Sunday, May 22, 2011

Prakash: Another Wonderful Success!!

Prakash worked so hard and applied himself to his studies with such enthusiasm to become a teacher of young children who he loves and wants to teach, but just couldn’t get over the last barrier to his goal. He is from a poor family whose parents work hourly in fields for very little remuneration. Look at his picture - - - what a bright and shiny young man. He was brought to Shree Nityananda Education Trust to ask for $75 US to pay his remaining fees and receive his graduation certificate so he could apply for a teaching position.

We immediately recognized him to be an unusually happy, stable, confident, intelligent young man, and one who sincerely wants to return to his village and teach young children. Our thought? What a gift he will be to thousands of children! As we always do, before providing funds for any purpose, we checked out his records, his grades, and his character references. His records are as shiny as his face, and we were happy to gift him with the money to get his certificate.

The Good News! Prakash now has a job in the village teaching little children, and what good fortune for the children. Prakash has excelled not only in his studies but he also loves athletics and will help so many children with development of body and mind. We especially like to help the students who are devoted to their villages and will return to help their families. Even one educated and confident young person who has learned to function in the mainstream culture, and who returns to the villages to help others move up out of poverty, can have a major effect on lifting the welfare of the whole village. What a payoff. Only $75 and scores of children get the benefit of Prakash’s attention and love.

There are others like Prakash who make the decision to rise up out of poverty and then return to help others. Want to help? Want to sponsor someone for a little help - -- your own personal young person who is struggling to climb the ladder to success but just needs a little help. You would of course receive your persons picture and some personal details about their families, goals, village, and their schooling. If you like your picture would appear on our The Golden Donors Society page along with a picture the child you are helping. Send the link to friends and relatives who would love to see what you are doing to help. Just click on this link I want to help  the young adults of  Ganeshpuri area get a higher education and we will update you on children we find who need just a little help. No commitment, and we do not share your information with anyone. You just might notice someone you would really love to help!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A call for Funding in Creating an Accredited Adult Education Program in the Ganeshpuri/Vajreshwari/Kelthan Area


Shree Nityananda Education Trust (SNET), the Vedanta Foundation, the Red Cross of Mumbai, Learning Space Foundation, and the Saraswathi Secondary School have each identified the need for assisting the adult villagers of the Ganeshpuri/Kelthan/Vajreshwari area learning and practicing greater self sufficiency skills. Beyond education and skills training, there must also be advanced training geared toward turning the newly learned information and skills into either a good-paying job or self employment. There a need for a local NGO to take the lead in formulating a plan that includes registering with the governmental agency that permits certifying educational programs and for organizing, publicizing and administering an adult education program. Before an Adult Education Program can be created, the local NGO must have some financial backing to do the exploratory research and register with the government agency. Once the research is completed, and a plan of action created, the SNET project leaders will implement an Adult Education Program. This proposal will describe the information desired and a budget for this research and project coordination.



At present, adults of the rural area of Ganeshpuri , Vajreshwari and Kelthan area lack not only education and skill training but opportunities for meaning and gainful employment or support and guidance in self employment. Families here live in extremely poor circumstances, with children being the greatest sufferers from lack of food and good nutrition and lack of support for continuing with their own education. Children are often forced to quit school and work in brick fields and farms just to help pay for their own food. Poverty is real in this area. As a result, there is a high incidence of student absenteeism and dropping-out of school, alcoholism, and domestic discord and violence in the homes.

Students are graduating from village schools without the necessary information, skills, and confidence to enter the main stream work force. Although adult skills trainings have been introduced by well-meaning groups into this area, the research conducted by the Red Cross of Mumbai and Vedanta Foundation has found that the newly graduating student and the adult trainee has not been able to translate this into a job or financial gain. Many of the cultural structures that guide people in right actions in their communities can also serve as a kind of barrier for self improvement and self sufficiency. Most high school and adult education programs have not co-sponsored the necessary personal development that is needed alongside the skills training. Additionally, the Adivasi tribal members have been labeled for generations as the “backward class” and need a very powerful re-framing to counter this destructive conditioning.

What is Shree Nityananda Education Trust?

Shree Nityananda Education Trust’s ( mission is to improve the lives of those living in poverty and creating economic self-sufficiency in the Tansa River Valley of Maharashtra, India by 1) creating clean water through providing free bio-sand water-filters and education in hygiene; 2)hosting smart farming seminars and giving away fruit tree seedlings; 3) identifying sources of financial assistance to improve education of children; and 3) empowering adults with training & job opportunities. In June 2011, SNET will triple its production of water filters and demonstrate a fruit tree farm with 3000 seedlings . During the recent months, with the help of its generous donors, SNET has been working with Saraswathi Secondary School in addressing its needs for clean water, bathrooms, a library and a librarian, textbooks, computer laboratory, science lab, and improved classroom flooring.

Proposed Plan:

Shree Nityananda Education Trust (SNET) will register with Vedanta Foundation ( who has been awarded by the Indian government the task of identifying NGO’s that will sponsor a community outreach program to educate, provide vocational training, enhance capacities, and prepare the less privileged for the job market. Vedanta Foundation makes available to its registrants: course training and guidelines, written material for handouts, certificates of completion of certified courses so necessary in Indian market place, years of experience in the field of adult education, consultation and networking.

SNET will hire a full time staff member for twelve months to analyze the existing situation, devise a plan of action, secure funding for the project and begin its implementation. Specifically they will:

1. Review the adult educational programs and assistance that Vedanta Foundation offers.

2. Interview the directors and providers of Learning Space Foundation (Nitin Orayan), Saraswathi Secondary School (Vijay Patil), and the Red Cross of Mumbai (Anthony DiKuna) to survey what these agencies have found to be the specific needs of the community.

3. Review the Red Cross of Mumbai’s history of successes and challenges in working with adults in this area.

4. Assess where the best place to hold specific classes. Analyze how to utilize Saraswathi School, Learning Space and other schools as an adult education facility. Research creating a new workshop facility.

5. Survey what kinds of training the local adults are requesting. (i.e., for women, tailoring, beauticians, incense making, packaging of food stuff, making of liquid soap. For men, cell phone repair, LED solar light making, low tech mechanics, computer repair, worm compost making, marketable farm produce)

6. Analyze what skill trainings have already been offered and determine methods for translating into financial gain. Explore ideas and implementation of small business development.

7. Identify cultural patterns and belief systems that restrict progress and find educators to assist in re-framing these thoughts and offering emotional support to participants. Create on-going support groups within the community. Identify existing support groups such as women’s associations, men’s associations. Help Adivasi identify their strengths in the face of negative cultural attitudes.

8. Create a budget for an initial adult education program based on the information gathered from the above research.

9. Explore, discover and secure the necessary funding for implementing an adult education program.

10. Create SNET’s plan of action to establish the adult education program with the help of other community organizations.

11. Oversee SNET’S functioning of the adult education project.

Sponsorship Required:

One Time Expenses:
Vadanta Foundation charges to register with their organization and benefit from the programs that they offer. 25,000  ($US 568)

Monthly costs

A full time employee for twelve months who speaks Marathi, Hindi and English is needed to do the above analysis and report their findings to SNET, use their contacts to secure funding for the program, create and design the program and then oversee implementation. Since this will take a rather high functioning individual who is self motivated, intelligent and organized, the pay scale will need to reflect this kind of competency.

10000 rupees a month ($US 227)

Transportation allowance, monthly installment of purchase of motor bike:

3750 rupees a month ($ US 86)

Gas allowance:

500 rupees a month ($ US 11.35)

Internet access, computer access, office supplies:

1000 rupees a month ($ US 22.70)

SNET will cover the one time payment of 25,000 rupees to Vendanta Foundation. The one-time charge will allow SNET to become a program that issues government-approved certificates to students, and to utilize Vedanta’s immense resources for community education. SNET will provide the office, computer, internet service, and necessary office support for carrying out the duties mentioned above.

SNET needs donor sponsorship to help with this much needed project.

Twelve Month Summary:
Vedanta Foundation :  SNET will  provide

12 months of full time staff: 120,000 rupees a year ($ US 2727)

12 months of transportation:  45,000 rupees a year ($ US 1022)

12 months of internet, computer, office supplies: SNET will provide

Subtotal 165,000

10% SNET overhead: taxes, support staff, office space, phone, 16,500

TOTAL 181,500

In US dollars (exchange rate of 44:1) $ US 4125 yearly total

In twelve months time, SNET will have researched and implemented an exciting and collaborative approach to creating an Adult Education Program for the Ganeshpuri/Vajreshwari/Kelthan area. Finding the necessary funding will give us the opportunity to forge strong productive relationships with the other community programs, maximize the resources that are already present in this area and implement a successful community development program. With a well thought out and researched plan as well as building on the strength of other programs and their staff, SNET is confident that it can move forward with its mission of “helping to create self sufficiency in the Tansa River Valley.”

If you wish to be part of this deeply needed and rewarding project, please contact SNET at We will be extremely happy to discuss how you can help.

Respectfully submitted by

Jeanette Monosoff Haley, PhD Clinical Psychology
Shree Nityananda Education Trust, volunteer co-ordinator

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

“From the bottom of our hearts, on behalf of the villagers of Gorhad, we are thankful to the Shree Nityananda Education Trust.”

Do you wonder if your donation dollars are really making a difference in people’s lives? Here’s a sample of what recipients of the Shree Nityananda Education Trust’s bio sand water filters are saying about their new water-cleaning device: “Wow, in this hot summer time we can drink cold, very clean, very tasty water. … We are surprised to see how clean the water comes out of it.” “…It is very useful… very easy to use… Dirty water cleans faster…We are confident about the purity.” “You have given the filters for the betterment of health of villagers…very good concept for purifying water.” “The water tastes sweet… We like to drink the water again and again.””We rate this filter as best of the best.” “This is very good, very simple.” “It functions without electricity.” “Overall it is great and gives us safe water to drink. We are thankful to the [SNET] Trust.” “It give us clean water in a short time.”

Do you make a little sacrifice each month to send in a donation, the price of one dinner out, and then wish you knew it mattered? Do you want to know what kind of impact a water filter makes in the lives of mother’s concerned about the health of their family? Read here the effect of using the water filter and how long it took before the positive effect was noticed: “We feel very healthy and confident that now water-borne diseases will not affect us.” “We felt the effect within a week’s time and we feel better when we drink filtered water.” “After using this filter for one month, we started to notice very low illness in our home and it is like a refrigerator in the summer season.” “Just in a few days we noticed a difference. It is great. The earlier fear of bad water [has left] and now we drink filtered water confidently.” “I feel it is good for the family health.” “We feel more healthy and energetic now-a-days.” “Before we were unsure about our well water, but now we can drink it confidently.” “We feel positive after drinking the water that comes out of the filter.” “We used to feel that we were ill but after drinking the filtered water, we feel safe and healthy. Within a week’s time we began to feel the effect.” “Can’t say what illness we used to experience, but after using [the water filter] we are sure that we will not feel ill.”

Do you doubt that people really suffer from lack of clean water? Do you want to know what kind of sickness they experienced before receiving the water filter? Listen to these answers: “We had fever, malaria,” “We fell ill periodically and had malaria and other illnesses.” “Lots of illness like dysentery and quick fever,” “water-borne illness like malaria, jaundice,” “in the rainy season, there is bad water in the well. In this [hot] season we can use it a lot,” “illness in the rainy season,” “We face many illnesses during the rainy season but now, for this upcoming rain we will be fine.” “illness throughout the year, maybe due to bad water,” “illness like malaria, fever, dysentery and diarrhea,” “During the rainy season, the whole village use to feel ill.”

Do you wonder if this is the best model for this population? Do you want to know what problems they have experienced with the bio sand filter from SNET? Not many really. One out of ten surveyed said, “We have some leakage around the bottom,” and this one will have to be repaired. This is one of the reasons why we are doing the survey, is to discover if there are problems.“It would be better if we had some kind of container with a tap to use in dispensing the clean water.” (We will be providing a new water catchment container with a spiget when our new health educator makes house visits.)  “It is very heavy to move.” Since they are heavy, the filter is less likely to be moved and broken. Many, many people say “No problems.”  “We need some kind of container to catch the clean water so that it will not spill all over the floor.” “takes up a lot of space,” “not movable,” “very heavy.”

What Suggestions do the recipients have for the SNET? “ We need a collector with a tap system. [SNET] Trust is doing a great job. We wish the Trust should get more help to serve more countryside villages.” “From the bottom of our hearts, on behalf of the villagers of Gorhad, we are thankful to the Trust.” “Thank you to the Trust. The filter should be light weight and easy to handle.” “the Trust is doing a great job. We need a bore well to ease our life. If possible, can the Trust arrange a bore well? The filter is beautiful.” “Thank you to this social welfare Trust. If they want to help us more, installing a bore well would be great.” “It would be great if SNET could provide a bore well to the villagers since it is so much hard work to take water from the well.” “With folded hands, we say thank you! And now, distribute to every village.” “Try to help us by donating a bore well. Thank you for giving the filter.” “We are so pleased and happy due to the donation of the filter to our family.” “Thanks for giving filters. SNET is doing great seva to mankind. We are in need of a bore well.”

SNET staff and volunteers are so excited to hear the first results of the SNET water filter survey. We will visit all of the 960 recipients of the SNET bio sand water filters that have been given out over the last 3 ½ years to hear what the effect of our efforts has been. Gorhd, the first village to be interviewed and from which these comments were captured, have had the filters for just over six months. All of the families had between 4 and 9 family members utilizing the filter. We are so pleased to hear and announce that in just a short time, these ten families have received life changing benefits.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Inspiring Students to Think Creatively

Vijay Patil thinks out of the box. He saw an opportunity and took it. He, the principal of Saraswati Secondary School, asked SNET if he could bring his students, all 150 of them, to visit the Fire Mountain Retreat facilities and show his high school students the environmental projects that are being initiated on the premises, particularly the farming experiments. He said he would even provide lunch!

Some of the vegetables Dewa Haley has growing at Fire Mountain Retreat are from seeds he brought back from China, such as the meter long green and red beans or the tall green brocolli family member. Others are from friends'  contribution from the states, such as the heirloom seeds of Arugula and Basil. Some of the varieties he has tried are favorites for the local insects and actually never reach the mouths of humans. Others have some kind of natural inhibitants, such as Aswhaghanda, an ayurvedic plant. He also has some Brahmi growing which is known for helping the mind.  Many of the herbs are a surprise to visitors, such as the super sweet Stevia, or the hot and spicy Mustard greens, or regular parsley.

India is Indeed Big Love: Mumbaikars Give Big Time

Three of our men friends from Mumbai have heard the needs of their neighbors here in the outskirts of the metropolis and responded. Two friends were touched by the story of 535 children suffering through cold winter nights and together bought 300 blankets for the children at Kolumbai. But hearing about the story of the chldren was not enough. One of them, Sattish, had to drive out and meet the trustees of Shree Nityananda Education Trust to see for himself that it was a legitimate NGO.  Then afterwards, he drove out into the jungle to meet the children who supposedly needed blankets. He was convinced and not only paid for 200 blankets but he and Bodhan,son of the other donor, Babul, visited Crawford Market, haggled for the best price and the best blankets and then hand delivered them to the school.  Wow, that is amazing seva!!!

Vivek heard about the social work of Shree Nityananda Education Trust and was inspired to help the  Saraswati Secondary School that SNET is assisting to make a better place of education for the village students of Kelthane.  He told us of Kitab Korner, the NGO of his cousin sister, Poorvi, provides libraries in settings where there are none. To date, they have installed 11 libraries. He arranged for cousin to come out to Kelthane and inspect the Saraswati School. They agreed to place one of their smalller libraries at the school.

Here are the notes from Kitab Korner's newsletter about the library installation at Saraswati Secondary School:

"Kitab Korner Library Center at Ganeshpuri

Location: Saraswati School, Kelthane, Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra (located outside of Mumbai)

Students: Approximately 175 students from 8th, 9th and 10th grade

Books: 317 new books donated for the initial set-up

Total Cost: Indian Rupees 38,000 or approximately US $840

Key individuals who will help sustain the library & host workshops:

Mr. Patil: the incredibly caring, conscientious, and hard working principal

Mr. Nitin Orian: President of Learning Space Foundation; another non-profit organization present in the community which holds classes for children outside of school

Sponsor: Mr. Vivek Jhaveri

Believe it or not - the library was set-up in the short span of four working days. On the day of the inauguration - January 10, 2011 - the school hosted a program for Kitab Korner to introduce the library. Members of the Kitab Korner team spoke to the students about the value of the books, the workshops that are in store for them, and how to best make use of this new opportunity they have been given."

SNET looks forward to more collaboration with other Indian donors and local NGO's. Together we can make a difference.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

 (attributed to Margaret Mead)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


A really fun and rewarding project is the recent giving away of food-bearing trees to local villagers of the Ganeshpuri-Nimboli  Nearby Villages.  Sri Nityananda Education Trust (SNET) raised and then gave free of charge, 5000+ food bearing trees to our village neighbors. Here's a picture of trees leaving the property on the way to be planted at the homes of these villagers, and what a happy and exciting day that was to see so many people delighted to come and receive tree saplings that will give them food for years and decades to come.  Imagine how much food 5000 trees can produce!  And as we teach seed harvesting and replanting, we and the villagers gain food independence - - future food wealth.

BUT NOW IT'S BEEN 2 MONTHS SINCE THEN - - WHAT BECAME OF THE TREES?  Were the villagers successful in planting them?  Did they live through the heavy monsoon this year?  Full of curiosity, we have begun to visit village location to check on the progress on these saplings and the promise of lots of food for lots of people for lots of years.  

 What have we found? 

 Posted here are some pictures of the trees (papaya and drumstick) that were planted.  Some of them are surrounded by jungle vegetation as monsoon is just ending and people have not had a chance to get out and tend to them due to the heavy rains.  We, ourselves are just now whacking back the jungle weeds and recovering our gardens.  But what we found is that the trees were planted in good locations around the villagers homes and are doing quite well after only a few months in the ground. 

 This program is a bit like the wisom of "give a man a fish and he eats for a day. 
teach him how to fish and he eats for a life time."   In this case it's, "give a family a few papayas and drumsticks pods and they eat for a few days - - give them a few papaya and drumstick trees and their family their relatives, and their friends eat for decades." Wow -- what a payoff!!

We love this program.  It is a joy to see the trees growing in the villages.  These  particular trees bear mature fruit in only 6 months after planting!  They are very quick producers and were chosed largely for this reason.  Next we plan to give away tree saplings that may take longer to mature, but give food for many decades, for generations. 

We will take this program to the schools and teach the children about planting trees that give food for years with very little care on their part. FUTURE FOOD WEALTH we call it, and a wonderful gift to give another human. 
 It only costs a couple of dollars to seed and feed and care for a sapling to the give-away stage.  You might consider donating to supply food future wealth for some impoverished village people. 

 One tree can feed a lot of people - - a great investment - - a few trees can feed many families - - twenty trees can feed a village.  What a deal! and you could be the loving human who provides for them. Love matters - - a heart that feeds many people is a happy heart.  Here's how you could give from one to many trees to village people.  They are mostly wonderful people, living close to the Earth and very worthy of our assistance.  Click here to begin your happy heart gift to your new villagers or village. We will keep you posted on our blog site, and if you give for a whole village, we will keep you posted with pics about how your gift is giving.

Click here now to view the list of villages and choose your own village or click here to give as many as you like.  Future food for many is a great opportunity for us to be human.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


 Our new friends in Mumbai are heading the pack in generously donating blankets to the precious children at the Kolumbai Ashram School. Last night
Boudan, from Khandavali, brought five sample blankets out to SNET office for examination: they are beautiful colors of acrylic yarn softly woven. Fire Mountain Retreat uses the same type at their facility.

Boudan also was the welcome messanger that
a man stepped up to donate 200 blankets. And this inspired yet another man to donate 100.  We heard that someone sent in a donation for 25 blankets.  A tourist in India has donated 50 blankets.

 Here is the heart warming disciplined head master of the Kolumbai Ashram School. He has the amazing job of orchestrating all the staff and 535 children into an educational symphony. Kudos to Mr. Ramesh.
These boys study and sleep in the same room while the girls have the benefit of a separate residence hall. Even though their life is hard and rustic, SNET was able to find a smile in most of their faces.
We hope that by 4 p.m. today, Jan. 9th, 2011, we will have a pledge for 535 blankets so that each of the children will receive a new blanket.

At this school, today they will be having an award event and SNET would like to be able to present at least the promise that blankets will be coming in a day or so.

Here is one of two wells; this one they use solely for washing their own clothes by hand.

So, Please contact us and let us know you would like to help keep these children warm during these exceeding cool months, (cold for the tropics.)


Dec 25, 2010

Our trust, Shree Nityananda Education Trust has been informed by one of our local ashram schools, Kolumbai Ashram School of Nandani, that they are in need of blankets for their many Adivasi students. This dedicated school has the responsibility of teaching and housing 535 children coming from the poorest of the poor families of Wada Taluka.

We have just begun to begin the depth of these childrens' needs but the immediate need is to provide warmth to these precious beings that depend on the concern of the adults in their lives. We believe if we could acquire at least 250 blankets that they could be cut in half to provide for all of the children.

We are currently asking everyone we know to help us in this effort. Right now one textile manufacturer is asking his contacts for wholesale prices for buying the blankets. He just got back to us that he can purchase them for 125 to 150 rupees about $ 3 US. We will appreciate any help we can get in this effort.If we could get at least $500 US we could probably buy the big ones and cut into threes.

This is not a wealthy private school or even a government school. No, it is a school put together on a shoe string for the children of farmers who cannot afford to feed and clothe their children and provide the necessary things they need for education. Hence, they send them to a residential school for their very basic needs. The government provides 600 rupees per child to feed 400 of them for a month. But there are 535 and so they must stretch this government subsidy to provide for all of them. This means that the school is given 20 rupees to feed each child a day, but must now be reduced to 15 rupees per child a day.

This school has such a limited budget that they have to restrict their electricity use due to the lack of funds to pay for their regular use. The government pays for the teacher's salary, and the food, but nothing else.

If you could kindly ask your friends and contacts to help us, we would be thrilled. They are having some kind of program on January 9th, 2011 whereby donors will be giving gifts to their school. We would like to be able to present, with your help, the blankets they need immediately.

With so much sincerity,
Janata and Dewa
Shree Nityananda Education Trust
"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive, and you discover yourself to be the greater person by far than you ever dreamt yourself fo be." Patanjali

Won't you join Shree Nityananda Education Trust in this greater purpose?