HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar visits Nandigram, offers to bring reconciliation

Bangalore, Karnataka, India
20th November 2007

BANGALORE: Renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today visited Nandigram to heal the wounds and scars of the people in the strife-torn area. After meeting hundreds of victims of the ongoing clashes, Gurudev called for dialogues to end the conflict.

“As the conflict is highly politicised, political parties will not be able to resolve it. NGOs and spiritual organisations have to play the role of peacemakers. What is needed is conflict resolution through dialogue,” he said.

Later interacting with the media in Kolkata, Gurudev offered to mediate between the opposing groups to end the ongoing clashes.

“As an NGO which is known for bringing reconciliation in conflict zones around the world, the Art of Living would like to bring peace and solace to the people of Nandigram. We reach out to people in distress wherever they are. That’s why I am here today,” he said.

Gurudev went around Nandigram and interacted with the victims in different localities. He travelled seven kilometres on foot to reach out to people in an area where there was no motorable road. He distributed food and clothes at Brajamohan Tiwari Sikhsayatan relief camps and at Sonachura village.

Commenting on the plight of the people of Nandigram, he said,

“People are distraught and living in such fear that they cannot even tell their names. I didn’t see such intense fear psychosis even during the deadly tsunami of 2004.” He added that plight of victims was worse than that of what he saw in war-ravaged Iraq.

Gurudev emphasised that the need of the hour is to restore confidence among the victims. The Art of Living has already started the process of alleviating the trauma by conducting pranyama and meditation camps, he said.

“Several yuvacharya or youth leaders of the Art of Living are working in the area.” The Art of Living is also running three schools in Nandigram, Sonachura and Maheshtala, where all other schools have closed their doors.Gurudev also urged the government to offer suitable compensations to the victims.