In the rural area of India where project Anisha is located, marginalized farmers and landless families, often headed by single women, struggle to meet their most basic needs. Approximately 70% of these people are members of the lowest social caste in India and their children often lack adequate nutrition and health care. Without extra support, many of these children drop out of school and become trapped in the child labor sector of the local mining industry.
These families suffer from the results of the Green Revolution of the early 1960s in India. Farmers were encouraged to adopt the use of commercial fertilizers and non-native seeds. Soils were depleted across India and many farmers were forced to leave their homelands for slums in India’s major cities.
Susila Dharma USA is happy to announce that a private foundation located in Jericho, New York, has stepped up to provide funding in the form of a grant for project Anisha. The Guru Krupa Foundation has granted $10,000.00 for the first year of a four-year project intended to teach 1400 local students at middle to high school level to plant and grow organic kitchen gardens. These gardens will provide the students and their families with a plentiful source of nutritious organic vegetables that will provide economic relief to family budgets, and seeds that will be used in next year’s kitchen gardens. The seeds will also be saved for distribution to local farmers from the native seed bank maintained at Anisha’s Agricultural Resource Center.
The Guru Krupa Foundation has a long history of providing grants to humanitarian efforts in both the United States and India. They grant in three areas – educational, religious/cultural, and social, the one that Anisha qualified under. Please visit the website for the GKF to read about the Foundation and their more recent grants and activities (www.guru-krupa.org). The grant is the result of a collaborative effort between Susila Dharma USA, Susila Dharma International, and Anisha. The Susila Dharma network is very proud and happy to be partnering with this private Foundation.
Hopefully, as the project moves through its first year in the rural area south of Bangalore, India, the GKF will see the valuable contribution made by Anisha in its local area and agree to fund the next three years at the same level or higher. Hopefully, this 4-year project will expand and provide a model for future kitchen garden projects, both locally and in other drought-prone areas of southern India. It is exciting to see Susila Dharma successfully branching out in its fund-raising efforts to foundations outside of Subud. (Thanks Marilyn Schirk for this article.)