• Matteo De Vos

FFS 030 - Meditating Farmers: building social capital

Shifting mindsets at the grassroots level lies at the heart of The Art of Living’s approach to sustainable agriculture.

An epidemic of farmer suicides has claimed over 300,000 lives in India since 1995. By investing in social capital, The Art of Living focuses on bringing back self-esteem and self-confidence in rural communities.

Farmers practice yoga, breathing exercises and meditation for stress-relief and personal development - investing in themselves to become productive and proactive advocates for change. Livelihoods are transformed by taking charge and ownership of the challenges faced.

This episode was recorded live at The Art of Living International Center in Bengaluru, India during the visit of students from HEC Paris. Himanshu Kalra, Director of Institutional Relations of the Center, explains The Art of Living’s approach to building social capital. The talk covers:

  • A brief history of international development aid models in India

  • Boreholes and crops, depleted aquifers and the tragedy of the commons

  • The Art of Living’s river rejuvenation projects

  • How to build trust, engage and empower rural communities

  • How to measure the impact of changing mindsets


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