“Inside every culprit, there is a victim crying for help. That person is also a victim of ignorance, small-mindedness and lack of awareness. It’s the stress, lack of broad vision about life, lack of understanding, and bad communication that leads to violence in society.”
~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The Prison SMART (Stress Management and Rehabilitation Training) program aims to transform the lives of people working in or incarcerated within the criminal justice system – the perpetrators, the law enforcers and the victims. It works in tandem with probation departments, family and juvenile court systems, administrators and correctional officers of penal institutions and law enforcement departments.
The basic premise of the Prison SMART program is that no individual is really ‘bad’ but takes to crime due to external stressors which they are unable to deal with effectively. Under conditions of confinement, violent tendencies and negative emotions are intensified, causing further damage to the psyche of inmates.
The Prison SMART program teaches skills that reduce stress, heal trauma and provides practical knowledge of how to handle negative emotions in order to live to one's highest potential and contribute to society in a positive way.
Active in over 45 countries
and continues to grow.
Over 100 prisons
have implemented the program in India .
More than 500,000 prison inmates
have been transformed through these programs.
Since 1999, more than 120,000 inmates from prisons in India have undergone the Prison SMART program with good results. In Tihar Jail - Asia's largest prison, over 48,000 convicts and 130 prison staff have benefited from the program. Two courses continue to be conducted every month with follow-up sessions every weekend.
”In a pessimistic state of mind, I was introduced to the basic course of The Art of Living. It was a revelation, an eye opener. As I had left the dreams of being released behind, so also the fear of not ever going back outside also left." – Sunil, a past inmate
"Inmates and officers have derived immense benefit by way of physical, mental, spiritual and social well being." - D.R. Karthikeyan, Former Director General, National Human Rights Commission
SRIJAN - Social Rehabilitation of Inmates in Jail and Aiding the Needy, is a project designed to channelize hidden talents in a productive way. It not only allows inmates to express their creativity acting as an outlet for stress, but also gives them a set of skills and lets them earn a respectful living. Over 1800 prisoners and 1300 reformed militants have been trained and have found opportunities to regain their self-worth.
This project produces items like paper bags, office stationary, lampshades, photo frames and boxes. These are then supplied to corporates and departmental stores and also exported to other countries.
SRIJAN project in Tinsukia Jail, Assam provides Electrical & Carpentry training to inmates. In Central Jail in Bangalore, the project “Punarnava” is supporting 45 female inmates in making and selling incense sticks, gift articles and apparel.
Featured Rural Transformation Service Projects
360 million people in India i.e. roughly 40 percent of rural households do not have access to electricity. A majority of these people rely on kerosene and other fuels to meet their lighting needs, which is hazardous to both their health and to the environment. Every year 2.2 million litres of kerosene is burned for lighting, emitting approximately 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Traditional fuel combustion, the primary source of indoor air pollution, causes between 300,000-400,000 deaths per year in India alone.
Initiated in 2012, The Art of Living’s vision to ‘Light a Million Homes’ is an on-going campaign inspiring individuals and corporate partners to work with us to bring clean and affordable lighting solutions to un-electrified homes and villages in India and in Nepal.
The Light a Home follows an integrated approach that combines multiple elements of rural transformation including building rural entrepreneurs. While there is still a journey to be completed, smiles are already lighting up thousands of faces as they begin to experience the benefits of this project.
- Assam: India’s largest solar battery charging station launched to power 287 houses on a remote island in Dibrugarh, Assam in December 2016. With women heading the implementation, the portable solution has been installed on a sandy island.
- Arunachal Pradesh: 33 homes light up in the remote regions
- Jammu & Kashmir: Two schools fully electrified after the 2014 floods
- Tamil Nadu: A remote tribal settlement of Kodamban Kombai in the Nilgiri forest was electrified for the first time
- Karnataka: Three remote villages on the border of Karnataka and Goa got electricity for the first time in their history
- Maharashtra: Solar lamps provide portable electricity to nomadic laborers who are migrants and travel from place to place