ITANAGAR, JUNE 3
Candid sharing of heart-touching stories of transformation marked the culmination of the Youth Leadership Training Programme (YLTP) hosted by the Art of Living. Over 80 youth from different parts of Arunachal Pradesh participated in the innovative programme that focussed on creating a brigade of motivated and committed youth who are ready to bring about transformation in society. The 8-day residential training concluded on Friday at the Art of Living’s Campus in Jollang.
The participants came from Roing, Seppa, Kimin, Itanagar, Naharlagun, Khonsa, Changlang and Namsai and included youth from all backgrounds and all sections of society.
“We are known for our notorious activities in Roing. Some people have even given us the name of Katra Gang and everybody is scared of us. We used to drink and smoke the whole day and create nuisance sitting by the road side. After this training, I have realized that we have chosen the wrong path. The training has helped us come out of our bad habits and now we aspire to lead a constructive and productive life,” shared one of the participants (named withheld to protect the identity) from Roing in front of a gathering that included MLA of Roing, Laeta Umbrey.
”We have learnt a lot of positive things from the training. From travelling from Roing with members of another local gang, to adjusting with all kinds of people to rigorous schedule, it’s has been very
challenging to cope with the demands of training. Initially I felt like running away from the training, but slowly I started feeling different from inside. I have been a chain smoker and drinker for many years. But in just three days of the training, I am able to control my urge. I am confident that this training will turn around my life,” added another who heads another self-proclaimed gang under the name of Psycho.
“My life was totally directionless. There was only chaos and confusion. Not knowing how to handle it, I resorted to drinking and I became an addict. I even discontinued my studies. The YLTP has given a new direction to my life and there is clarity in my mind now. I have already given up my habits, shared Kampu Rehe from Roing.
“I have totally come out of addiction to alcohol, ganja and gutka. I also used to steal money from my mother every morning to indulge in my addictions. The YLTP has helped me get rid of these four bad habits,” reveals Krishna Tamang from Seppa. “I was addicted to gutka for last six years and I came to training with 100 packets of Tiranga secretly packed in my luggage. No I have totally come out of the addiction,” confessed Asha kumari from Khonsa.
Apart from these transformations, many participants reported overall growth in their personality. They talked about rising confidence level, improved concentration and focus and ability to face challenges
positively. Many also reported improvement in their health conditions. “I used to suffer from severe breathing problems. I couldn’t walk at all. But after learning the breathing techniques, my breathing
problems have completely vanished,” shared Meku Lingfa from Seppa.
The stories of transformation was so touching that Umbrey offered to financially support further training of the Roing group to help them sustain the transformation. Addressing the gathering, he
expressed happiness that members of two dreaded groups of Roing have been given a chance to make a new beginning. He urged the youth to remain committed to what they have learnt during the training and act as role models for others, reminding them of the challenges they will face when they get back to the tempting surroundings back home. He lauded the effort of the Art of Living to train youth from all over the state and requested the NGO to do everything possible to deepen the transformation.
Responding to the request, Rajaque Rahman of the Art of Living assured the gathering that further programmes including vocation and life skills training will be conducted for the YLTP graduates.
Designed by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, YLTP combines breathing techniques and meditation with leadership skills and human values training. The youth were also trained in physical and mental fitness, personality development, leadership and communication skills, public speaking and vocational training, informed the Organization.
“What the programme does is to create physically strong, mentally alert and morally responsible individuals who are ready to cross all their comfort zones and become role models for others,” says Mitra, a senior faculty of the Art of Living. “We want to empower the youth of Arunachal Pradesh through this training programme,” she added.
Listening to the experiences of the participants, one can easily conclude that the seed has been sown. “The workshop has boosted my enthusiasm and confidence level so much so that I can face the world.
Before the course, I was so shy that I couldn’t face even my friends. The most important thing I learnt from the course is how to take responsibilities and mange time,” said Rupali Taijong from Changlang.
During the training, Mount Everester Tine Meena and Inspector General of Police (Prison) J K Shamra also motivated the trainees to give their best and grab the opportunity for transformation with both hands. Tine Meena shared her inspiring story of overcoming all challenges to conquer her dream of climbing the Everest. Sharma urged the trainees to develop their core competencies and learn teamwork. Swami Alexendar Luthra, a faculty of the Art of Living from Holland also conducted many sessions during the training, informed the Management.