Indian Americans adopted 500 villages in India

Sri Sri Ravishankar (CTR), Amb. Ashok Venkatesan (RH), Assemblymen Ash Kalra (RH) with Mayors, Council members from Bay Area cities with Dignitaries
Sri Sri Ravishankar with Dignitaries web
Sri Sri Ravishankar (CTR), Amb. Ashok Venkatesan (RH), Assemblymen Ash Kalra (RH) with Mayors, Council members from Bay Area cities with Dignitaries

SILICON VALLEY: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in the US adopted 500 villages in India as part of their effort to develop the rural areas of the country. A formal announcement in this regard was made during the ‘Big Ideas for Better India’ conference in Silicon Valley on July 1. Organized by the Overseas Volunteer for Better India (OVBI), spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave the keynote address at the event which was attended by over 1,000 influential NRI leaders.

These 337 villages have been selected based on the highest farmer suicide rates, high unemployment rates and that need immediate support, said OVBI president Satej Chaudhary. “We are bringing together geoscientists, agricultural experts and entrepreneurs to help double the income of farmers by 2022,” he said.

The event addressed the most challenging problems being faced by India in agriculture, governance and human trafficking.

Last year, OVBI had organized a water summit and successfully connected many specialists from the US with the Art of Living ground team working on the river rejuvenation projects in India. The adoption of 500 poor villages and helping the villagers to a better life is not an impossible task if the NRIs apply their mind to it. The hotel business run by Indians in America alone add up to $40 billion.

A Merrill Lynch Market Study said one in every nine Indians in the US is a millionaire. Again, a University of California study reported that one-third of the engineers in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent, while 7% of the valley’s hi-tech firms are led by Indian CEOs.

Prior to the main event, a VIP reception was hosted at Hilton, San Jose by Assemblymen Ash Kalra and was attended by Mayors and Council members of the various Bay area cities. Sri Sri Ravishankar addressed the gathering and taught few yoga techniques for a stress free living and better tomorrow. He urged the elected officials to visit India and witness the work done by Art of Living.

Consul General Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok also addressed the gathering and lauded the work done by the organization. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who presided over the event as the keynote speaker, said that we should take pride in the heritage and language of our nation. He asked all Indians to come together to build the nation on the pillars of spirituality.

This event focused on some of India’s most pressing challenges around farmer suicides, rapidly falling water tables, and declining agricultural output. Over 17,000 farmers commit suicide every year in India. Innumerable more live in distress, burdened by crushing debts. This program will focus on building the nation from the grass root level, said Sanjana Chopra, Director, Community Relations, Overseas Volunteer for a Better India.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world. He has opened Art of Living centers in many countries across the world.

He has established the International Association for Human Values, an NGO focusing on relief work and rural development. He has popularized the rhythmic breathing technique called Sudarsana Kriya. It is said to relieve anxiety, improve immune system and mental focus among other things.

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

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