Kolkata, Apr 8 UNI | 4 months ago

Citizens of the City of Joy turned out in their thousands to welcome the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at two events in the city today.

In the first event held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, he interacted with volunteers who had worked committedly under the umbrella of Art of Living's voter-outreach program, Volunteer for a Better India (VBI) to register new voters and also raise public consciousness on exercising one's franchise.

The VBI volunteers, drawn from a wide section of society, have been instrumental in registering over 3 lakh new voters across 15 States in India.

Addressing the large and enthusiastic gathering, Sri Sri encouraged his Volunteers in the morning session of the Volunteer Convention where he said, "Desh Bhakti and Dev Bhakti are the same so we should treat them equally as they are two sides of the same coin."

Partnering with the Election Commission, corporates, local-government officials and powered by housewives, students, busy IT professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, housing colonies, and even little schoolchildren, the VBI's Voter Awareness Campaign (VAC) has succeeded in raising citizen's awareness about the importance of voting in a democracy and to accelerate voter-registration.

Apart from a media-interaction event in the afternoon, Sri Sri also led an evening of meditation, music and interacted with the public on various issues confronting the country, at a Mahasatsang held at Netaji Indoor Stadium open for public from 1800 - 2000 hours.

He touched upon various topics such as fighting against corruption, the need to elect candidates without a criminal background, and voting for a strong and stable government.

For several months now, Sri Sri has been travelling the length and breadth of the country with an aim to instill a sense of responsibility and nationalism among the citizens, especially among the youth, urging every Indian to come out and volunteer one hour of their time for building a better India, and also to ensure they exercise their democratic right to vote.

(Posted on 09-04-2014)