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Gift a smile!

Updated on May 10, 2016
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Shaloo Walia is an astrologer and tarot reader. She is an Art of Living teacher and also an ardent Krishna devotee and a follower of ISKCON.

Illiteracy: a major issue

One of the major social problems India is facing is that of illiteracy. Though the situation has improved over the years but still a lot of work needs to be done in this direction. Poverty is a major reason behind the low literacy rate in India. Instead of sending the children to school, poor families make their children work or beg for a living. Though government is doing a lot of work for providing free primary education to children but still people below the poverty line need to be lured through various incentives into sending their children to school.

What is 'Gift a Smile?'

Gift a Smile is an innovative school and service programme for children and their communities in rural India that is committed to making holistic education accessible to children in rural areas. This is an initiative of Art of Living founded by H.H.Sri Sri Ravishankar ji.

Gift a Smile programme is run under the supervision of Bhanu didi and aims to provide free and holistic education to rural and tribal children through its 421 schools all over India. Currently approximately 44,000 children are getting free education in these schools.With an annual donation of Rs. 10,000/- , you can cover the education expenses for a child for a year.

The schools offer State Syllabus (accredited by the State Govt.). Most children are first generation learners, thus paving the way for the coming generations. Sports and extra-curricular activities ,Yoga, Pranayama and Breathing techniques form a part of their daily routine

Gift A Smile is a program that will help you be a part of an initiative to reach out to the underprivileged children and provide them with quality education, thus bringing a significant change in their lives.

Should the government tie-up with various NGOs for providing free primary education?

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How your donation will help?

Art of Living is the world's largest volunteer based NGO which is working towards a violence-free and a stress-free society. Through its free rural and tribal schools, it is providing free education to hundreds of children across the country. But an initiative of such huge scale needs funds and this is where we can help out. We can volunteer our time for this noble cause or we can donate money with the assurance that it is going to be put to a good use.

Your contribution will help out in providing:

  • Proper infrastructure for schools - classrooms, libraries and playgrounds etc.
  • Balanced mid -day meals during the school day
  • Regular medical check ups for the students
  • Free School supplies like text books, note books, pencils etc.
  • Free School uniforms to the students.
  • Bus transportation
  • Salaries for school staff and teachers

H.H.Sri Sri Ravishankar ji often says, 'Responsibility is taken, not given.'

It's very easy to complain about our country's social conditions and it's very easy and convenient to blame the government for everything. But as a responsible citizen, it's our duty to do whatever we can to improve the situation. Every effort, every contribution makes a difference!

Have you ever felt disturbed on seeing a child being deprived of the basic necessities of life- food ,clothes, shelter, education? Does the sight of a child working in roadside dhabas or begging on the street perturbs you? Do you feel responsible for your country and for these under-privileged children?

This is an opportunity for you to open up your heart and HELP. Education is the only means through which we can end this vicious and self-perpetuating cycle of hunger and poverty for more than 80 million Indian tribal children.

How to donate?

It costs Rs.10,000 per child per year (education, transport, food, medicals, uniforms, books, bags etc. inclusive).

To sponsor a child, send your cheques/DD in favour of "Ved Vignan Maha VidyaPeeth" payable at Bangalore to

Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth 21st Km, Kanakapura Road, Udayapura, Bengaluru (South) - 560082 Karnataka, India

You can donate online by going on Art of Living's official site or by visiting the link http://programs.vvmvp.org/Donation or www.artoflivingschools.org

You can also visit Art of Living's International centre situated at Bangalore, India and submit your donations there or you may contact the local Art of Living centre/ co-ordinator of your city to know more details and submit donations.

All the donations are exempted under Section 80G of Indian Income Tax Act.

© 2015 Shaloo Walia

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 16 months ago

      An important Hub. I work for an Indian based company and am used to dealing with Indians who are well educated. I wasn't aware illiteracy was still a problem in India.

    • swalia profile image
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      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      @Robert Illiteracy and poverty are tow major social problems in India. Though much work is being done but still a lot is needed to improve the state of affairs.

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