The Art of Living Fellowship Launches

16th July 2016 - The big day arrived! 10 fellows. 10 journeys. 1 year. 1 fellowship.

Our 10 selected fellows arrived from all over India and abroad, having travelled for hours - - and some for even days- to (finally) arrive at the Art of Living International Center in Bangalor for their Social Impact Induction Bootcamp.

The Social Impact Induction is a 3-week power-packed, intense bootcamp to train and equip the selected fellows with the skills, knowledge, perspectives and driven inspirations needed to become social impact leaders. 

Day 1 of the Fellowship began with a grand inauguration ceremony, an inspirational address by Commodore Harsha, CEO of Art of Living Projects, who emphasized the spirit of service and the innate drive to contribute to society to make a difference. "All of us at the Art of Living are here because we don't think "what do I want" but we think "what do I want to be a part of, in what way can I best contribute to society".

Himanshu Kalra, COO of Art of Living Projects, goaded the fellows to reflect on what they were here for.  As he shared his own social impact journey , Himanshu probed the fellows to ask themselves, "Change starts with me, but where do I start?".

Himanshu also discussed the Art of Living's Approach to Development and engaged the fellows to explore what Development was and what the core of Development is. "The core of Development is People. It's not about numbers but it's about people. And nobody understands and empowers people like the Art of Living does".

Swami Parametej, moervoer, emphasized the importance of having a vision and of spirituality in leadership. "First and foremost thing to be a good leader is you must have a Vision.It is your vision which will be your constant source of strength, preserverance and enthusiasm and it is your vision, the intensity of your vision that will determine the speed of your success.".

The inspirational addresses were followed by a sumptuous lunch and an enriching tour around the Art of Living International Center, topped with a fun get-together and bhangra dance party.

"After the sessions I just feel like going to the field and working with the people", shared Aarohi Trivedi, a M.A Graduate in English Literature from Mumbai University who is our Education Fellow.

" I have always wanted to make an impact, especially in water, but now with this fellowship I feel I can finally do it", shares Dattarey Patil, our Water Fellows.

"Day 1 was filled with so many events, intensity and fun, I can't wait to see what all unwraps infront of us during this induction!", says Suprita Kanwat, a Ph.D from I.I.T Kanpur who is one of our water fellows.

Maharashtra Water Project's Team Meet - A day to share, inspire and vision together.

 “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Each team in Maharashtra is doing fantastic work to move towards a water abundant and drought free Maharashtra. However, sometimes we are so engrossed in our individual project that we often forget to sync together and work collectively as a team. Getting together helps share, create and implement ideas and move towards Water Projects with greater energy and efficiency.

This weekend, the Art of Living’s Maharashtra team got together at the Art of Living Headquarters in Bangalore to have a single-day conclave, called ‘Nav Tarang’ (‘New Wave). The Meet was an opportunity to collectively work and reaffirm the MH Team’s commitment to river rejuvenation efforts in Maharashtra and foster news ideas to move towards a drought-free Maharashtra.

Community leaders and workers from various parts of the state - from district Latur to Satara to Halgara reunited and shared their stories, successes and lessons from their field work.

The meet was a great platformm to share expertt insights, foster new ideas and bring about new chances to learn from each other.

More importantly, it was a chance to create strong and lasting bonds and re-imphazie important values. “The synergy the meet has created has brought a new zeal, enthusiasm and energy in the volunteers like ever before”, notes Mahadev Gomare, one of the project leaders of Maharashtra River Projects.

Connecting #WithNature this World Environment Day

Staring at the canvas, imagining another masterpiece, we took  a step forward to paint the world green this World Environment Day. The Earth is our canvas and the seeds are our paints, our hands are our brushes and our mind unrestrained.

The theme of this year's World Environment Day is ‘Connecting with Nature’. Our Water projects Team celebrated this environment day on the right note by engaging in a tree plantation drive around our very living quarters.

The sun was out and on board with us glittering and shining and not burning us up. Overall, it was good day to plant. Yes! We were painting our empty lands green. We grew a variety of saplings like mango, chiku, jackfruit, gooseberry and coconut.

Our crew was all geared and ready to plant. The instructions were laid down and the plan took action. Just like construction workers tossing bricks to another ,we would pass saplings to another. We planted about 60 saplings around our living quarters. Watching the team work together and connect with each other and the nature was inexplicable.

”A building will accommodate only people and give them a roof to live under, but a tree will not only offer fresh air to humans but also branches for birds to build their nests upon, shade to many living beings, and fruits to many”, shared Payal, our projects team member handling human resources.

Planting the saplings today instantly helped me realize the connection and gave me immense satisfaction. Moreover, I realized how my little efforts to plant saplings and take care of them in the initial days would later be complemented by the nature to bloom into a big tree one day..” said Nithin, the nature loving  IITan of our team.

“I have always loved and admired nature and had a deep longing  to  give back to it. This was finally satiated when I got the chance by the very act of planting the saplings by my own hands”, added Asmita, the finance superwoman of our department.

"Just the simple act of touching the soil, watering the sapling and really getting all muddy reminded me of my connection with nature today" , shared Isha, a typical uptown city girl previously living in New York.

At the end of the hard working yet fulfilling morning,  we sipped on aamras as we sat by the mango saplings and reminisced of how our small step would impact the bigger  movement this World Environment Day to celebrate and connect with nature.