Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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Chaos and disorder coupled with some really hard business decisions in the aftermath of the global pandemic has left businesses saddled with a workforce that is hyper anxious, stressed out and with mental health in tatters. Locked down with uncertainties weighing the minds, more businesses, managements and work force in general is turning to spirituality.

Global spiritual leader and humanitarian Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who founded The Art of Living, one of the world’s largest volunteer based non-governmental organisations, and World Forum For Ethics In Business, says that mental wellbeing is necessary to take better decisions by cutting out the noise and gaining clarity of thought. He also said that mental wellbeing can help employees stay focused and be productive as they battle fears of impending job losses, downsizing, pay cuts and skewed demand supply in the job market.

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 264 million people suffer from depression and anxiety disorders. It also estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion each year in loss of productivity.

[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]In order to help employees, deal with the stress and anxiety during the Covid-19 outbreak, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, via his social media channels, is leading guided meditation sessions twice a day at 12 noon, and at 7:30 pm in the evening.

The Art of Living Foundation has also created almost nine hours of special content dedicated to helping people deal with the aftereffects of the pandemic in European countries. The foundation is also conducting yoga and meditation sessions for people along with providing Ayurvedic-based diet, treatment and tips for boosting immunity.[/box]

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Vegetables cutting with social distancing

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Women group in need taking meals from The Art of Living Kitchen food

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Ashram Annapoorna volunteers cooking food for families in need

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Ashram kitchen volunteers ready to distribute cooked meals

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The Art of Living volunteers distributing cooked meals

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Truckload with relief materials

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Truckload of relief materials being dispatched from The Art of Living International Center, Bengaluru

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Without losing any more time, corporates should take conscious initiatives to promote the importance of mental wellbeing among employees. Employees are inclined to take things more seriously when the directives come from their company authorities. Several measures within companies and steps to propagate mental wellbeing, will over a period of time exhibit considerable results.

In addition to the mental health initiatives, the foundation is also working on the ground to bring relief to people most adversely effected. Darshak Hathi, International Director at the foundation said that The Art of Living with its partner organization International Association for Human Values have been working tirelessly to provide material relief in all corners of the country from Maharashtra, Karnataka to Punjab, MP, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Delhi and Jammu, reaching out to over a million daily wage workers and migrant labourers stuck in different parts of the country.

“The Art of Living/IAHV is providing a family’s ration for 10 days to a million families across the country along with film and TV fraternity joining this initiative. A total of 500 tons of total relief material sent so far includes food material, medical supplies and sanitizers are being sent out to various parts of the country,” he said.

The organization is also setting up a hospital in Hyderabad while helping a Covid-19 hospital in Bengaluru, Hathi said, adding that the organization has also opened a national helpline for addiction 080 67612325, an initiative of Program for Relief from Addictions Naturally (PRAN), available in 9 languages, where they are being counselled in dealing with addiction symptoms.

When so much is being done at the ground level by such NGOs, corporates can sure do their bit by taking care of the mental wellbeing of their staff and boost their productivity in turn.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

3 Comment

    • Sunil Dutt -

    • April 27, 2020 at 10:53 am

    This is a good initiative by a spiritual leader through the NGO. We appreciate the move and wish success in this movement.

    • Srinivas c -

    • April 29, 2020 at 04:22 am

    Good. Well

    • Sushil Kumar Sharma -

    • April 29, 2020 at 05:46 am

    A wonderful work for the overall well-being of humanity.

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