Sowmya Ayyar, Executive Director
Prafull Oorja Charitable Foundation
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
When I moved to India, a boy literally ran into me on the street and began a random conversation. His family apologized for his "special" condition. I offered yoga. In a few short months of sessions, his hyperactivity had visibly reduced: he could sit still & silent for minutes. Others started asking. Prafull Oorja was born to serve the children and women.
How does your innovation work in practice?
The problem: Yoga is accessible only to physically and mentally "fit".
The problem: Yoga programs for vulnerable communities in India is often short-lived and non sustainable.
The problem: Many children in India don't have access to sports, arts, spiritualities, and nature. It reduces their capacity to bloom and grow to reach their potential.
The problem: Yoga teachers want to serve, and don't have opportunities or capacity to do it sustainably on their own.
Prafull Oorja's solution: Develop yoga therapists who can implement sustainable programs with various communities. Train and upskill them to work with children with special needs, children with cancer, transient/ migrant community children, and orphanages.
We have a training program and curriculum that addresses the gap between yoga teachers and vulnerable communities. Our Sangha works together to ensure no classes are missed.
How has it been spreading?
In the last 6-7 years since we started, we've grown into new communities, reaching 500+ children every week, as well as 200+ women. We started out with special needs children, then got involved with orphanages 4 years ago, children with cancer 3 years ago, and children in transient communities for the last 2 years. We worked with children in other cities and states across India.
We hope that the next 2-3 years brings us a steady funding source that will allow us to train yoga therapists in every state across India, and implement sustainable programs to tens of thousands of special needs children. We also hope that we can become a researchable example on Yoga & Special Needs, providing quantitative, scientific data on the transformations that occur.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Contact us! Prafull Oorja is on Social Media. Our website is: www.prafulloorja.org. Send us an email on email@example.com
Together, we will train yoga teachers in your community, and ensure they have the skills to carry out sustainable sessions with children who otherwise don't have access to yoga.
We can adapt the program to meet local cultural and other needs.