Educating Children Through Art of Living Programmes

Guwahati: One fine day in the summer of 2012, Krishna left for Guwahati to take part in a Youth Leadership Training Program at the Art of Living centre. As she stepped out of the train, she came to know that the city was under a 48-hour curfew because of sudden riots. She did not have a vehicle or any other support to get to the place. But everything was set at the venue. Being an outsider, she didn’t know the local language and could not seek help.

“Still, I managed to reach the place somehow, and the course began on time,” said Krishna, who is now an Art of Living faculty. Such incidents were common in Assam, and the locals were used to it, she said, though it was a new experience for her. “After taking part in the Art of Living program, I got new strength,” she said. Till then, she was just a housewife and was confined to her family and home.

Krishna started her first school in 2005 at Rajghat, Bogaingaon district with only 13 students. Now the school has grown and supports over 290 students. Till now, nearly 1000 students have benefited from the school, and most of them come from uneducated families. So the students are the first generation to go to school. "While women made a living by selling alcohol, men worked as labourers in the fields, to meet the family expenses," said Krishna.

The mother of a Class 10 student studying here expressed her gratitude saying that she could not even think of sending her children to school but now her dream has come true. With her son’s help, she has now learnt a lot, she said. Addressing a huge gathering, Krishna said this was possible only because of the school, which strived to bring together the parents of the students on one platform.

Krishna could make this happen only because of her courage as well as the deep love and concern for children. She had to face many challenges to achieve this because most of the villagers were alcoholics and there was low awareness among the people. Emphasizing the importance of education, she struggled hard to convince the parents to send their children to school instead of making them work at home or in the fields. Volunteers also convinced the villagers and made this a big success.