Volunteer for a better India


It’s one month since the brutal, inhuman rape and murder of the “Braveheart” in Delhi.
An incident that awakened the spirit & voice of the whole country. Minute by minute accounts of the courageous girl’s fight for survival & the outrage erupting on the streets of Delhi, had the whole country riveted.

ARt of Living Blog- women safety
Everyone in Delhi participated. Despite the biting cold. I know of friends, colleagues & acquaintances in Delhi who came onto the streets to make their opinion heard. A colleague of mine protested silently with his two young daughters. He said, “I want my daughters to know that they are not weak. They have the ability to fight for themselves.” When the media was interviewing from the locations, it was inspiring to see the conviction and strong resolve on the faces of common men & women, boys & girls, all united by one purpose. Justice. Speedy justice.

The social media went wild with comments and remarks from around the world. This is one incident that everyone felt some connection to. After all, it could have been anyone’s sister, daughter, niece, wife in her place that fateful night.

Today, “Braveheart” lives only in our heart. Despite her will to live, she breathed her last in a Singapore hospital. The sounds of protests have also ebbed a little. But the call for justice is as strong. I am sure that everyone who participated in this call for justice, feels a sense of satisfaction for having done something. Of being the “one who did” v/s “the one who watched”. Of feeling the power to bring about change; Of  experiencing the courage for a cause; Of knowing that their voice mattered. I salute them. Sooner than later, when the fast track courts are set up, when the errant and the culprits are punished, these “mango people” can pat their back silently. For, it will be their victory alone. I am very sure this will happen. I am very optimistic.

Art of Living Blog- Volunteer for a better india-1hour

In a world where a lot seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to become cynical. Its easy to slip into a pessimistic mode. Its easy to think, ” How does it matter?” “How will this make a difference”. Well, think again. Every action counts. Every word matters. If it was not for the sacrifice and valor of thousands of freedom fighters, I would not be living in a free India.

If it was not for the inspired leadership of Nelson Mandela, would apartheid be eradicated? They fought hard, to leave a better society for us. Think about the fruit vendor in Tunisia & the young engineer in Egypt. Their individual actions shook the whole continent !

Likewise, I sincerely believe, you and I can make a difference. We can make a positive impact on our communities, our society, our country, on the world. Let’s look around. What seems to be the challenge? How aware are we of the problems that face us?

Is garbage a problem in our neighborhood? Is women’s safety an issue? Is illiteracy a challenge of the town? Electricity? Clean water? We can start small. It doesn’t matter “how much” or “how big” is our effort. The fact that we “made the effort” is itself great.

Artof Living Blog- tailoring training for women

When we were in the launch phase of the Sri Sri University project 2 years ago, H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told us, ” Before we make a global university, we need to ensure that the surrounding villages and communities are healthy & prosperous”. This one advice led us to identify over 100 villages in the periphery where our volunteers have been working tirelessly to bring them health, hygiene, homes, education and vocation. Over 7,500 villagers have benefited from the breathing and meditation workshops.



Vocational training centers have brought employment to over 300 youth & over 100 women have become economically self sufficient by learning tailoring. Seeing this effort, many individuals and organizations have joined hands with us. When one of the youth said to me,”Didi, if not for this training, my life would have been wasted in drugs and alcohol. Now I have good health & a job. Thanks for making my life,”my eyes brimmed with tears. No amount of wealth, fame or name can match that satisfaction. A life was made !

This is just one example. Over 30,000 villages are being impacted by Sri Sri’s knowledge and work in this way. Tens and hundreds of projects envisioned by him are enriching peoples lives around the world.

I am really grateful that I can be part of this transformation. I feel fortunate that I can volunteer to make my country, my world, a better place. I want to invite you to do it too. People are born and they die. Few live lives that matter -even a little. I urge you to live a life that matters. It’s possible.

Art of Living Blog- Volunteer for a Better India

All it needs is your intention, a little time and a lot of your heart. Look around, you will find ways to contribute. You are fortunate. You are gifted by God. Share a little with those less fortunate than you.

If need be, we may get to the streets for reform-like the young ones on the streets of Delhi or the Tunisian. Until then, lets volunteer for a better India, for a better world.
Others can then read the history we make!

Join hands for building a Safe, Stress-free and a United Nation and to take up the cause of Women and Child Safety in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Date: 3rd February 2013
Time: 4 – 7 pm
Venue: Ramlila Maidan, Delhi
Contact: 011-46080666, 011-46089666
Details: VFABI website

(Rajita is an International TLEX trainer ( www.tlexprogram.com), President of the World Forum for Ethics in Business (www.wfeb.org), Member of Board of Governors SriSriUniversity (www.srisriuniversity.edu.in), Trustee of SSRVM (www.ssrvm.org) and an Art of Meditation teacher (www.artofliving.org) !!!!

Humanitarian, Educationist, Leader, Leadership Trainer, Executive Coach, Poet, Meditation Teacher, World Citizen- that’s what her profile says on twitter..
Want to know more? Do visit-http://rajitakulkarni.blogspot.in/

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  1. U have written this wonderfully di…I am proud to be a part of Volunteer For a Better India….we the students of Sri Sri University are now looking and working towards more ways to contribute for Our NATION…

    1. Divya, all of you , the students of Sri Sri University are very fortunate that you can participate in these community programs in the surrounding villages. As you grow into leadership roles, this holistic experience will help you appreciate the needs of every section of society. It will hone you into true global citizens.This is the most unique edge of Sri Sri University!

  2. This gives conviction and confidence that just by being part of Volunteer For a Better India… we will be part of great revolution which is about to happen…alone you cannot but together we can work towards making Bharat “Swarn Bharat”…

  3. I am a volunteer for Better India and also am looking forward to the Google+ hangout with my GURUDEV HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to learn more about how I can be useful for my country on 26th January 2013

    1. Way to go Mallika.Am sure all the 210 free schools of the Art of Living foundation in India and its 24000 + children and teachers are going to be inspired by you to volunteer for a better India !!

    1. Thanks Mamta ! Even I am looking forward to joining the Google Hangout with H H Sri Sri Ravishankar and get His valuable guidance and wisdom on how we can make a better India, a better world !

  4. Yes, its time for good people to come out their drawing rooms and volunteer for a better India! Thanks for this inspiring article

    1. Thanks Lavanya. I am sure you are inspiring a number of good people to come out of their drawing rooms and volunteer ! The time now is not for armchair intellectualisation but grass root action !

    1. Well said Hari ! H H Sri Sri Ravishankarji has said so beautifully , that what we will connected /belonging to, is what we care about , Corruption also starts beyond our boundary of connectedness, If we can expand our sphere of connectedness and think of it as “my society” “my country” “my world”, then imagine how much we will care for it ! Spirituality is making us expand this sphere of belongingness. You have already begun!!

  5. Thank you Art of Living for inspiring me to volunteer for a better India. If a billion Indians volunteer for a better India, we can make our country corruption free, stress-free and violence free

    1. Yes Rajkumar. The Art of Living foundation in just about 3 decades has touched and transformed the lives of millions of people in over 150 countries of the world ! And exactly to invoke and inspire the spirit of service in 1 billion Indians, Sri Sri has envisioned “Volunteer for Better India”.www.artofliving.org

  6. This is my own, my mother land. Let her awaken in the heaven of Divinity where there is no fear and the head is held high…. I volunteer for a better India

  7. I am a Volunteer for a Better India which can lead the World in creating a stress free, violence free planet. A planet where every individual feels that he/she is part of a One World Family

    1. Congrats Srilakshmi ! The Art of Living has already made us experience that we are a true “One World Family” ! I have personally experienced this in all my travels around the world for the TLEX workshop for senior leaders. No matter whether we are in Seoul or Seattle, Brisbane or Berlin, we have a AOL family there ! Lets make this a beautiful world ! http://www.tlexprogram.com

    1. Super conviction and commitment Vasanti. We have to drive out corruption from our society !Thats why Sri Sri even set up a global forum called “World Forum for Ethics in Business” – the sole purpose of it is to advocate and act for ethics and good governance . We also host an annual conference in the European Parliament in Nov in Brussels. This year we are also co hosting one in Bangalore in Feb. http://www.wfeb.org

    1. Thanks Cristoph ! The Art of Living Foundation and International Association for Human Values is doing great work around the world , including Europe. The World Culture festival of last year was a huge effort to truly bring the world together and celebrate the harmony in diversity! Great work by you and your teams! http://www.iahv.org

    1. Thanks for your comment Gautam. Given your incredible talent in music, it would be great if you could inspire youth through your music concerts. We would be very grateful to get some financial support , if you can do some fund raising concerts.

    1. Roopa Thanks a lot. NRIs can play a big role in my opinion.A few ways could be
      a) By adopting some community development projects and supporting them financially. eg, in the article above the aprrox budget to support a whole village for a year is only about Rs 50 lakhs.
      b)By financially supporting free schools and childrens education. Again the cost of educating one child annually is Rs 10000 only.
      c)By inspiring your friends and relatives in India to volunteer
      d)By increasing awareness in your countries of the great work and projects being done in India and garnering resources and support &
      e) In your next visit to India, actually visiting some of these projects and experiencing the power and joy of transformation!
      Hope this helps. Would love to hear your ideas too !

  8. The pain of seeing rampant violence against women, widespread corruption etc has triggered a courage that doesn’t let me sit but drives me to take action in whatever way I can. Yes, I am a volunteer for better India and will always be.

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