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Good InfoSri Lanka's Untold Story of Resilience

Sri Lanka’s Untold Story of Resilience


Sri Lanka’s Untold Story of Resilience

When the legendary Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne — often called “the Gandhi of Sri Lanka” — passed away last month at the age of 92, his enduring legacy of selfless love expanded in hearts across the globe. For over sixty years, Dr. Ariyaratne’s humility and servant leadership stewarded thousands of self-sufficient villages in Sri Lanka. Working quietly and often behind the scenes, the unique non-government organization behind the movement, Sarvodaya (which can be translated to “the awakening of all through the sharing of energy”), has grown to include more than 15,000 villages and has mobilized community efforts to build preschools, community health centers, libraries, and 100,000 small businesses — all without government support. Their success lies in the networks of local organizations formed through the personal awakening of participants. In that spirit, their motto, “We build the road, and the road builds us,” mirrors Dr. Ari’s practice of seeing and treating all as equals and, to echo Richard Flyer’s words, “characterizes the relationship between spiritual and economic development”.

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