128 Manipuri militants reintegrated into mainstream India

Jharkhand, India
23rd November 2010

Art of Living & IAHV conduct a first-of-its kind mass rehabilitation program

Bangalore, November 23, 2010: “My anger has now turned into a smile. Earlier, it was difficult imagining a normal life. Today, after coming to The Art of Living, I am leading a normal life. I feel very good and peaceful,” said Amar Singh, a surrendered Manipuri militant.

Amar Singh, Jeevan Singh and Bunty Meiti are part of the first Meitie group of 128 militants from KCPMC Lallumba that laid down arms on August 6, 2010. They were, consequently, rehabilitated by undergoing a 90 - day intensive spiritual, behavioural and vocational rehabilitation training program organized and conducted by The Art of Living and its sister organization, the International Association for Human Values (IAHV)

The program began on August 16, 2010. “Manipur, today, is one of the worst insurgency-affected state in the North-east. We were not merely looking at training them in technical skills and soft skills, but their complete rehabilitation,” said Shri Darshak Hathi, International Director, The Art of Living.

Based on Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ideals of ‘Inside every criminal, there is a victim crying for help’, the rehabilitation program aimed at stress elimination, bringing inner peace, creating centeredness, sensitivity and making them socially responsible citizens through The Art of Living Sudarshan Kriya and the Youth Leadership Training Program. Alongside, there was a Vocational Skill Development Training program by Kohinoor that was enlisted by The Art of Living to impart technical training to the group in computers, mobile-repair, electrical and ac/refrigeration. Evenings were dedicated for cultural programs, satsangs and games. Today, most of the group is successfully employed in mainstream companies.

On August 6, 2010, this group was handed over by the Government to The Art of Living for their rehabilitation. They were then brought to The Art of Living Ashram in Pune where they were provided with full medical aid along with their other daily needs.

Throwing light on the whole rehabilitation process and the journey ahead, Art of Living Faculty and Project Director, Art of Living Rehabilition Program, Samir Jolly shared, “Rehabilitation of this group was a challenging task. We dealt with these people with a spiritual and human approach. When they were in the Army camp, they would escape in spite of the best security cover. Here, they stayed on without any security or boundary walls. Today, the situation is such that they even do not want to pick up the gun. Our methodology has been greatly appreciated and we are getting many such more requests by the Government.”

Over the years, The Art of Living has been tirelessly working towards bringing peace in war-torn zones around the world. In August, this year, inspired by the Art of Living programs, a top Maoists leader, Ramendra Singh surrendered before the police in Jharkhand.