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The Art of Living's transformative free education initiatives

The Art of Living's transformative free education initiatives

The Art of Living, renowned for its humanitarian projects, has made significant strides in providing free education in remote urban, rural, and tribal areas across India. These schools aim to nurture broad-minded personalities in a stress-free environment, empowering children from underprivileged backgrounds. The inspiration behind this exceptional initiative is Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a globally acclaimed spiritual leader and humanitarian. He profoundly believes, "Education is civilisation's greatest leveler. It has the power to empower the weakest of the weak, bring peace to the world, and alleviate poverty. It is often seen as the only lit path in the pursuit of happiness."


Building on this vision, Smt. Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's sister, has been instrumental in establishing and expanding undertakings aimed at offering free education to children in need.  Her compassionate leadership has positively impacted countless children's lives, contributing significantly to realising a more equitable and harmonious society.


The journey began in 1981 with the inauguration of the first school in rural Bengaluru, catering to 30 children. Over the past 42 years, this initiative has flourished, and there are now 1,262 schools across 22 states in India, providing comprehensive education to over 1,00,000 children.


Key Highlights

  • 100% Results: The schools boast a remarkable 100% pass rate, with zero dropouts and over 90% attendance.

  • Comprehensive Support: Students benefit from midday meals, medical camps, well-equipped libraries, bicycles, school buses, books, computer labs, sports equipment, and stationery. 

  • Holistic Development: Daily practices of yoga, pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya (a world famous breathwork), and meditation foster physical and mental well-being, along with strong values and life skills.

  • Community Development Initiatives: Health and hygiene awareness camps and regular communication with parents help encourage a positive environment for children.

  • Empowering Teachers: Teachers are trained to be community leaders and change agents, ensuring sustainable development.


Impact Stories

  • First-Gen Success: Manu Singh Scores 92.4%, Stands 4th in District Exams:  Manu Singh, a standout student from The Art of Living Free School in Khunti, secured 4th position in the 2024 district exams with an impressive 92.4% in Class X. Manu is a first generation learner.

  • Anil Kumar Murmu: Aspiring to Serve the Nation: Anil Kumar Murmu, an 8th-grade student at Sri Sri Vidya Mandir High School in Hendaljuri, exemplifies the diverse learning opportunities provided by The Art of Living's schools. Beyond academics, Anil enjoys classes in computer skills, robot programming, drawing, football, and archery. His parents, proud farmers, see a promising future for Anil, who aspires to join the Indian Armed Forces.

  • Sima Gope: Overcomes Economic Barriers, Joins BSF: In Hendaljuri, a remote village in Jharkhand, Sima Gope's story is a testament to the power of education. Growing up in a family with limited financial means, Sima's parents couldn't afford her schooling. However, Sri Sri Vidya Mandir offered her free education along with essential resources like books and uniforms. This allowed Sima to pursue her studies and achieve her dreams of joining the Border Security Force

  • Babita Pathar: From Student to Teacher: Babita Pathar, a graduate of Sri Sri Vidya Mandir, now teaches at Kesarpur School, another branch of the institution. Reflecting on her journey, Babita expresses gratitude to her dedicated teachers for their hard work and commitment to quality education. Her story highlights the lasting impact of The Art of Living's educational endeavours.

  • Sudhanshu Sahoo: Nurturing Excellence: Since 2018, Sudhanshu Sahoo has taught at Sri Sri Vidya Mandir High School in Hendaljuri. He values the nurturing environment that fosters every child's advancement in such a remote area. Sudhanshu is thankful for the chance to contribute to the children's education, inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's vision.


Notable Achievements and Recognition

  • Hendaljuri Free School Achieves Academic Excellence for 12th Consecutive Year: In the Class X JAC Board Exam 2024, 76 students from The Art of Living Free School Hendaljuri, Ghatshila, displayed outstanding academic performance. This accomplishment is especially remarkable as it is the 12th consecutive batch to achieve a 100% success rate.

  • Students Secure Runner-Up in Tata Kolhan Football Tournament: Students from Hendaljuri secured the Runner-Up position in the Tata Kolhan Super League Football Tournament, held at FTC Baraghat (Mosabani).

  • Students Win Bronze in Inter-School Archery Competition: 7th grade students clinched the Bronze Medal in JRD Tata Foundation's Inter-School Archery Competition on September 29th, 2023.


Collaborative Efforts for Sustainable Education

In partnership with The Art of Living, Housing Finance Ltd., and the Pahel Foundation, free tribal schools in East Singhbhum District, Jharkhand, have seen remarkable enhancements. Computer labs are now fully equipped in three schools, while solar photovoltaic systems are installed in two, ensuring clean, renewable energy. Moreover, transportation support aids students from remote tribal settlements, improving access to education.


For more than forty years, The Art of Living has been empowering through education. Providing free schooling, often a first for many, especially girls, extends access to high-quality education. The organisation's method integrates spiritual and traditional learning, fostering holistic development.


About The Art of Living Social Projects 

Inspired by the world renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; The Art of Living is a global non-profit organisation committed to holistic development. The Art of Living champions various initiatives, including water conservation, sustainable agriculture, afforestation, free education, skill development, women empowerment, integrated village development, renewable energy and waste management. Through these multifaceted efforts, The Art of Living strives to create positive social and environmental impact, fostering a more sustainable and harmonious future for all.


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