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Please click here to read the interesting highlights of our achievements in 2017 and a few accomplishments over the past 30 years.
Natya Bharati and SAHARA celebrated 30 years of IDRF’s service to the underprivileged in Rockville, Maryland. See more….
IDRF is the recipient of highest possible rating (4 out of 4 stars) and that too for five consecutive years by Charity Navigator. It commended IDRF for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 9% of rated charities were able to retain 4 star ratings for 5 consecutive years. This is indeed a great accomplishment!
NGO: Yogoda Satsanga Society of India
Yogoda Satsanga Society (YSS) of India, is a social-service organization that runs several programs throughout India in the areas of education, medicine, and disaster rehabilitation. YSS operates more than 20 educational institutions and 30 charitable medical dispensaries focused on free homoeopathic and allopathic medical care. These institutions are primarily centered in the tribal and economically disadvantaged rural areas of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal, Chandigarh and Delhi.
Partner Since: 2002
Location(s): Tamil Nadu and West Bengal
Project Title(s): Corpus Fund and Construction of Meditation Hall
IDRF has been making significant contributions to YSS’s corpus fund over the past several years. These funds are used for running of the hospitals and dispensaries for the poor and underprivileged people.
With a growing interest in Parmananda Yoganandaji’s teachings, a need was felt to have a new meditation hall/temple in Chennai that can accommodate more people. An eminently suitable building was gifted by an YSS devotee and IDRF’s funds are used for major renovations and expansions that will be able to accommodate 350 people in the hall and also include rooms for visiting monks. This building was inaugurated in 2017 during YSS’s centennial celebrations.
Please click on the link to learn more about Yogoda Satsanga Society’s various programs.
Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) was set up to extend support to the rural poor, by providing them educational, social development and humanitarian services. SVRDS works in the rural parts of Tamil Nadu, where people are not only extremely poor, but also suffer from high rates of malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment and perpetual cycle of poverty.
IDRF Partner Since: 1996
Location: Tamil Nadu
Project: Rural Sanitation Project
SVRDS has been running Single Teacher Schools mostly in the poorest communities, where public schools programs have not reached. They have decided to use its outreach for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) by engaging in rural sanitation program. In 2016, IDRF’s grant enabled 16 rural poor families to construct toilet-cum-bathroom units. Focused on the poorest communities in Tamil Nadu, IDRF’s Rural Sanitation program is expected to accelerate in 2017. Besides IDRF funds, SVRDS is getting support from the Corporate Social Responsibility program (CSR) for their rural sanitation program.
Please click on the link to know more about Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society.
From our IDRF family, a big thank you to all our donors and well-wishers for your continued benevolence and confidence in IDRF. For more on March 2018 NewsLetter please Click Here.
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Donor Spotlight: A Unique Way to Help Those in Need
Dr. George Chacko came to the United States on a scholarship from Princeton University in 1953. He received his Ph.D. from the New School of Social Research and authored, edited and contributed to 79 books and journals. He always felt deeply indebted to those who had shown him kindness, and keenly felt the need to show kindness to others in turn. Ha had enjoyed a long friendship and admiration of IDRF’s Founder and President Dr. Vinod Prakash.
Just a few weeks before his demise at the age of 85 in 2016, he established a ‘George and Yo Chacko Trust’ for substantial contributions to IDRF for next 10 consecutive years. Dr. Chacko’s thoughtfulness and confidence in IDRF has left an enduring legacy for all of us!
Inspired by his first visit to Shiksha Bharati in June 2016, Mr Mohinder Gulati, one of our enthusiastic volunteers visited again in October 2016, to celebrate Diwali with the children who are living away from their families.
Visit to Shiksha Bharati by IDRF Volunteer
Reflections of My Visit to Shiksha Bharati
I had the privilege of visiting Shikhsha Bharati’s educational institute (Srimati Brahmadevi Saraswati Balika Vidya Mandir- SBVM) on behalf of IDRF on 4th June 2016. I met with the President Mr. Rajkirpal and Manager Mr. Kuldip Kasana, the Principal of the school Mrs. Alka Gupta as well as the in charge of the tribal girls’ hostel.
IDRF has been supporting Shiksha Bharati for more than fifteen years. I visited the dormitory for tribal girls constructed with IDRF funding. I also got an opportunity to interact with the girls residing there who are being supported in-part through endowments and annual grants from IDRF. Of the 78 girls residing in the hostel, 12 had left this year after completing their senior secondary education. It was a sheer joy to talk to a large group of confident and energetic young girls who are full of hopes and aspirations, ready to take on challenges and odds facing many of them, and firmly anchored in a value-system that would help them realize their potential as individuals and as productive and responsible members of the society.
The girls have been performing very well in the C.B.S.E. exams, as a result of the quality education provided by Shiksha Bharati. The school uses latest audio-visual tools, science laboratories (reasonably equipped but need further support), and has two computer labs (equipped with more than 70 computers). For example, the school organized a program with a departmental store in Delhi to provide practical experience to students in retail management. I have agreed to connect the school with a wonderful program of innovative science education being run in Bengaluru area with financial support of a World Bank program called Development Marketplace.
Tribal Girls hostel:
The hostel facilities constructed with IDRF funding are managed well. Currently it has 78 students from tribal areas- mostly from Assam but also several from other North-Eastern states, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Ladakh. 12 students have recently left the hostel after passing their higher secondary education. The hostel residents also have access to library, a covered space for indoor activities such as yoga, music, gymnastics etc. Each hostel room accommodates 6 girls and they form a small mutual support group. Filters are used for ensuring clean water. Food is cooked on campus and hostel inmates eat together. I had the opportunity to enjoy a meal with them and taste the delicious pickles made by the students.
Annual cost of education, lodging, and boarding of the hostel students comes to about Rs. 28, 00,000 per annum. Selection of tribal girls for various such schools and hostels is done through an organization called Vidya Bharati.
Enthusiasm, community spirit, and laughter of the girls was contagious. They also have access to medical facilities. I was also informed by the management that the endowment of US $6000 per student, which use to be enough in the past is falling somewhat short of requirements due to reduction in interest earning and price increase. The school is able to meet the shortfall from its own resources but may have to review the adequacy of endowment.
This IDRF and Shiksha Bharati project deserves continued support; is a very good use of IDRF funds; and should be considered for scaling up. I would like to thank Mr. Rajkirpal and Mr. Kasana for a very warm welcome, excellent support for my visit and the hospitality extended to me. It was an inspiring visit and my wife and I plan to visit the school again during our next visit to India.
-Mohinder Gulati (Maryland, USA)
Former Chief Operating Officer, Sustainable Energy for All (UN)
Former Adviser, Energy (World Bank)