Real strength should come from within. If we rely only on the external, there is no stability. Through yoga, meditation, and spiritual practice we can achieve this goal.

God’s power is not something outside. It is within us. We need to awaken that power.

– Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

For many millennia, self-reliant villages were at the centre of Indian life. Villagers were in tune with Nature, which led to a complete harmony of being. However, as India modernized, the villages became marginalized societies existing on the periphery, and often at the effect, of India’s ever encroaching cities. Amrita SeRVe uplifts villages by facilitating activities to financially empower, socially reconnect, and internally harmonize the outer with the inner.

Amrita SeRVe empowers villagers, especially women, to open bank accounts, avail themselves of social-security schemes, and form Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to gain financially independence. Moreover, respected members from each community are encouraged to form a Village Development Committee (VDC), thereby creating a platform to identify, discuss and implement solutions to problems faced in their respective villages. It is primarily through such Village Development Committees that government support can be secured to benefit the entire village community.

Addressing the more subtle aspects of Self-Empowerment, Amrita SeRVe  facilitates regular yoga and meditation sessions and encourages the preservation of local traditions and rituals, including religious festivals, Poojas, and devotional singing. By celebrating together as a community and appreciating the joyful moments of life, worries are put aside and peace of mind is attained. For the youth, regular sports and games sessions, along with moral stories taken from a range of material, including India’s most popular epic, the Ramayana, encourage a holistic development.

Yoga & Meditation

Amrita SeRVe is reviving Indias traditional culture in the villages with yoga and meditation. The aim of these yoga and meditation activities is to connect with inner being, thereby realising one’s inherent strength and reaping numerous health and vitality benefits. Participants share that regular practice has resulted in greater self-confidence and organization of their day-to-day lives.

Each yoga session starts and ends with a prayer and short meditation. A sequence of Surya Namaskar and simple asanas are practiced with breath awareness. Health workers and village coordinators are trained to facilitate these simple yoga asana sessions for children and SHG members. Yoga sessions are held everywhere: on rooftops and fields, at home or under the trees, in school classrooms or verandas, in playgrounds, local community centres, parks, or any other suitable place.

Local traditions and spiritual heritage

Village traditionsand beliefs dating back thousands of years form the moral fibre that binds the community together. Instead of political unity, India has always been unified through Her culture. A diversity ofnational festivals, including Holi, Diwali, Shivaratri, Navaratri and many more, are celebrated across the length and breadth of this nation. Though the names and practices may vary from place to place, the significance of each celebration remains the same. The values of hospitality, respecting elders, caring for nature and cultivating compassion and selflessness are known and worshipped wherever these rituals are practiced.

Amrita SeRVe supports a continuation of local traditions, which are the roots of society. Not only do they bring people together in joyful festivities, but they also keep alive the long tradition of preserving virtue and dharma.

Self-Help Group

The real advantage of an SHG lies in the strength of the community spirit that develops over time as these women pool their resources and cultivate collective decision making on a financial level.

Thousands of SHGs mentored under the M.A. Math’s AmritaSREE project in Kerala have demonstrated clear signs of empowerment. These groups have grown into highly efficient and compassionate institutions, benefiting not only their members’ families, but their entire communities.

Village Development Committee

A Village Development Committee (VDC) consists of several villagers committed to the development of their communities. Amrita SeRVe encourages committees of five, seven or nine members that include women. At least one meeting should be conducted each month to maintain continuity. Village coordinators explore possible initiatives to be taken up by the local VDC, make suggestions, and provide support wherever needed. VDCs are essential in applying for government schemes such as water and infrastructure projects and schools.

Amrita SeRVe also encourages VDCs to organise campaigns to encourage large numbers of eligible people to sign up for a range of government schemes. These can range from health insurance to land-deed applications. Availing the right government scheme can have a huge impact on a villager’s life. In some cases, there are significant financial benefits as well as improvements to the quality of life. Village coordinators and health workers obtain details on a wide range of schemes and support the VDCs to get people to sign up. In some cases, our staff, together with the help of SHGs and local government institutions, facilitates the entire application process.

Facilitated Government Schemes for Individuals
  • Health insurance
  • Social security
  • Aadhaar card applications
  • Individual bank account openings
  • Pension applications
  • Disability certificate applications
  • Ujjwala LPG scheme
  • Land-deed applications

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