Cleanliness Drive In The Gandhi Refugee Camp Of Batala Under The Project “Pragati Ki Aur”

Cleanliness Drive In Gandhi Camp

        Batala, Punjab: People of Gandhi camp have stopped waiting for Municipal Corporation for cleaning their localities and have started actively cleaning their localities themselves, which is a very big change in their attitude.
        The Art of Living volunteers had started the project “Pragati Ki Aur” for the refugees who have been living an under privileged way of life ever since the partition. The volunteers identified their basic short falls and needs and prioritized to fulfill them by providing them with a better quality of life with sustainability. There is an improvement in their area regarding cleanliness for last few days. Art of Living teachers Shakti Handa, Rima Panwar and Sanjevni Warkede are contributing their service. The team conducted yoga,pranayama and meditation and brought about transformation at a physical and mental state of being.
        They focused towards the squalidness of the streets and canals. In 2012 cholera disease killed 45 people in that area due to unhygienic conditions. Proper facilities for safe drinking water and cleanliness were also not available. The refugees have been known for their drug addiction and poor hygiene and have been neglected by the administration due to this attitude of theirs.
         A tremendous change happened after the refugees practiced Sudarshan Kriya,it is an unique and powerful breathing technique which eliminates stress, fatigue and negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression, leaving you calm yet energized, focused and yet relaxed.

        Inspired by the Art of Living teachers and volunteers the people of Gandhi camp have taken the responsibility of cleaning the area by themselves and this has paved the gap between them and the administration. District administration has also started supporting them, as there is a positive change in their attitude. Our volunteers showed gratitude towards civil hospital SMO Dr. Sanjeev Bhalla, SMO Bhullar block Dr. Sunita Bhalla, Dr. Narida Khullar, Dr. Yashmeen and Dr. Bhupinder Chena for joining them in organizing health camps and awareness camps for the betterment of these people.
        Rima Panwar, our Art of Living teacher, shared that initially they organized programs for the kids “Art Excel“ ( All Round Training for Excellence), the children felt the belongingness with them and requested the teachers to stay in their homes. Rima said that the homes had not been whitewashed for the last 20years. No cleanliness was done in the nearby canals. Rima educated them that through cleanliness and whitewashing of the homes they can save themselves from dangerous diseases like chickengunya and dengue and this will increase positive energy in their homes. Earlier these refugees used to indulge in small business of making liquor.
        With the onset of this project in May 2016, the Art of Living teachers have gained the faith and confidence of these refugees and are working relentlessly to improve their quality of life and provide means of livelihood by imparting skills training to the youth and the unemployed. Special drug de-addiction camps are being organized. Initially the kids were trained and facilitated to go to schools, now the focus is on the youth , youth leadership training programs(YLTP) are being conducted .
        On 19 March a drawing competition was conducted for the children of the camp, around 500 families dwell in this area and nearly 250 families have done the Art of Living programs and reaped the benefits of good health and better quality of life.