Rural Development Programmes:
Especially in the underdeveloped areas of Gujarat , Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the north-east, BKs have organised numerous rural outreach programmes to educate and empower people in subjects like hygiene, health, de-addiction, removing superstition, self-empowerment, self-esteem, values in family life etc.
Environmental Awareness Campaigns:
In a world which is becoming increasingly aware of the need for environmental protection for the future of the Planet and the survival of its inhabitants, the Brahma Kumaris has been focusing on such global issues by educating through awareness raising campaigns in India and overseas. The unique flavour of these campaigns is the emphasis on the inextricable connection between the mental pollution of the BEINGS and the physical pollution of the World.
To educate the masses, four “All India Environmental Awareness Campaigns” were organized by SEW of Brahma Kumaris covering different states of India . An `Indo Nepal Environmental Awareness Campaign’ was also organized.
Disaster Management Campaign:
During calamities and natural disasters the Brahma Kumaris have reached out to provide material and spiritual aid. Extensive aid and rehabilitation work have been done after the earthquake in Gujarat , the Tsunami in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and during floods in various parts of the country.
The campaign on disaster awareness and its management was launched in Gujarat covering major industries, organized jointly sponsored by Gujarat Safety Council and Scientists & Engineers Wings of Brahma Kumaris. The campaign featured conducting seminars, demonstrations, pictorial exhibition depicting holistic dimensions of disaster management etc.
Global Healthcare Services:
Health and De-addiction Camps:
Hundreds of health exhibitions, camps and fairs have been held by Medical Wing of Brahma Kumaris all over India to explain the mind-body-medicine paradigm, to create awareness about psychosomatic diseases and the role of Rajyoga in de-addiction of tobacco, alcohol and harmful drugs and to provide free health check-ups.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Diabetes Management Camps: for the past five years a team of specialist doctors has been conducting camps of five to seven days for heart patients, diabetics and people suffering from similar symptoms. The patients are guide systematically to learn and practice healthy lifestyle habits and Rajyoga meditation.
Global Hospital and Research Centre: The J. Watumull Memorial Global Hospital and Research Centre in Mt. Abu is designed to provide high-quality, modern, holistic healthcare services in a tranquil environment. It is managed and run by a charitable trust established and supported by members of the Brahma Kumaris.
- It offers free or subsidized treatment and medicines to 100,000 people, of whom 54,000 are tribal residents of 855 primitive villages.
- Its village outreach programme provides basic healthcare in 10 villages in Abu.
- Nutritional mid-day snacks are provided to a few primary schools.
- Teachers sewing skills to rural women.
- Provides vocational training and employment opportunities to local youth through a nursing training centre.
GHRC has opened many branches – the BSES MG hospital in Mumbai, G.V. Mody Rural Health Care Centre and Eye Hospital, Abu, Global Hospital Institute of Ophthalmology, Abu and a Clinic-cum-Diagnostic Centre in Vadodara.
Every Brahma Kumaris centre offers a foundation course in Rajyoga meditation. It explains clearly the relationship between the mind and body and the interplay between the soul, God and matter. It leads one to self realization, God consciousness and development of inner power through meditation. Daily spiritual lessons and practical exercises help channel the spiritual energy into positive and productive actions in daily life. A process of continuous learning ensures renewal of our innate values at the deepest level.
“I am inspired by the Brahma Kumaris’ selfless love of God and humanity. As a Christian, my experience of meditation and study with the Brahma Kumaris has helped deepen my spiritual connection with God. As an interfaith leader, it has opened by mind in new ways to God’s presence in diverse spiritual traditions. As a human being, it has opened my heart in compassion and deepened my commitment to a life of service.” –Rev. Charles Gibbs, Executive Director, United Religions Initiative, San Francisco , California , USA
Brahma Kumaris have been constantly striving to build bridges between people of different faiths and cultures and to promote the core spirituality in all faiths, which is the common thread that leads to mutual understanding and respect.
The Brahma Kumaris have been helping to bring people of different faiths and cultures together, believing that a deeper understanding between faiths, based on acceptance and respect, will contribute to a culture of peace and non-violence in our world community.
In many countries, Brahma Kumaris representatives serve on committees of local interfaith organisations, host local activities, and play an active part on religious education advisory committees. For example, in Dunedin , New Zealand , BKs for the past 13 years have coordinated an annual Interfaith Week of Prayer for World Peace which includes a public service as well as a service at the University. In Adelaide , Australia , BKs regularly participate in the Multifaith Association of South Australia. On the other side of the globe, in Uruguay , BKs participate in Forum Interreligious as well as in the Space of Inter-religious Dialogue at UNESCO’s Montevideo Centre.
Apart from lots of interfaith programmes at the local level, significant events such as the Inner Voice of Peace dialogue in 2005, Dharmacharya Sammelan in 1993 and Universal Peace Conference in 1987 have been held at Mt. Abu.
At a global level, the Brahma Kumaris work closely with leading international interfaith organisations, including World Congress of Faiths (WCF), United Religions Initiative (URI) , The World Council of Religious Leaders, The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP).
Group Meditation for World Peace
On the third Sunday of every month, group meditation for world peace is held at the same time in all BK centres in the world. Group meditation programmes are specially organised when calamities and disasters strike so that vibrations of peace can be created to support distressed people.
Every Brahma Kumaris Centre, besides offering free meditation and self-development courses, works with the local community in various ways. The centres conduct awareness campaigns in the fields of health, education, de-addiction and environmental conservation. During major festivals and public occasions they join other local groups to bring people together by organising fairs, cultural events, tableaux, exhibitions, rallies and public talks in order to help enhance people’s quality of life through the application of spiritual, human and ethical values.
There is a growing demand for the skills and services of Brahma Kumaris from public organisations. For instance, in Mumbai, the municipality has given several public parks that were lying in neglect to the BKs for maintenance and upgrading. Today the derelict parks have become beautiful oases of recreation and spiritual education.
There are 17 service wings of Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation (RERF) that reach out to a wide cross-section of the society and offer the benefits of various courses developed by the Brahma Kumaris. The RERF is a sister body of the Brahma Kumaris which was established in 1982 for providing specialised services to different sections of society.
Throughout the year each wing holds seminars and conferences at BK campuses and organises activities to help people integrate values and spiritual wisdom into their lives and share them in their family and workplace.
Administrators’ Wing, Art & Culture Wing, Business & Industry Wing, Education Wing, Jurists’ Wing, Media Wing, Medical Wing, Politicians’ Service Wing, Religious Wing, Rural Development Wing, Scientists’ & Engineers’ Wing, Security Service Wing, Social Service Wing, Sports Wing, Travel and Transport Wing, Women’s Wing, Youth Wing & Sparc Wing
A lot of top-of-the-line organisation invite the BKs to conduct training programmes. To name a few: Godrej, NHPC, NTPC, HPCL, IFFCO, KRIBHCO, BHEL, Birla Cement, Asian Paints, Ranbaxy, Airtel, Indian air Force, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Jet Airways, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Rural Electrification Corporation, National Horticulture Board, Institute of Company Secretaries, Delhi Secretariat, Delhi Transco, MTNL (New Delhi), Deloitte Consulting, HCL Technologies, IBM, Hughes Software, Singapore Airlines, TCS, Birla Sunlife, Wipro Technologies, Indian Airlines, EXL Services, Indian Oil, Ministry of Railways, Lions Club and Rotary Club.
The most popular courses, which have benefited millions in India , are:
Stress Management, Self Development Leadership, Spiritual Empowerment and Holistic Personality Development & Self Empowerment.
Service in Places of Detention (Jail)
“You can’t take the divinity out of a human being. It may be distorted, disfigured or disguised but it is there. The role of those who have a spiritual dimension is to try and create a space, which has sanctity, dignity, compassion and forgiveness, where all that is divine about a person has room to flourish.” –Alan Ogier, Methodist and Free Church Superintendent for Prisons, UK
The Brahma Kumaris’ currently work within places of detention with both staff and detainees.
The Brahma Kumaris recognise and appreciate the contribution which those who work within offender management make to society, often under very difficult circumstances, and offer them support in a variety of ways. Value-based seminars, workshops and courses are provided on such themes as Stress and Anger Management, Positive Living, Self Management Leadership and Meditation.
The bulk of the Brahma Kumaris work within centres of detention has been with detainees. It has been found that they respond well to practical courses in positive thinking, meditation and self-esteem, through which they are able to re-evaluate their approach to life and make meaningful and useful changes. Such courses complement the existing available services.
The teaching activities are backed up by a variety of books and tapes, a number of which may be available, in some countries, from prison libraries.
“Before meditation came along I was dumfounded and confused. The BK teachings turned my outlook around. I am now more conscious of being a child of God the Supreme Soul. I am more detached from all that I see and yet so deeply in love that every moment seems to be living life from within the meditation, seeing nothing but good at every second.” —Julian, a 17-year practitioner of Raja Yoga meditation, recently paroled after serving 27 years in a Florida prison.
In some countries, Meditation and Positive Thinking Courses, Spirituality in Offender Management have been incorporated into the training programme for the Prisoners and Jail Staff.
Service of Youth
Just as a young sapling knows that its task is to reach for the sky, young people need to reach for the best in themselves.
The future of the world rests on the quality of human relationships and the values that underpin every aspect of social functioning. A new way of living ultimately depends on the elevated state of the human spirit. Young minds and hearts are the best places to raise awareness of spiritual values, encouraging them to take up the challenge of re-creating their inner world. It is the courage to ‘see’ things differently; ‘behave’ differently and ‘act’ differently that enables us to creatively build empowering social structures and a better world.
Accompanying young people on a journey to unearth and develop spiritual potential is an exciting and challenging process. As well as providing opportunities through which young people learn about responsibility, relationships and decision-making, much emphasis is now being placed on the development of the inner self.
Leading from within
Spiritual growth is the basis of self empowerment. Encouraging the development of spiritual principles and moral values helps strengthen the capacity of young people to participate with integrity and self worth, as key players within society now and as potential leaders in the future.
Additionally an essential part of spiritual growth is dialogue across generations. Through reflection, personal sharing and discussion, safe and collaborative spaces can be created in which adults and young people can learn and grow together as equals.
Successful leaders know themselves and are able to integrate spirituality into their lives. Over the last 30 years, the young adults of the Brahma Kumaris have successfully inspired and sustained the human spirit sparking creativity, excellence and healthy relationships for themselves, and within their local and national contexts.
An International Youth Forum( IYF) Formed in 1995 has grown into a network of some 8000 young adults (aged 16 – 30) across 49 countries who have chosen to respond to the call of the time and ‘create’ their future. United by the shared belief, ‘When I change, the world changes’ they explore personal empowerment through creative spiritual research of values and principles at the heart of human consciousness in their annual international and national retreats.
Programmes like ‘Voices Beyond Conflict – A dialogue across generations’ and ‘Respect – Contemplation, Communication and Co-operation – an interfaith youth retreat’and ‘ Think globally, Act locally’ were launched by sustaining youth with regular meetings for open discussions and workshops.
Touch The Light Project for the Youth in India
(A Youth Wing Project proposal regarding Development and Empowerment of Adolescents)
Adolescence being a phase of life characterized by rapid physical growth and development, physical and psychological changes, development of adult mental process and a transition from socio-economic dependence towards relative independence need special care and convergence. This group of society has their special needs and problem, which needs regular and constant stimulus. The organization proposes mass awareness campaigning for the children under the age group of 11 to 16 especially studying in class 7 th to 9 th of the schools of various categories under this project of ‘Touch the Light’.
The project under proposal shall be initiated during the year 2007-08 in all most all states of the country for the children who are presently in class 7, 8 and 9. Under this scheme upto the year 2009-10 about 6000 schools shall be benefited through mass campaigning and personal contact programms for which around 6000 faculty members shall have to be trained for activating the adolescents groups under scheme. It will cover around 16,50,000 students all over the country. The faculty members shall under go a 5 days intensive training under the experienced master trainers. The following criteria has been fixed for the master trainers and faculty members:
Service of Women
Four Faces of Woman
“Very calming, very uplifting. Transforming. I am so grateful that I have connected to my deep, abandoned self, that I have made personal discoveries that will heal me, empower me and allow me to forgive myself and others. My lighter, brighter self has been re–discovered and nurtured.” –Amanda, Four Faces of Woman, Toronto 2002
Convened either as a day–long workshop or a series of weekend retreats , “Four Faces of Women” events encourage participants to explore the symbolism of four ‘faces’ which have characterized women and their role in society through the ages—identities stored in the subconscious mind which influence every woman’s sense of self today. The eternal face symbolizes innocence and purity; the traditional face symbolizes security and protection; the modern face symbolizes searching and questioning; and the face of the Shakti symbolizes power, self–respect, and transformation.
Four Faces: The Aim & the Atmosphere
The aim of Four Faces retreats and programmes is to help women grow spiritually – by rediscovering their true worth, value and potential and by reconnecting with the inner self in a nurturing, constructive and peaceful environment.
Women of all ages and backgrounds benefit from this atmosphere of trust and affirmation. They have an opportunity to learn from the experience of others, restore their self-value and self-confidence, acquire skills which help rebuild inner strength, and identify ways to enjoy and apply spiritual skills in everyday life.
Four Faces of Women programmes create opportunities for women to value each others’ journeys and to share the essence of spirituality—the eternal face of humanity—beyond the limitations of tradition. They are dedicated to uncovering the face of the Shakti, the source of divine power, within us all.
For more information on contact a location near you .