Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life. He has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality and religion. His goal is to uplift people around the globe, to reduce stress, and to develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities.

Spotlight - Social Initiatives

Service & Social Programs

Spotlight - Social Initiatives

In 1981, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar established the Art of Living Foundation, an educational organization with a presence in over 156 countries. The Foundation’s individual development programs offer powerful tools to eliminate stress and foster a sense of well-being.

In 1997, Gurudev founded the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), a humanitarian organization, which promotes societal responsibility and human values in political, economic, and social spheres.

IAHV and the Art of Living Foundation collaborate on humanitarian initiatives, including conflict resolution, disaster and trauma relief, environmental conservation, anti-corruption, prisoner rehabilitation, youth leadership, women’s empowerment, and universal education. Both organizations enjoy special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

In over 40 years of Service in more than 156 countries, The Art of Living Foundation and IAHV have:

  • Affected more than 450 million people
  • Planted more than 81 million trees around the world
  • Transformed the lives of over 800,000 prison inmates through the prison program
  • Trained 213,573 rural youth in Youth Leadership Training Program – mainly in India, Africa and South America
  • Conducted over 165,000 free stress-relief workshops benefiting more than 5,688,000 people
  • Built over 3,819 homes, 62,000 toilets, 1,200 bore-wells, 1,000 bio-gas plants
  • Conducted 90,200 hygiene camps benefiting 7,869,900 people and 27,427 medical camps benefiting 577,400 people
  • Reached 40,212 villages with the 5H program – Health, Hygiene, Homes, Harmony in diversity, Human values
  • Trained over 2.2 Million farmers in 22 states in organic farming
  • Rural electrification benefiting over 165,000 people. Adopted 720 villages for “Light-a-home” project.
  • Held more than 500 conferences with over 10,000 leaders from business, academia, sciences, art, and religion in participation
  • Provided education to more than 70,000 children from 702 free schools across 22 states in India.
  • Benefited 12,800 students from 36 schools across the United States through the YES! for Schools program

Overview of Art of Living Service Projects across India

Covid response

  • Over 43,390 COVID frontline workers reached through mental health programs
  • Over 75,122,069 meals to over 2.5 million families in India as of May 13th 2020
  • The girl to boy ratio in the schools is about 48 to 52.
  • The first school was started in 1981 in Udayapura village in Rural Bengaluru.

Focus on literacy

  • Over 70,000 children in 702 schools across 22 states benefitted under the Free School Education Program.
  • Students receive value-based education in a stress-free, student-friendly environment that enable to strengthen their cultural roots
  • The girl to boy ratio in the schools is about 48 to 52.
  • The first school was started in 1981 in Udayapura village in Rural Bengaluru.

Focus on the environment

  • Tree Plantation
    • 81 million trees planted in 36 countries and 26 Indian states.
    • Over 20 lakh Lakshmitaru saplings planted across India.
    • 9 million trees planted under the initiative of Mission Green Earth.
  • Natural Farming
    • Volunteers reached out to stakeholders for generating awareness about Natural Farming through seminars, training workshops, model farm visits, awareness programs and Krishi Melas (farmer meets).
    • Over 2.2 million people trained in Sri Sri Natural Farming, a sustainable solution to address the challenge of ensuring food security for a growing population.
    • Seed banks set up across the country to promote the preservation of indigenous seed varieties.
  • Water Conservation & River Rejuvenation
    • Water Conservation and River Rejuvenation projects in progress, including cleaning of polluted rivers.
    • Water Conservation and River Rejuvenation is ongoing in 47 rivers across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Refugee, War Veteran Rehabilitation

  • Over 2,000 war veterans helped to deal with PTSD through Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, which a Stanford University Research has found effective because the results were maintained even years after they underwent the program.
  • 150,000+ war survivors in Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Balkans and Afghanistan benefitted from trauma relief programs.

Cleaning Campaign

  • Around 512 tons of clothes, plastic, garbage removed during the “Clean Yamuna Campaign”
  • 43,980 cleanliness drives conducted by volunteers
  • As a part of the Pampa River Cleaning Campaign:
    • 600 tons of garbage removed
    • 68,800 volunteer hours spent on the project
    • 3 million people sensitized through direct interaction
    • Over 8,000 volunteers from 14 districts involved
    • Approximately 500 women participated in the initiative
    • 377 school children and staff from 8 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir schools participated in the initiative
  • Waste Management
    • 3 tons of waste (organic offerings) at Dakshineshwar Temple, West Bengal converted into more than 1 ton of compost at The Dakshineshwar Temple in one month.
    • Waste management plant installed: 18
    • Total capacity to process waste through waste management plants: 4.234 million kgs of waste/year
    • Total capacity to process waste in a single day: 11,600 kg
    • Waste pickers are trained in waste segregation: 1,000 in 15 states

Hygiene & Medical Camps

  • 90,200 hygiene camps conducted, benefiting 7,869,900 people
  • 27,427 medical camps organised benefiting 577,400 people
  • Awareness raised on the prevention of female foeticide
  • 55 model villages being developed by YLTP volunteers
  • Built 3,819 homes, 62,000 toilets, 1,200 bore-wells, and 1,000 bio-gas plants.

Holistic Prison Rehabilitation

  • Programs running in 60 countries
  • Lives of 800,000 inmates transformed
  • Over 350,000 inmates from prisons in India have undergone the Prison program.
  • Over 60,000 convicts and 130 prison staff of Tihar Jail (Asia’s largest prison) have benefited from the program.
  • 7,400 armed insurgents from extremist outfits rehabilitated through trauma relief workshops and vocational skill training.

Rural Development Programs

  • Light a Home
    • Over 165,000 people in 720 villages benefitted from solar lighting under The Light a Home project in the tribal areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu among others.
    • 28 Solar Micro Grids in India set up for the Integrated Rural Energy Access Model Village Program.
    • Solar Grids provided in 143 schools in rural areas of India.
    • 1,033 Yuvacharyas (Youth Leaders) trained as Renewable Energy Technicians to install Renewable Energy Products.
    • 98 new entrepreneurs inspired in the field of Solar Energy for setting up of solar battery charging stations.
  • Kaushal: Skills and Vocational Training Program
    • More than 3,06,593 youth in over 500 districts of 23 states trained in various vocational skills over 14 years.
    • 1,847 prisoners and 1,300 reformed armed insurgents provided with vocational skills training under Project Srijan, (the Prisoners/Militants Rehabilitation Program)
  • Shakti: Women Power
    • 5,000 rural women trained in vocational skills
    • Tailoring training centers established in Odisha and Assam.
    • Over 623 Self-Help Groups formed in the areas of food processing, bag making, tailoring and embroidery, agarbatti rolling and arecanut plate making.
    • Over 111,000 rural women reached through different initiatives
    • Over 53,354 girls benefited by the menstrual health and hygiene workshops conducted under project “Pavitra” across India, Nepal, Cambodia, Bhutan and Africa
  • Boond – Purified Drinking Water
    • Trained 60 Rural Youths as Jal Sevaks to manufacture low cost Bio Sand Water Filters.
    • Provided safe drinking water to more than 45,000 individuals in 267 villages by setting up four community water filters, distributing individual water filters and making 78 bore-wells in the states of Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha.
    • Installation of seven Community RO and Bio Sand Filters in Karnataka and West Bengal.


  • Mobilized 10.6 million people to garner support for Millennium Development Goals.
  • 1 million people in India pledged to protect the girl child under the UNICEF-AOL campaign.
  • 100,000 acts of inspiration and change, under the UNICEF campaign, carried out in support of the girl child
  • About 100,000 people sensitized against gender testing of pregnant women.
  • About 150,000 people sensitized against child marriage.
  • 107 villages in Maharashtra educated on indoor pollution and significance of smokeless chulhas or cooking stoves
  • Over 45,000 individuals from 12 states of India have benefited through the HIV/AIDS Awareness for Rural Adolescent (HARA) campaign
  • 175 de-addiction camps benefiting 12,266 people
  • 500 prominent religious leaders sensitized on addressing prejudice against people living with HIV-AIDS
  • 945 rural women in Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh and residents of over 60 villages in Bagalkot district of Karnataka participate in the HIV/AIDS
  • Over 350 indigenous species of cows reared in Art of Living Goshalas.
  • 25,000+ people treated with holistic intervention methodologies for drug and alcohol addiction around the country.

Walk for water

Leading a “Walk for Water”, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was joined by school children to spread awareness and inspire Bangalore residents to conserve water.

Transforming prison inmates

Seeking guidance from The Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar were the 30 prisoners of Bangalore Central Jail who have been transforming lives of prison inmates across seven prisons in Karnataka.

April 8 - Inauguration of the Bhubaneshwarnagar School

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inaugurated a free school in India’s North Eastern state of Assam.