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Anjali to Sri Lankabhimanya Dr.A.T. Ariyaratne Founder of the Sarvodaya Movement

Venue: Shanti Ashram
Date: 17th April 2024

A full life – a rich life – a life of dedicated service to Sri Lanka and the global family
We, in India, pause to celebrate the life and work of Ariyaratne Ayyah

Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne founded Sarvodaya in 1958, where he established the concept of Shramadana, the sharing of one’s time, thoughts, labour, and energy. He gathered volunteers to come together and build a road in an impoverished rural village of Sri Lanka. 65 years of dedicated service now stands testament to his transformational leadership and work at the Sarvodaya Movement. The movement, under his leadership and community service, touched almost all the 20,000 villages of Sri Lanka.

The International Gandhi Peace Prize is awarded annually by the Government of India. We, the people of India, were overjoyed when the Government of India bestowed this prestigious award on Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne in 1996 as a tribute to the ideals espoused by Gandhi. To every peace worker, this was a reminder of self-less service, commitment to peace building and practical action for non-violent conflict resolution.

The Sarvodaya Movement of India and Shanti Ashram honoured him with the ‘Defender of Peace’ Award.
Further he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1969, the Niwano Peace Prize in 1992 and the King Beaudoin Award for his work in peace-making and village development.

He loved the young people of the world, and held them accountable to being active agents of change and bridges of hope carrying forward their generation’s legacy of community service, inclusive leadership and building together more equal communities. Ari Ayyah also lent his voice and leadership to inter-religious cooperation and collective action that helped build more harmonious and just societies. The Religions for Peace movement worldwide, the Arigatou International, Engaged Buddhists, the Sarvodaya Movement, InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government remain enriched by his inspiring work. Children, found a very special place in the work that Smt. Neetha Ariyaratne and he co-led with institutions and individuals around the world. Through their personal example, they made many experience the blessing of belonging! As loving elders their family home was open to ALL.

Ari Ayyah was dear to us, as a brother to members of the Sarvodaya-Gandhian movement in India and a loving mentor to many in the different institutions across the country, the shared inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi and the vision of ‘Sarvodaya’ being the deep bond. With so many lessons of deep learning, Ari Ayyah leaves his legacy to each of us to carry forward.

Special prayers of thanks giving for a beautiful human being, a tall leader, a teacher in the true sense and a very loving elder will be held across INDIA in our homes and in our institutions.

People of India
Represented by 33 Sarvodaya Gandhian Institutions across India
April 17th, 2024

For more details – PPt: Anjali-to-Dr.A.T.Ariyaratne-from-the-People-of-India-April-18th-2024.pdf