Whilst at the Isha Foundation doing courses this year, I got very involved with creating large-scale public artworks for Project Greenhands. I was cahrged as artist in charge of designing the artworks, but the work was very dependent on other willing hands to do the actual painting and creating the works to draw attention to PGH's specific work to increase the green cover of Tamil Nadu province to 33% (the national target). I was very moved by the incredible willingness of the Indian people I met at the centre, who happily put their all into the painting work. It was great fun for us all, and for me to see how easy collaboration can be. Things are often a litle chaotic on the surface, in my experience both in India as a whole and Isha in particular; but like the apparent chaos of the road-traffic there, underneath it all is a fascinating dance where each individual seems to know what he or she is doing, and so it works in spite of appaearances!
As a volunteer i am working towards creating awareness through various social media about Isha's mass human wellbeing activities. I have been involved in the Green Tirupur movement - the planting celebration on 23 August 2009 and the subsequent planting of over 28,000 saplings across the city (is famously called the Textile city of India). In the run-up, awareness was generated at many levels through the media. It was great opportunity to do something bigger than my capability and understanding. Now i heard the green cover of that city has been increased up to 5% as measurement...which kept me in tears of joy.
If there is one organization where Passion drives people that is Isha Foundation.I got several opportunities to volunteer locally for the organization. Presently I am volunteering for their web team to devise and generate initial Social media strategies.
I was not an environmental activist until the day the volunteers of this project made me plant a couple of trees 4 years ago. Since, like many who went through the same experience, I became environment aware, and wish to do whatever is possible for this project to reach more people and plant more trees. I ve found some business partners willing to support the project and I am looking for more because although i cannot stop the industry carbon footprint Isha makes me understood that I can at least make them plant trees.
Isha Foundation is a rare and unique organisation in that it offers volunteering as part of spiritual growth along side meditation and yoga training, so it offers practical ways of integrating 'service' into ones life. I am working to help plant 114 million trees in Tamil Nadu as part of a culture change project designed to reverse desertification, reduce poverty and end malnutrition. The project assists the most deprived villages in rekindling the energy to change their circumstances, empowering themselves to become self sufficient again whilst transforming their environments and rebuilding their relationship with the natural world. I put down my career to volunteer with this organisation as it is the only one I have found that deals with environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment as one complete holistic whole. I have benefited in every way from the experience, and would reccoment to anyone wishing to explore themselves through service to others and deep internal exploration, to engage with Isha.
I have been trying to increase awareness of the wonderful work Isha Foundation's Project Green Hands has done. It is so touching to see the commitment and involvement of so many thousands of volunteers in the effort to increase the green cover of Tamil Nadu. I have specifically been involved with publicising the Isha Run/Walk for water, and in creating a short video for a contest. Seeing people's enthusiasm in contributing to a project that benefits us all is truly worthwhile.