Art of Living Heroes
Ujjwal Bangla is The Art of Living’s endeavor towards providing holistic solutions to empower rural West Bengal towards independence and self sustenance. There are a number of The Art of Living volunteers who are pioneers in this remarkable journey of transformation through development of a bevy of youth rural leaders and change makers in central and south WestBengal.
Amit Chatterjee who is an Art of Living faculty is playing a prominent role as he spearheads this effort. He is the faculty for various AOL programs including happiness program, Yes+, master trainer YLTP, Utkarsha yoga, medha yoga1, know your child and know your teens.
His life changed drastically after his first encounter with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living. He was deeply inspired by Gurudev. Hence, he decided to dedicate his life to become a Volunteer for Better India, under the AOL flagship. He then undertook the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). After a few years, he became Art of Living Faculty in 2010. Then, he started working towards establishment of AOL school Sri Sri Gyan Mandir at Budbud village in Bardhaman district, where he resides. he school started with 15 students. Gradually, the number increased and it has 200+ students now . He is instrumental in establishing many Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth (VVMVP) schools in different parts of rural West Bengal. He traveled to different parts of the state to motivate youth in rural areas. Along with Ramdas Bhattacharajee and Kunal Roy, he trained hundreds of youth by conducting youth leadership training programs to instill the spirit of leadership in southern parts of the state. In the past two years, the entire team is bringing a revolution by conducting YLTPs in WB Ashram. Furthermore, YLTPs are also being started in Howrah and Medinapur districts by Moli Sarkar.
In 2011, Amit worked in the red zone areas of West Bengal with Ujjwal Mahato. He also worked tirelessly with the YLTP team of Purulia to arrange its first ever visit by Gurudev. As a master trainer, he also conducts several YLTPs through which youth experience great transformation and resolve to serve society. Many are inspired to serve and spread the AOL spirit and message by organising Nav Chetna Shibirs, Bal Chetna Shibirs and Yog Chetna Shibirs . Additionally, he conducts several awareness camps for many communities including farmers, people with addictions and armed personnels as well. He is also engaged actively in creating model villages in the state. Sangachwatam is the mantra of his success.
Today, Amit ji is a true inspiration for thousands of youth as he continues his passion of life to spread the spirit of patriotism and spirituality amongst them.
He reminisces one of Sri Sri quotes fondly, ‘For a society to be healthy, for an individual to be happy, for nations to be strong, we need to see that the grass root level human rights are honoured, human values and responsibilities are enforced. ‘
Rajat from Amarpur village of Burdwan district is a committed leader and is an inspiration for his village. After completion of his youth leadership training program, he tried to organise Nav Chetna Shibir and Bal Chetna Shibir in his village. Unfortunately, all his attempts were in vain as nobody was interested to participate in Shibirs. After a few days, there was incessant rain in his village. Due to the deluge, the roads in the village were damaged which hindered the daily commute of villagers. On witnessing this problem, Rajat decided to repair the road himself, as he had great desire to serve all. He worked single handedly with spade and tools. Initially, villagers were shocked and amazed to see his initiative and enthusiasm. Later, youth of the village also joined him . Soon, the village road of about 2km was constructed. Rajat, the leader was born and is now a popular name in his village. Later, the villagers gathered to ask him the source of his motivation. As they started to realise the significance of Shibirs, they requested him to conduct shibirs in their village. Rajat then organised Nav Chetna Shibir and Bal Chetna Shibir in the village. Many youth participated in YLTP as well. Rajat is an example of committed leadership, a beacon of hope for his village as he leads his village towards growth and prosperity. By his sheer hardwork and positive intent to serve others, he is now a source of inspiration for many.
Yuvacharya team of Barhra
The Yuvacharya team of Barhra organised Durga puja for four days at Arjunsuli village, a remote village of Khayarasol block in Birbhum district. This is a very special occasion for the village since it is happening for the first time in 200 years of the history of this village. The Yuvacharya team led by Pritam, Devnath and Pradipta made it possible by solving the sociopolitical situation of the village. The volunteers did their best to educate villagers about the importance of this celebration. Today, the village is very grateful to the Yuvacharya team. The village was introduced to the powerful chants of Chandi Patha for the very first time. During evenings each day , villagers enjoyed the various cultural programs. After this grand success, the Yuvacharyas decided to continue Durga puja celebrations every year in this village.
Muslia, is another tribal and underprivileged village in Birbhum, where people fight with poverty everyday. The Art Of Living team of Barhra took an initiative of one day service by serving 45 families in the village. They distributed essential supplies including rice, wheat, pulses, biscuits, sweets, clothes etc to the villagers. The villagers had never received such help in the past. Full of gratitude, a villager said, “We’re really blessed by having such people, they are full of kindness.” One of the Yuvacharyas said, “We’re very happy to be a part of this work, the smiling faces of the villagers are really priceless. We are going to take part in the improvement of their socio-economic condition.”
The Art of Living is single handedly making youth rural leaders and change makers in central and South Bengal
– Jayashree Pattnaik