Millions across the world listen to the discourses of this smiling guru from India with rapt attention. His words are pearls of wisdom that elucidate the intricacies of life, disentangle the problems of contemporary society and offer holistic solutions to the ills and threats facing the global community. Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is on a two-day visit to Chennai (February 9-10) during which he will flag-off a slew of welfare schemes and projects under the ‘Pudhu Malarchi’ (new blossom) outreach initiative.
While While a legal cell will be launched at the event presided over by the yogi at Chettinad Vidyashram school today, a presentation will be given on the on-going social projects across Tamil Nadu that aim to uplift rural households through sustainable livelihoods. “We have adopted Melanur village in Thiruvallur district. We will also construct a few toilets, water tanks, and set up a water treatment plant in the village. Under a pilot project, 30 youngsters in Phase 1 will be trained in vocational skills for employment. If found successful, we will replicate this model in other districts,” says Rekha Ravikumar, faculty, Art of Living.
Residents of two slum tenements at Perumbakkam and Okkiyam Thoraipakkam will be rehabilitated through life skills training for women and youth.
Quick to clarify that Art of Living movement has been taking root in Tamil Nadu for years, Rekha says ‘Pudhu Malarchi’ will further strengthen the rural projects in the districts. One of the projects is the restoration of water bodies in Thiruvannamalai district by recharging wells and groundwater that feeds into the Palar River. “We are working closely with the Public Works Department and like-minded groups to restore the Naganadhi River, which is the source of fresh water in the district,” informs Raji Swaminathan, another faculty at Art of Living.
On the second day of his visit (February 10, Wednesday), Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will perform a Rudra Puja to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva at Avichi School in Virugambakkam. Thousands are expected to participate in the meditative puja slated to begin at 6.30am. In the evening, he will give a lecture on the three Is – Intuition, Intelligence and Innovation, at the Le Royal Meridian, Guindy. For details, call Raji Swaminathan at 98440 17767