Bhanumathi Narasimhan has played a key role in The Art of Living Foundation, since its inception. Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living Foundation is a non-proﬁt, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 151 countries. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, her brother and guide, has been a constant source of support and direction for her. Bhanu has been instrumental in instituting the “Care for-Children” program, which provides education for underprivileged rural children, free of cost. The ﬁrst School to be supported by this program started in 1981 with 30 children in rural Bangalore. Now, 30 years later, there are there are 175 schools in 19 states of India educating over 24,500 children. She is especially focused on education for girls and empowerment of women.
In 1997, Bhanu was one of the founding members of VISTA India (Value Integrated Services to All), an initiative that aims to provide economic and social self-sufficiency for disadvantaged women. The project was launched under the aegis of the Art of Living Foundation, and it has provided vocational training, entrepreneurship, and self-development workshops to more than 8,000 women in India. As part of their training, women are also introduced to programs that promote hygiene and women’s health in rural areas.Sri Sri Women’s Empowerment Program is another initiative on similar lines of VISTA and caters to underprivileged women in rural areas. There are two centers currently operating – one in rural Tamil Nadu and another in the outskirts of Bangalore. Women are trained in various vocational skills like tailoring, candle making, incense stick production, packaging and marketing, and other related skills in order to make them economically self-reliant.