In an unexpected date with the city’s underprivileged, Art of Living founder and spiritual guru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar taught over 2,500 children and youth the fine art of stress management on Sunday afternoon - by using meditation as a tool against life’s adverse circumstances.
In an Anand Utsav — meant to bring happiness and relief to the city’s urban poor — Ravi Shankar said that the very word “slum” should be avoided since it is somewhat derogatory. “If you meditate, you can be in control of all life’s ills, like addiction to tobacco and alcohol.
You can also save money and live happily with your family,” he told a rapt audience.
An initiative for the upliftment of the urban poor, the youth wing of the Art of Living Organisation, Oorja, has already been reaching out to the slums of Kolkata for the last one year and the results were there for the guru to see.
The organisation has over 60 volunteers who conduct rejuvenation courses for slum dwellers. “Substance abuse and alcohol addiction is quite common among young adults living in these slums. While the victims think that they obtain relief from daily stress by smoking and drinking, it actually tells upon their health. We teach them yoga which gives them a lot of energy and also energisese them for playing football, a popular sport,” Amit Periwal, Faculty-Art of Living told Millennium Post.
There is more. “We teach English plus performing arts including classical and western dance to school-going kids living in the slums. Along with this stitching classes for women and computer training are also conducted by us. Free medical camps that organize eye check-up and cataract screening for the aged is also a part of our program,” added Periwal.
The event was preceded by an Inter-Slum Football tournament with eight slums participating, on December 13. Periwal said he was approached by residents of 8 new slums on Sunday .for hosting these “Art of Living” projects.