As part of the Amrita-led Civil 20 Education and Digital Transformation Working Group initiative, IAM training sessions were led by Narinder and Swetha across six states and UTs for tribal school children. The sessions were organized across 36 cities, spread over Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Ladakh, impacting 7895 students.
In Chhattisgarh, a predominant tribe is the Abujhmadi. A session was conducted for Bastar Fighters, a Special Division of the Police comprising surrendered Naxalites and their children who aspire to lead normal lives. More than 60 percent of students were young girls.
Many of the students had a lot of anger with no outlet and little guidance to work through these strong emotions. One student said there are times when her anger is uncontrollable. However, after the session, “I know how to manage my anger now.” Yoga and meditation offer many benefits, benefitting social-emotion well-being and helping one stay centered and balanced.
A student from Lipu Govt School, Arunachal Pradesh, expressed his happiness because the session allowed him to live in the moment. He said, “Mostly, we are asked to stay quiet during the sessions, but today we got a chance to shout, laugh and then meditate.” Other students opened up about their struggles, stress, and loss of loved ones during Covid that they carried up until now, unshared.
Not only students benefitted from the session, a teacher from Kaliram Baruah Govt. School, Guwahati, Assam, shares, “I had a headache for the past three days due to a lot of stress. I tried balms, medicines but nothing was working. Today I attended the session like a small child and participated in all the activities. Magically the headache disappeared. Please conduct such sessions for teachers also.”
A student from Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Arunachal, opening up about his life and the challenges faced. The student said, “I have to study and support my family also by doing side jobs. So I have pressure from my family and studies also. Due to this pressure I was not able to study for exams. Today’s session brought the self confidence back in me and I am feeling very relaxed and light.” His teacher, later said that he has known the student for years and was pleasantly surprised to hear him share his experience.
Children, particularly in tribal schools, are often isolated from the mainstream and face unique challenges, which they accept as a way of life. However, these sessions helped channel their energy into positive thoughts and actions, which in the long run, can help them build resilience and confidence to go to the world to be their best selves.
The outreach program embodies the spirit of the Civil 20 tagline #YouAreTheLight.