The Art of Living Bags Best NGO of 2024 Award

BENGALURU, India, July 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Art of Living has been awarded Best NGO of the Year – 2024 for water conservation initiatives at the prestigious Global CSR & ESG Awards 2024 on the 29th of June at the Hyatt Regency in Gurgaon which saw a gathering of influential dignitaries. Shri Prasana Prabhu, Chairman of The Art of Living Social Projects, accepted the award on behalf of the organisation, emphasising the collaborative efforts that led to this achievement and reaffirming the organisation’s commitment to achieving water positivity in India.

Excellence in Social Impact Recognised. Shri Prasana Prabhu (second from left) accepts Best NGO Award 2024

An Unwavering Commitment towards Water Conservation

Guided by the world renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living is focused on rejuvenating India’s dried-up rivers and addressing the water crisis with sustainable solutions. The organisation is engaged in restoring the natural hydrological cycle and reviving the conditions of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs across the country.

A Unique Multifold Strategy

While average rainfall remains steady over the past 50 years, rain-fed rivers face drying due to disrupted groundwater recharge. The Art of Living addresses this with a multifaceted approach:

  1. Community Mobilisation: Empowering local leadership for sustainable water management which align with national water security goals.
  2. Cutting-edge Technology: Tailored models and advanced GIS and Remote Sensing provide insights for informed decisions and sustainable development.
  3. Recharge Structures: Diverse designs reduce runoff, enhance soil moisture, and replenish groundwater through rainwater harvesting, improving biodiversity, crop yields, and farmer incomes.
  4. Afforestation: Restoring forest cover reduces erosion and enhances water infiltration, offering enduring solutions to the water crisis.

The River Rejuvenation Project

The Art of Living is leading India towards water positivity, revitalising over 70 rivers, their tributaries, and streams. Across 8 states—Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab—over 90,000 groundwater recharge structures have been constructed. This initiative has swiftly enhanced biodiversity, groundwater levels, crop production, and soil fertility nationwide. It has also significantly expanded land usage, boosted employment, and increased farmer incomes.

The JalTara Initiative

This pioneering flagship initiative of The Art of Living aims to achieve sustainable groundwater table recharge. Known as JalTara, the project strategically places recharge structures at the lowest points within arable acre-plots, flanked by fruit-bearing trees. This design allows rainwater to bypass dense, impervious topsoil and recharge underground aquifers effectively.

The project has achieved a remarkable impact, boasting a 100% success rate. It has resulted in an average 14-foot increase in the water table, a 120% rise in farmers’ income, and a 42% increase in crop yield. Crop spoilage due to waterlogging has been completely eliminated, while year-long employment opportunities have increased by 88%. During the Rabi season, there has been a notable 58% increase in land usage.

Looking ahead, The Art of Living aims to scale up the project significantly over the next five years, targeting 100,000 villages and implementing 500,000 recharge structures.

Milestones till June 2024, the count continues

70+ Rivers/streams being rejuvenated

90,500+ Recharge structures built

3,45,00,000+ People benefitted

59,000+ Sq km influenced

19,000+ Villages covered

8 States work-in-progress

7,00,000+ Trees planted along river basins

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB – The National Apex Agency responsible for scientific support related to India’s groundwater resources) reports that groundwater levels, notably in areas categorised as semi-critical, critical, or overexploited, are now declared safe. 

The Art of Living’s comprehensive approach to water conservation rejuvenates not only rivers but also communities, livelihoods, and policy frameworks. In India’s struggle against water scarcity, these initiatives embody optimism, empowerment, and the resilient human spirit.

About The Art of Living Social Projects 

The Art of Living, a non-profit, educational, and humanitarian organisation founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, works closely with the Government of India to relieve the country from water scarcity through various water conservation projects. 

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(PRNewsfoto/VVKI-Art of Living)

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