On the auspicious occasion of the International Yoga Day, iDiya.net has launched “My Happy World” interview series, that makes people from various walks of life pause from their busy life to spend a few moments’ time to ponder on what gives them Happiness and how they can contribute to a Better World, through their thoughts and actions.
This is one small step by iDiya Foundation towards fulfilling former Indian president Late Dr. Abdul Kalam’s dream of an Enlightened Society, a Beautiful World – a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful and Prosperous World. Let’s co-create a better India and a better world envisioned by Dr. Kalam. The Change starts from YOU.. When you start becoming a little Happier than yesterday, then this world has already become a slightly better place than yesterday!
iDiya.net is interviewing thought leaders, change makers and unsung heroes from diverse backgrounds about their simple ways of being Happy and making others Happy!
On auspicious occasion of International Yoga Day iDiya.net Founder and Chief Editor Krishna Reddy interviews Shivani Kumari, a 23 year old social activist and Art of Living Happiness program teacher who is working as an engineer in Infosys. She is a Happy, energetic and creative youngster who passionately works towards uplifting the society around her. In this interview Shivani talks about her inspiring work and ideas for a better world.
Krishna Reddy: Shivani, Its a pleasure for us to publish your interview on iDiya.net. Tell us about briefly about yourself.
Shivani Kumari: Its my great honor Krishna to be interviewed on such a huge platform for the first time in my life, thank you so much for recognizing and appreciating my efforts. At present I am working in Infosys, Hyderabad as an engineer, I am also an Art Of Living Teacher. And I am pursuing my masters degree in Good Governance and Public Policy from Hyderabad Central University. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. My native place Bihar, the land where Gautama Buddha got Enlightened, has been my inspiration to towards spirituality and social service. My father is a very senior Nuclear Scientist with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), he has been my inspiration in hard work, & discipline and he has kindled scientific temperament in me. My mother is a homemaker, who nurtured me in her unconditional love and taught me to love without expectations. My grandfather was a communist leader and a great follower of Karl Marx and as a child I have seen him living his socialistic values and that inspired me from a younger age to get into social service and serve society. He was a great inspiration, he never wanted anything for himself, I had not seen him much but have heard a lot about him that he used to live his life for others and even if he didn’t have bread and butter for that day, he would make sure others around him had a bread for that day. Great human being he was.
Krishna: What makes You Happy?!
Shivani: Simple pleasures of life like singing in the moonlight, seeing each individual around me rise to their highest potential and expand in happiness, getting to meet spiritual masters and be in their company, spending time with mother in the kitchen, meditation, unplanned holiday tours, meeting new people. Taking up problems that really matter to the lives of people and solving them, taking it as my own purpose makes me happy and fulfilled.
Krishna: What have been your Service Activities so far?
Shivani: There are quite a number of activities that I have done along with my friends from the time of my school days. As a kid we would make tree houses and build shelters for the stray dogs, and now uplifting human lives is what i enjoy doing the most and serving society by identifying the root cause of the problems and solving them at the grass root level is what we enjoy doing. For example, in the case of corruption we proactively organised voter ID registration drives to make as many people as possible to come out and vote for the politicians to realize the soft power and power of people in democracy.
To know more about this you can always reach me out on Twitter.
I am yet to identify my other unique skills, but thanks for the question it has opened up something in me to think about my uniqueness!
Krishna: What is your idea of heaven?
Shivani: Parliamentary sessions in India should begin with prayers and meditation! Politics must become (a selfless) service and not a profession or business.
I practice regularly Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique which has helped me in being intuitive, creative and responsive to uncertain situations and has helped me maintain high enthusiasm, energy and confidence when nothing around you seems to be working! I will really not believe a person being successful if he has not known spirituality or has never meditated or known the importance of human values.
- Sleep well, not too less or too much!
- Eat vegetarian food and only in the required quantity.
- Meditate everyday just like brushing everyday.
- Do some breathing exercises everyday.
- Be happy unconditionally.
- Get involved in some service activity around you.
- Be in the company of happy and positive people.
Krishna: What are your future plans / dreams / goals ?
Shivani: I haven’t made any future plans yet, but yes I am focused on what am doing presently and that includes balance of my work and personal life. I love to inculcate enthusiasm and hope in everyone’s life around me. Yes it is my dream to be part of Public Policy Making in Indian democracy. I would like to help in combating green house effect, conserve natural resources and work for the environmental sustainability.
Media/cinema/TV etc can influence people more than anything else and that’s why I believe media should play a constructive role of inspiring the youth, establishing faith in the goodness of the world, highlighting the richness and goodness of the silent transnational work happening in making this world a better place, rather than focusing too much on violence and inculcating hatred towards a few sections of the society. Media has the potential to bring a great positive revolution in our country, but biased journalism has ruined its purpose.
Shivani Kumari discussing the issue of corruption in Indian Bureaucracy and seeking His advice on a potential solution to renowned Spiritual Leader & Enlightened Master Sri Sri Ravishankar who is the founder of the International NGO Art of Living
I tell you when a simple man like Sri Sri Ravishankar could win the hearts of millions of people in the world and just a short span of 35 years of his service to mankind has transformed so many lives then media which is already strongly influencing every household, if turns itself towards nation building and focuses on its true purpose then making this world will become a better place in no time.I wish and hope strongly that media rises above this on-going yellow journalism and shifts itself towards its true purpose then it will last long and will transform the society and gain love and respect of the people.