Niroga Institute Founder Bidyut Bose Receives Jefferson Award
OAKLAND, CA – Bidyut Bose has been awarded a Bay Area Regional Jefferson Award for his outstanding work as Executive Director of the Niroga Institute, an Oakland-based nonprofit that teaches Transformative Life Skills (TLS), a multi-modality intervention including yoga, breathing techniques and meditation, to at-risk youth and other vulnerable populations, including seniors, cancer survivors and recovering addicts.
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service were co-founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and others to honor volunteerism and community outreach throughout the United States, and are presented on two levels: national and regional. Bose’s receipt of a regional Jefferson Award will be the subject of a segment on CBS Eyewitness News on Wednesday, December 1, at 6:00 p.m., which will be rebroadcast on the Thursday late news and Friday early morning news programs, as well as KCBS radio and on www.cbs5.com.
Bose responded to the announcement by saying, “This honor is not only a tribute to the tremendous commitment and dedication of all Niroga staff and teachers, it is also an acknowledgment that the management of chronic stress and the development of emotional self-regulation are powerful catalysts that can transform our communities.”
Bose left a successful career as a scientist and technology executive in Silicon Valley to launch the Niroga Institute in 2005, as a vehicle to bring TLS to at-risk youth and other underserved populations. Currently, Niroga’s Yoga Corps teachers are reaching more than two thousand students a week in local public schools, alternative schools, juvenile court placements, drug and alcohol rehab programs and other settings where learning these skills are needed most and have the greatest impact.
Independent researchers have shown that youth who practiced TLS experienced less stress and displayed better self-control than their peers, who did not. The implications of these results are quite significant. Niroga’s programs are increasingly being viewed as a cost-effective powerful catalyst for positive child and youth development impacting education and mental health, and as a front-line prevention and intervention strategy for violence reduction.