Over

2,00,000 youth

trained and empowered

Volunteer-driven

40,000

cleanliness drives conducted

Developing

55

model villages across India

Hygiene camps benefitting

78,69,900

people conducted

Medical camps benefitting

577,400

people organized

Built

62,000

toilets to make India open defecation-free

Overview

Any country’s progress is directly connected with rural development. Lasting rural transformation can be achieved only with a holistic approach, one that considers and integrates all aspects including economic, social and environmental. For any change to be sustainable,  it has to begin from within. In rural development programs run by The Art of Living, the emphasis is on empowering the local communities and making them the torchbearers of change. The Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) gives youth the skills, motivation, and abilities to initiate and lead service projects in their villages and communities based on their needs. It is this combination of personal inner strength, as well as skills and leadership training that enables them on the journey of rural development.

Challenges

Development issues in communities are usually inter-related. Before anything else, a community has to have access to basic health and sanitation facilities and clean drinking water. Awareness of the importance of personal health and hygiene is an important first step in improving the standard of living for the community. Education is the next step. Motivating the people to get basic education and also providing them opportunities to use that education to earn a living helps them to improve their economic status. They develop a better appreciation of their surroundings, their environment and of themselves. Healthy and happy communities pave the way for a development cycle that is self-sustaining.

However, achieving this requires committed and sustained developmental efforts that could span several years. The initial phase that addresses deep-rooted and outdated socio-cultural biases is extremely challenging. Moreover, the demand for technical and economic resources for such projects is huge, often requiring the involvement of several stakeholders. The Art of Living is committed to transformation in rural development have empowered us to dream and work towards building similar communities in villages all over India.

Strategy

The fulcrum of a rural transformation of The Art of Living in India is the empowerment of the rural youth leader, called yuvacharya. These are bright young men and women drawn from the same rural milieu and developed on multiple facets by the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP).

This gives them the skills, motivation, and abilities to initiate and lead service projects in their villages and communities based on their needs. It is this combination of inner strength as well as skills and leadership training that enables them on the journey of rural development.

Yuvacharyas leverage The Art of Living model of development called the 5H:

  • Health – physical, mental, financial, and environmental
  • Homes for the homeless
  • Hygiene
  • Human Values
  • Harmony in Diversity

The 5H catalyzes social transformation and aims to eradicate poverty, misery, and disease and to ensure peace and harmony in rural and tribal areas worldwide.

Impact in India

  • Reached 70,000 villages in India
  • Trained 203,220 India rural youth through YLTP
  • Conducted 165,000 free stress-relief workshops, benefiting more than 5,688,000 people
  • More than 1,10,000 smokeless chulhas distributed
  • 40,500 cleanliness drives conducted by volunteers
  • 52,466 hygiene camps conducted, benefiting 7,869,900 people
  • 27,427 medical camps organized benefiting 577,400 people
  • 2,03,220 rural youth trained
  • 55 model villages being developed
  • Built 3,819 homes
  • Built 62,000 toilets
  • Built 1, 200 bore-wells
  • Built 1,000 biogas plant
  • Over 45,000 individuals from 12 states of India have benefited through the HIV/AIDS Awareness for Rural Adolescent (HARA) campaign
  • More than 27,000 youth trained in various vocational skills over 14 years
  • 1,800 prisoners and 1,300 reformed armed insurgents provided with vocational skills training
  • 111,000 rural women trained in vocational skills

Please reach out to us to know more about our rural development projects and how we can partner to bring change.

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Contact Us

India office

Phone: +91 80 67612300​
Fax :+91 80 2843 2833
Email: secretariat@artofliving.org 
Address: Office of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living International Center, 21st KM, Kanakapura Road, Udaypura, Bangalore South, Karnataka - 560082, India

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A multi-faceted approach to social initiatives has saved many lives, lit many smiles, and helped communities experience progress. Every piece of service work is created with dedicated analysis, thoughtful care - keeping humaneness in the forefront. Progressive change and sustainable impact happen when the affected are supported at every step of their journey. Walk with us as we walk with others. And together let’s build hope for every member of our global family.

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