Nupur Tewari: Spreading Indic Culture in Japan and Educating Slum Children in India
She has been brought up in a milieu imbibed in the richness of Vedic principles and traditions. Yoga has always been a part of her family since her childhood. It is said charity begins at home. She has been witness to her parents’ charitable activities during her childhood and teenage days. She assimilated all of these into her being and emerged what she is today. We are delving about Nupur Tewari.
Since 2005, Nupur Tewari has been spreading Indic culture in Japan through dance, yoga, food, festivals, cultural sessions, and spreading the wisdom of the Gita. She has been so engrossed in all these Indic activities that people in Fukuoka, Japan started referring her as an unofficial cultural ambassador of India to Japan.
Teaching is her passion. She has taught international students in more than 32 schools of Japan for more than 12 years.
Nupur Tewari is the founder of Heal Tokyo, healing people, especially their body, mind and soul through yoga, meditation, positivity, and teachings from the Bhagavad Gita. Nupur always wanted to pay back her country of origin. The contributions from yoga sessions are used to finance the primary education of children in urban slums of different cities of India. She aims to end illiteracy in India and give underprivileged children a better life through education. Nupur Tewari is an inspiration to millions.
Nupur Tewari hosted TV shows in Japan in Japanese – the first Indian to do so ever in Japan. She has also been an anchor at various national and international events there. Besides, she has been part of various modelling assignments in Japanese commercials.
Here is an excerpt of an interview of Nupur Tewari taken by Manoshi Sinha, Editor of My India My Glory e-magazine.
Please tell us about your organization Heal Tokyo
Nupur Tewari: As they say where there’s a will there’s a way. And Heal Tokyo is the child of that will. Lord Krishna said in Bhagavad Gita that we all are here for some purpose, we all have a role to play, today or tomorrow we realize it. And Heal Tokyo is my call and purpose of being in this world. I found my purpose of life!
‘Heal Tokyo’ is our philanthropic project. It’s an unique charity project, which envisions to bring equality and peace in life of people reached through it.
Heal Tokyo’s main aim is to unite the world through Yoga. And make people realize Aham Brahmashmi (I’m the best creation of God and capable of doing amazing things). We talk about empowerment today, but Indic culture empowered each of us thousands of years ago by saying Aham Brahmashmi.
How did the idea about spreading Indic culture in Japan crop up in your mind? Please tell us about your philanthropic activities in India under the banner of Heal Tokyo.
Nupur Tewari: As you know Tokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world and fast life gives the disciplined and perfectionist Japanese a lot of stress. So suicide rate is very high here. I heal their body, mind and soul through yoga, meditation, positivity and love. I heal them through teachings from the Bhagavad Gita.
We enable people from all age groups in Tokyo to take part in international yoga sessions in open parks, cafés and homes. Yoga and meditation help them to connect with the inner soul, peace and serenity out of their busy and robotised life.
I don’t charge them anything for what I teach. I want them to feel for those who are underprivileged and contribute anything they like from their healed heart. And that money goes to run slum schools in India. I’m successfully running a school in Aligarh, UP and planning to open many soon. I just finished the renovation of the school and can hear the laugh of those children, those beautiful hearts. Those smiles and their happiness add to my happiness.
We wish to hear more about your interest in educating slum children in India.
Nupur Tewari: It’s more about bringing balance in the society. Unlike rural India, the urban lower income groups suffer from a problem of lack of policy reach and institutional delivery. Kids in urban slums are much more vulnerable to be in wrong paths if not given a proper channel of education and guidance.
It’s paying back to the country. We want to end illiteracy in India and give underprivileged children a better life and a sustainable access to education.
Who knows a slum kid can rise to be another change maker. Kindness multiplies when we add our efforts.
Even a monthly contribution of a quantum equal to a meal of fast food can change the life of a kid by sending him/her to a school.
I had faced lots of problems and discrimination in my life so I can relate to these children.
How will you describe yourself in one line?
Nupur Tewari: I am a confident woman, a proud mother, a generous philanthropist, a charismatic teacher, a proud Indian and a serene believer and doer of yoga and peace.
You have faced challenges in your childhood. We wish to know more about your journey from your childhood to the making of a philanthropist and an Indic culture practitioner in the true sense of the term.
Nupur Tewari: I was born in a traditionally educated family where I got my real education of life, love, compassion, loyalty, patience, sincerity, kindness, sacrifice and selflessness. But I didn’t go to any reputed school. I did my education until 10th grade from a village and I had to walk 3 kms daily to go to my school, every day in sunny and rainy days too. During monsoon we had mud up-to my knee. Yes, we didn’t have electricity too. We got the electricity in our village when I was in 7th grade. I was blessed to have awesome parents but my mother was so busy to take care of the joint family that she hardly had any time for herself and my father trusted and loved me so much that he was more worried that I might get sick studying so much, every day. Literally I had no one to guide me.
I moved to the small town from 11th grade where I used to come during my vacations. I felt like an alien among those girls from reputed schools. Those experiences made me realize about the challenges of those people who are neglected socially, financially and demographically. Those experiences inspired me to connect with them and understand their feelings and motives for life in an emotional and futuristic manner.
I personally had the experiences of being discriminated on the ground of my origination, language skills, brutal honesty, undiplomacy and my subtle nature. That made me strong and the so called hyped weaknesses became my reasons to improve and be strong.
Ironically, no one worked outside from my family. When I was in the last year of my university, I was offered to teach in another college in Calcutta University, but of course my goal was never to stay in a small town to be a lecturer and settle with small things. Those few months of teaching helped me save some money to get out of that town and explore a world for myself. And then, my journey started to learn about my life and its connectivity with other people while working in MNCs’ and international organizations. I left my home with INR 500 which I earned and saved during my job as a teacher to explore my tyranny with life and build my world in which I knew no one. I had seen the days when I survived on two times snacks only in cities like Mumbai during my exploration with myself.
A Japanese MNC took me to Japan, where I found my new world and my adventure with teaching in schools of Japan started. I have experiences of teaching international students in more than 32 schools of Japan for more than 12 years. That made me self-sustainable in one of the most organized countries in the world. I feel blessed to know Japan very closely being with only Japanese people there and learn their culture from the grassroots level.
My passion for working with people even took me to host TV shows in Japan in Japanese which made me the first Indian to do so ever in Japan and an anchor at various national and international events there. I have been part of various modelling assignments in Japanese commercials and my passion still continues to inspire people through connection and communication.
Your stance with yoga and charity.
Nupur Tewari: I was asked by many why I needed to be so different and passionate about charity when I could lead a beautiful life without much effort in a Japan. Especially being a woman.
Well, I have grown up seeing my parents voluntarily helping children by serving food, buying books and paying their school fees. Even some of them used to stay at our place during the exam times as they didn’t have enough facilities and environment to study. And I was taught to do the same for others too.
Yoga had always been a part of my family since my childhood. I hailed from a family which strongly believed in Vedic principles and its features for health and peace. That inspired me to do different types of Yoga since my childhood and the journey still continues.
Until 2014, Yoga for me was my personal aid for peace and health. From 2014, I started conducting Yoga sessions across various community places in Japan voluntarily and inviting them to learn more about Indian culture over yoga sessions and Indian food delicacies. In 2015, Japan faced a disastrous earthquake in Kumamoto (Kyushu), and the intrinsic pain took me over the wall and made me realize that I wanted to do something to contribute to the phase of revival of the citizens struck by the calamity. But, the situation was not favourable for me as I was raising my small daughter who was just 6 years of age and nobody was there to take care of her in my routine absence. That incorporated more pain in me to be unable to do anything for the affected people, and I came up with the idea of teaching Yoga and sending the donations collected from Yoga contributions. Then, there was nothing stopping me. I did yoga sessions in cultural summits, universities, schools and open community places and have been contributing for the cause of child education across India and the world through my contributions from Yoga sessions.
Your message to readers.
Nupur Tewari: Life is a gift and you’re born with all the super power to create amazing things for yourself, for your country and for the world. Close your eyes, take a deep breath with Aum, feel that power and do the magic through your work. Thank you. Love you all.