Children at Temporary Shelter received warm clothes from Art of Living
Children at Temporary Shelter received warm clothes from Art of Living

TMB Report
Imphal: Continuing its “Spread the Warmth” campaign which seeks to mitigate the hardship of a chilling winter faced by people displaced by the ongoing conflict in Manipur, the Art of Living on Thursday distributed warm clothes to nearly 400 children taking shelter in Temporary Shelters located at Sawombung and Sajiwa in Imphal East District.

Volunteers of the Manipur Chapter of the international NGO inspired by globally-revered spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar handed over hoodies sweaters to around 200 children at Sawmobung and another 180 children at Sajiwa after meticulously matching the size.

Deputy Commissioner of Imphal East Khumanthem Diana Devi joined the distribution at Sawombung along with SDO Sawombung Surma Thiyam and other officials.

Addressing the residents, the Deputy Commissioner exhorted them to keep a positive frame of mind and face the challenges with hope and determination. She also encouraged them to engage themselves in constructive and income-generating activities.

Appreciating the campaign of the Art of Living, DC Khumanthem Diana requested the representatives of the NGO to explore the possibility of conducting stress management and yoga workshops to ensure mental health and hygiene of the residents.

Brahmachari Dixon, a senior faculty of the Art of Living, urged the residents to focus on their wellness, maintain cleanliness to ensure good mental health and a harmonious atmosphere. Maintaining that mental calmness is very critical at this juncture, he assured that the Art of Living is ready to conduct various workshops when the residents are committed to making time for it. He advised the resident not to lose hope despite the challenges and to keep faith that things will soon change for the better.

Program coordinator and a full-time volunteer of the Art of Living Rajaque Rahman stated that the volunteers of the organization are committed to doing their maximum in supporting the displaced people taking shelter in various camps in different parts of the state.

He also narrated how the campaign which initially started to cover a few children of a relief camp has now grown and so far provided nearly 1000 blankets, 1000 woolen shawls for ladies, and 1600 hoodie sweaters for kids thanks to the contributions from its vast network of volunteers across the country and support from The Art of Living Trust (TAOL) Bangalore. He also urged the residents to exercise regularly to ward off illnesses and live together with belongingness.

The “Spread the Warmth” campaign is part of the Art of Living’s ongoing #AnoubaYakairol initiative and has so far covered 26 relief camps and two temporary shelters apart from extending financial support to initiatives that cater to the educational needs of displaced students.

The relief we see among people in distress, particularly the children when they get new warm clothes is the main motivation for us volunteers. “By connecting with the Art of Living, we have been able to imbibe Gurudev’s teaching of seeking joy from giving and not taking. We are committed to being more useful to people in need,” shared Huidrom Nungshi Devi, a volunteer who has been regularly going to relief camps for distribution.