised former heads of nations.
Sri Sri also attended the 95th birthday celebrations of Helmut Schmidt where heads of state, philosophers and other leaders were present.
Tour Schedule: 13 Mar 201413 Mar 2014, Andal, West Bengal, India
Volunteer for Better India
Meeting for Volunteer for Better India
Villages in Bihar follow violence-free path13 Mar 2014, Bihar, India
During Sri Sri’s visit to Bihar, he was heartened to see youth from over 100 villages surrounding Bhagalpur, to have undergone changes and shun the path of violence. He visited the Mahabodhi temple and Kanaka temple in Gaya, where a satsang took place.
From Gaya, Sri Sri travelled to Samastipur on March 10, where he was welcomed by local MLA, SSP Rajiv Ranjan along with more than 500 volunteers. That evening, at the mahasatsang held at Patel Grounds, more than 25,000 people were enthralled with the majestic chanting of Shiva Stotra by Pandit Bipin Kumar Mishra and his group. Sri Sri addressed the huge gathering on several issues facing the nation and emphasized on the importance of spirituality in politics.
On March 11, Sri Sri visited Darbhanga for the first time, where he expressed sorrow on seeing the current state of Sanskrit colleges and universities which once stood as the seat of knowledge.
Later, at a mahasatsang, Sri Sri announced a special ‘Pag day’ which is a type of hat. The city celebrated the cultural tradition by wearing ‘pag’. More than 40,000 people were a part of the event which saw many dignitaries including the Mayor.
At a press conference held at the Postal Training Center, Sri Sri drew attention to the need of active participation in the election process and to vote for a strong and stable government at the center. Urging citizens to be responsible for cleanliness in their environment, Sri Sri said: “If everyone gives one hour a day, it is enough,” said Sri Sri.
On March 12, Sri Sri travelled to Jehanabad for a mahasatsang which was attended by thousands including many judges.
Sri Sri’s Bihar tour concluded on March 13, marking a special day in his calendar for having visited three states in a single day i.e. morning Holi celebrations in Gaya, Bihar; afternoon satsang in Andal, West Bengal; followed by evening satsang in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Sneh Milan: Exchanging genuine love and belongingness10 Feb 2014, 21st km Kanakapura Road, Udaypura,
Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, 560082
It’s extremely rare to get a chance to witness true exchange of genuine love and belongingness. And that was exactly what happened at the Sneh Milan, an inter-faith event hosted by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Art of Living International Centre on February 10, 2014.
Several Muslim clerics and decision makers attended the event. All those present held the event as a genuine attempt to join the common threads among people of different faiths and cultures and called for such events more frequently. They spoke on how different religions talk about oneness of God. Many of the Islamic clerics highlighted the Quarnic injunction of a peaceful and harmonious co-existence among people of all faiths. As symbolic message, the event started with the recitation of verses of the Holy Quran that invoke the virtues of peace.
With everybody talking of oneness of the creation, the beautiful campus of the Art of Living reverberated with harmony.
The event was a part of Sri Sri’s ceaseless endeavor to promote love, trust and belongingness among people of all faiths and promote inter-faith harmony in the country. Addressing the gathering, Sri Sri emphasized the need for spreading the wisdom of the ancient Indian ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which says the whole world is one family. He says, “God has created us one.”
Several guests from Iraq, Pakistan, Israel, Oman, the UAE and Afghanistan also joined the celebration. They recalled how Sri Sri’s work is promoting harmony in their country. It was touching to hear a woman from Pakistan who lost her close relatives in a recent blast share how Sri Sri has brought solace in her life. An woman from Kurdistan shared the story of Iraqi women getting empowered through Sri Sri’s Art of Living after they were left widowed by the bloody war.
The event culminated with a community feast that only added to the feeling of bonhomie.