Established in 2001, Sri Sri Rural Development Program Trust (SSRDP) under the aegis of Art of Living operates with a resolute focus on empowering India with a number of skill development programs and meaningful service initiatives. We aim to collaborate with best global practices, corporate thinking, accountability and highest governance standards, and transparency to create a model of sustainable development, which is a benchmark in the industry and can be replicated at scale. At Sri Sri Rural Development Programme Trust (SSRDP), we believe that the partnership of rural India with corporates, young urban India, the Government and other partner organizations is the key to creating a permanent & irreversible change for good.
We believe that every person deserves to lead a secure, prosperous, and dignified life. With that vision in mind, our mission is to strengthen community-led development initiatives to achieve positive social, economic, entrepreneurship and environmental change across Rural and Urban Regions in India.
Creating a permanent and irreversible change in the lives of economically challenged persons in the next five years, taking the number of beneficiaries to 10 million from the current level of 3 million being supported through various programs.
Identify & address green initiatives, Skills training & other need-based issues in India, through sustainable development projects, training and entrepreneurship development.
Promote entrepreneurs and create a platform and infrastructure for the youth to take up income-generating activities in their neighbourhood.
Act as a bridge between urban & rural India for inter-cultural, knowledge, technology and human exchanges.
Air Commodore Rabindranath Merani
Air Commodore Merani has been a trustee since 2017 and is the current chairman of the board of Sri Sri Rural Development Programme Trust. He is an Art of Living teacher and has been with the organization since 2002. An alumni of the National Defence Academy, he retired as an Air Commodore from the Indian Air Force, fighter aircraft stream. He worked in the corporate world for 6 years after retirement, in the civil aviation sector. As Chairman and the resident trustee at Bangalore Ashram, he maintains liaison with sister trusts and oversees the finance, administration and personnel of the trust. He receives regular feedback from the CEO on all ongoing projects of the Sri Sri Rural Development Programme Trust. He is the link between our rural initiatives and Vyakthi Vikas Kendra India and Sri Sri Institute of Agriculture Science and Technology to ensure farmers are happy and getting richer. He has worked closely with Mr Ravi Bhushan on the Farmers Produce Marketing Project, in light of the new legislation, which aims to boost the incomes of Producer Companies and FPOs in favour of farmers, instead of middlemen, as has been the case until now.
Air Marshal Vijay Pal Singh Rana PVSM, VSM (Retd)
Air Marshal Vijay Pal Singh Rana PVSM, VSM (Retd), served in the Indian Air Force for 37 years. He served at the apex level in IAF Administration, as ‘Air Force Officer in Charge Administration (AOA) and contributed immensely to field operations, including Operation Kargil and Operation Parakram. He holds post-graduation in Defense & Strategic Studies, Plant breeding & genetics and PG diplomas in Public Administration & Business Administration.
Mr. Deepak has been part of the Art of Living organization since 2004 as a full-time Sevak. He oversees the pan-India skill centers, our relationship with NSDC, Schneider, CSR and the Solar projects, including the Northeast states. Along with these activities, he is also in charge of initiatives in natural buildings, pottery, and projects related to tribals and artisans.
Mr. Ravi has been conceptualizing and spearheading projects for alleviating farmer distress. This includes federating Farmer Producer Companies and creating FPOs, for value addition to farm produce and taking maximum advantage of the recent ground-breaking amendments to the Essential Commodities Act, APMC and Contract Farming rules, with a view to ensure that rural folk are better able to earn a livelihood and are not flocking to urban slums, to earn a living. With his experience as an advisor at NRLM and in contract farming, he guides SSRDP in setting up a structure that would be self-sustaining and self-funded.
Mr. Vijay has the responsibility of linking The Art of Living programs with all SSRDP project initiatives that involve people, be it rural training or skill training. He identifies honorary sevaks for an appointment, for being in charge at District and Taluk levels. He vigorously expands the scope of the World Bank-funded project on climate-resilient agriculture. Mr. Vijay also guides and influences Sarpanch federations towards the betterment of farmer incomes and quality of life, through collective farming and appropriate marketing practices.
Mrs. Merani has been looking after the Human Resources department in the SSRDP for the past 5 years. B Tech by education, she started her career with BHEL and had been in the teaching profession for almost 20 years. Her last assignment was as Professor at an Engineering College in Bangalore. She continues to work along with being a homemaker and an Art of Living teacher. She along with her family has been associated with the Art of Living since 2002.