February 16, 2009 2:39:12 am
The Art of Living workshops in Karnewadi have made the villagers take firm steps towards bettering their standard of living
Forty families in Karnewadi,a village 45 kms from Pune are busy learning the art of living. For Shri Shri Ravishanker’s techniques to live life come to the village through weekly art of living workshops. And the workshop is what contributed to the progress of the village that some four months back was replete with features of a backward village.
Karnewadi that few months back choked with the smoke emanating from choolhas,today has smokeless choolhas installed in more than half of the households. Also,the villagers got together to solve the sanitation and drainage problems to a large extent. And the stimulus to all the progressive steps taken by the villagers to improve their living conditions came from the workshop.
The village that has been adopted by Cybage Asha,the Companys Social Resposibilty (CSR) wing of Cybage Softwares took quick but steady steps towards becoming a nirmal gram some six months back. The team started working towards the progress of the village as a part of Cybage Software’s social initiative.
Recipient of the Nirmal Gram Award,Karnewadi had a completely different story to tell six months back. ” There wasn’t even a single mori in the village. The first step was to collect the villagers together and make them come together to find a solution to the problems,” says Ketan Parekh,senior project manager. The team faced a lot of trouble in bunching 40 families together to come up with the solutions to the problem. “In fact six women of the village got hospitalised due to excessive smoke intake. We then thought we have to do something about the whole thing,” says Parekh
Spirituality that has an uncanny resemblance to religion is what came to the rescue of the villagers. The art of living workshop spoke the language of their faith. “They are simpletons and are very religious. The workshop gave them a platform to interact and talk out the problems,” says Parekh.
The workshop after the meditation activities becomes an open forum for the villagers where they interact about the problems faced by the village as a whole.. “It is an excuse for the villagers for us to come together. Earlier we were scattered but now we gather at one place and there is no communication gap. We get together to sort out the various problems plaguing our village,” says Shyam Powar,sarpanch.
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