The Shree Nityananda Education Trust’s (SNET) main project is providing bio sand water filters and education on water hygiene to the local Adivasi (India’s First People yet forgotten and underprivlidged) in the Tansa River Valley and the area surrounding Ganeshpuri and Vajreshwari. SNET provides volunteers for local schools to teach English. SNET has expanded into a rural development program for adults as they have been given up on by the government and some other NGO’s. Most groups out here focus on children, which is indeed important, but SNET sees that the young adults, out of school, and women are being left behind. So SNET is bringing in artists, product designers, permaculture and irrigation specialists, alternative technology specialists to assist in empowering them. SNET also has a great interest in supporting farming practices and introducing alternative technologies for improving every day life, such as crank water hand pumps, foot pedal pumps, organic farming, dairy farming. SNET is a small Indian charitable trust, legally formed in 2005. Its head trustee is Sunil Anoakar, and its volunteer managers are Dewa and Jeanette Haley
Address: Post Kelthane, Village Nimboli, Wada Taluka, District Thane, Maharashtra State, 401204 INDIA (Across river from Ganeshpuri and Vajreshwari)
Telephone: +91 963 787 0587
English Spoken: Yes.
It took the organization some time to identify groups in the villages that needed help, but now they have been working with several schools and after school programs that need English teachers. I am able to go into the villages with an assistant and interpretor and begin to work with the local women and empowerment groups beginning to teach simple craft skills. One staff member, a male, is able to access the men of the villages and be an interpretor for working with men on implementing permaculture,irrigation skills, and alternative technologies. SNET has been offering educational programs to the local people in the way of organic farming, alternative technologies, arts and crafts and the Trust is being seen as a source of education.
SNET has been operating and growing in its effect and influence in the community for seven years. SNET is at present working on creating self sustainging sources of income from working with the tribal people to create marketable products. SNET has a large following and well wishers from around the world that make yearly trips to the area and wish to return for more seva.
Of course it is shocking to fly into Mumbai, pass all the extremely difficult slums along the highway, be approached by many beggars, but once one gets out to the villlage area of Nimboli, all of that disappears and one finds the beauty of the landscape and the smiles of the Adivasi people.
We stay at the Trust’s retreat facility of Fire Mountain Retreat since it is an arm of SNET trust and provides excellent accomodations, English speaking staff, healthy water and food, understanding of the community. Since we have been working with the trust for three and half years on and off, we are able to guide the development of the trust and what projects it undertakes. Hence, the trust is very amenable to accepting input from westerners who wish to share their expertise with those living in the “outback” of India. We love our time in India and with its people,and love sharing our beloved Adivasi and Indian community with other foreigners.
Adapting to a new country is hard, and India,being an evolving country is still with its many challenges. Not being able to communicate was hard at first but when good interpreters were identified, that ceased to be such a problem. SNET uses Fire Mountain Retreat as its headquarters, which is a westerner oriented facility with western creature comforts (www.firemountainretreat.com).
Shree Nityananda Education Trust has a need for volunteer and supply donations.
SNET has a recurring need for English and computer teachers, artists and designers for fashion and household items, Indian and western market marketing specialists, alternative technology experts, permacuture experts, fund raising expertise, vocational skills such as plumbing, electrical wiring, appliance repair, computers basket weaving, and hand weaving.
– Primary school books in English
– Good working pens
– Urgent need for film projector so they can take films of water hygiene education out into the field
– Sewing machines for women’s empowerment project
– Working computers! Laptops are best because they come with a battery backup
– Foot pedal irrigation pump technology