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Organization: Ahimsa Trust
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: May 24 2010,03:54 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

309-B Sector 15A, Noida 201301 ,INDIA

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

+91-120-2511633, +91-120-2512162

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

Ahimsa is a volunteer driven, non profit organisation geared towards cultural, social development and educational work aimed at creating peace and harmony within oneself, ones' family and in society. Ahimsa aims to spread the ethics of peace and non violence through alliances and programmes in the areas of mindfulness in education, culture, environment, gender sensitization, responsible tourism and sustainable livelihoods.

Ahimsa Trust is involved in a Mindfulness in Education initiative, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh which is based on mental training to bring a moment to moment awareness of what is going on within oneself and outside oneself. This mind training allows students, teachers, parents and administrators to develop well-being and social emotional learning (SEL). Following Mindfulness practices on a daily basis allows children and others to develop stillness, calm and ease so as to look deeply at the body, emotions, perceptions, volitions, mental formations, thoughts, speech etc. This not only helps in mental processes of concentration, attentiveness, memory, judgement, impulse control and reasoning but also helps enhance academic performance, decrease stress, resolve conflicts and build community. Towards this Ahimsa Trust is setting up a Mindfulness Practice Centre in the village of Rajpur near Dehradun in Uttarakhand, India.
Our Prgrams:
1) PADSA Programme for Artisan Development in South Asia Under the auspices of the UN and supported by its voluntary arm UNV the Programme for Artisan development in South Asia or PADSA was a pioneering attempt to bring artisans and all that they and their lives represent into sharp focus. It was an initiative that started in November 1992 at villages located in 4 countries India Nepal Bhutan and Sri Lanka.It emphasized interaction and exchanges between diverse artisans and underlined the importance of the barefoot expert suggesting that artisans themselves could solve the problems of other artisans It also experimented with national UN Volunteers to gauge their effectiveness vis a vis traditional international UN volunteers.  The story of  PADSA was published as a chapter entitled The Art of Building Peace: Artisan Skills for Development and Peace in South Asia " by Shantum Seth, in a book 'Volunteers against Conflict, published by the United Nations University Press.  A short film was also made entitled 'Speaking Hands'.
2) Based on the experience gained by PADSA the Inter regional Volunteers Programme for Artisans Support (IVPAS) was formed to focus on one critical element. It centered around the crucial need to create a global voice for the artisan.
3) The ADL Project grew out of the combined wisdom and thought and felt experience of the PADSA and IVPAS programmes.In the initial two years an attempt was made to make a self- sufficient artisan organization of about 50 craftspeople living around and in Santiniketan, in West Bengal .One such artisan led organisation was set up by the programme, nearby in Bishnupur, called "Karu udyan'. It had artisans form 7 ifferent trades, a difficult feat in a society that has a caste system based on occupations. This part of the project was funded by the United Nations Volunteers.
4) The Life Skills Development and Sustainable Vocational Training Project seeks to empower young people from marginalised rural and urban families to acquire skills, a working knowledge of the market and an all-round education in order to acquire some additional income sources for themselves and their families. The Vocational Training programmes offered will try to upgrade existing skills among the community while maintaining the organic natural resource base. Efforts will be made to keep the products and the services as environmentally sustainable as possible. The Project has a specific gender component which addresses the needs of young married women who can be motivated to improve the nutrition, education and health status of their families, while allowing them some room for further emotional and intellectual growth. The Project Facilitators will also attempt to collect as many successful case studies of existing Vocational Training programmes.
5) A natural development for Ahimsa was being involved in the promotion of Volunteering. It became a key player in the lead up and follow up to the International Year of Volunteering 2001. It initiated volunteer involvement and campaigns in groups to clean up the Yamuna river, a Schizophrenia support group, groups to help bridge the digital divide, Gandhi volunteers and street theatre festival to coincide with International Volunteer Day each year on the 5th of December.
6) Ahimsa Trust's educational work offers teachings in Mindfulness to children, teachers and individuals. Ahimsa shares practices of mental training that are developed as part of India 's great heritage of understanding the mind.
7) Mindfulness-based Education” is an exciting and important new development in kindergarten to class 12 education.
8) Inspired by the example of the community of mindfulness practitioners led by Thich Nhat Hanh and other intentional communities in India and around the world there arose a strong urge to develop a similar base in India that will allow people to touch peace within themselves and live in aware and peaceful coexistence and harmony with each other and nature while serving the community around them.
This would be a spiritual social and educational community that would share the practice of mindfulness in everyday life. A place for retreat and study the centre would run courses workshops and retreats and be a fourfold community home for those who want to live in the beauty and magic of mindful awareness.


On 16 January 2010:  A talk titled "The Secular Buddha" by Stephen Batchelor* at India International Centre, New Delhi. Chair: Shantum Seth *Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism.

On 18 July 2009, An evening of Mindfulness:There was a short Dharma talk, a period of meditative practice and Zen awareness to ‘bless’ the forthcoming book of our Dharma sister, Poonam Srivastava, entitled 'A moment for the mind', being published by our sangha press, Amber.

On 21st May 2009: Book Launch of Amateur Plays written by Children

On the 28th of March, Ahimsa Trust organised the launch of Teach Peace - A Sahabhagi Times Foundation initiative in Delhi. The Launch was followed by a panel discussion on the Quest for Peace in Turbulent Times - a dialogue on non-violence. Among the members of the panel were activist-actress Nandita Das, Dharmacharya Shantum Seth and spiritual guru Dr. Deepak Chopra.

We at Ahimsa Trust, are delighted to share that Thich Nhat Hanh's book 'Calming the Fearful Mind, A Zen Response to Terrorism' published by Amber Books was launched by the Honourable Chief Minister of Delhi, Shiela Dixit on 14th of February at the India Habitat Centre. The CM expressed her appreciation for the timely publication of the book and relevance of Thich Nhat Hanh's message, with whom she interacted during his India visit, last October. The occasion was also marked by an engaging panel discussion on 'Appropriate Responses to Terrorism' with a focus on the role of education as a critical change agent for long-term preventive approaches to terror. Prominent panelists including Syeda Hameed, Member Planning Commission, Ashok Desai, former Attorney General of India, educators, Abha Adams and Dilip Simeon, Zen teacher Shantum Seth, participated in the discussion moderated by Sonia Singh of NDTV and chaired by Dr. Karan Singh. The discussion ranged from the importance of training children to handle fear, to the reality of being faced with a live terrorist situation as in Mumbai, to ask who is the terrorist/asura as in Gaza, and to see the terrorist as a victim of circumstance too.  There was an interesting exchange on the efficacy of the non-violent vis-à-vis the violent responses to terror, and the importance of long-term preventative approaches. Also, how to be careful not to stereotype a terrorist as being from a particular community.  There was a strong feeling that the book should be translated into Indian languages. An equally responsive audience, helped conclude the discussion by highlighting their views on the subject.  We feel the session planted seeds of introspection amongst all present. A positive general consensus emerged, to further Thich Nhat Hanh's viewpoint of compassionate engaged action, to deal with different shades of social terror infliction.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

Mindfulness is increasingly recognized as an essential support for students, teachers, school administrators, and parents. Decades of research and practice have proved it to be a powerful tool, benefiting one’s health, optimising academic ability, enhancing social and emotional relations, and most importantly, promoting a sense of wellbeing. At the same time, the practice of mindfulness decreases stress, attention deficit issues, depression, anxiety, and hostility. It is a foundation for education, providing the optimal conditions for learning and teaching, supporting all pedagogical approaches. We are dedicated to bringing all these benefits to the field of education as a service to the country.We focus on introducing these practices to teachers so that they can use it in their own lives and, based on their experience, share it with their students.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

not reported

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Ahimsa Trust

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