If you travel around India you have plenty of opportunities to help those in need. Our friend Zeba Zizawar works with the Nirvanavan Foundation which is doing an education project with the ‘Nat and Kanjer’ community in the Alwar district of Rajasthan.
The ‘Nat and Kanjer’ community is traditionally into prostitution. The girls from the community end up in the dance bars of Mumbai and to the Middle – East. The ‘Nat and Kanjer’ villages are spread all over the district into small village. In 2003 the Foundation had done an extensive survey and had identified 10 villages where there was a need for primary school. The Foundation now runs 12 schools; ten of these are in the ‘Nat and Kanjer’ villages. The objective of the project is to bring the community into the mainstream so that they could live with honor and dignity.
The head quarters of the Foundation is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Aravali mountain ranges and a dry deciduous forest. The rocky hills are inscribed by ancient rock paintings. The Foundation is also involved in the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the region and annually organizes a number of ecological programs each year.
The Nirvanavan Foundation is a grass roots organization working in Alwar and the surrounding countryside. There are four main areas of work:
1. Children’s Rights
The Childline project in Alwar is a free phone service for children in distress. Future plans include building and running a children’s home at Advaita Gardens. At present those children in need of somewhere to live have to be sent to a government orphanage in Jaipur many miles away.
2. Education Programme
The main school at Advaita Garden, with over 120 children enrolled, serves the villages of Hajipur and Dadikar. In addition the Foundation runs an alternative education programme for the Nat and Kanjar community. Spread all over Alwar district in 25-30 small villages, this community is traditionally into prostitution. Most of the Nirvanavan schools are in these villages. We are providing primary education to their children and basic medical facilities, particularly to the women who run a high risk of becoming infected and spreading the Aids virus.
3. Ecology and the Environment
Conservation of rain water through traditional methods. (details later)
Tiger Conservation & Combatting Deforestation
Recently, the ‘Save the Tiger’ Movement collected over 90,000 signatures in the area as part of its work to increase awareness that India’s tigers are vanishing at an alarming rate. Ranthambhore, one of India’s premier tiger reserves, is in the heart of Rajasthan.
Street theater for street children focusing on social issues such as child marriage, education for girls, deforestation, dowry payments.
What you can do?
1. Visit the schools and volunteer
2. Donate & support their activities
Web-site – http://www.nirvanavan.org.uk
Follow them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NirvanavanFoundation
Join the FB group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/146173685469429/
Nirvana Bodhisattva Boddhisattva (Founder of Nirvanavan Foundation)
Zeba Zizawar (International Volunteer Co-ordinator of Nirvanavan Foundation)