Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti

Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti

Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS) is a non-government, social-service organization that started its work in 2003 and is committed to the empowerment of women in rural communities in Seloo Block, Wardha district, Maharashtra. Over the years MSS has supported several women’s self-help groups and helped in starting up various eco-friendly micro enterprises run by women in their own villages.  Some of these enterprises like handmade soaps, candles, herbal products, fruit jam-making, gur (jaggery-organic brown sugar) production, bakery, and an organic cafeteria, etc. have become very successful and led to few more subsidiary units and boosted the employment opportunities in the villages considerably.

IDRF partner since: 2007

IDRF supported eco-friendly economic activities at Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti

Construction of Organic Farmers’ School

Please click on the link to learn more about the various eco-friendly programs run by Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti.

NGO: Dharma Vana Arboretum

NGO: Dharma Vana Arboretum

Dharma Vana Arboretum (DVA) is under development in the Bhongir mandal, District Nalgonda, Telangana. It is being established to conserve the biodiversity of woody flora found throughout the Deccan Plateau and Eastern Ghats in India. The DVA spreads over an area of 455 acres near Hyderabad and is the largest botanic park focused on tropical dry flora worldwide.

IDRF partner since: 2016

The main emphasis of the project is on conserving rare and endangered species of native trees and shrubs of the Peninsular India in a ‘wild’ setting. The long-term goal of this project is to re-establish an ecosystem suitable to dry tropical flora and complementary native fauna with over fifty thousand woody plants. While in its early stage of development, DVA serves the local community (Bhongir town and neighboring villages) with all the benefits of an emerging ‘Green lung’, significant water conservation works, and youth employment. IDRF is funding part construction of infrastructure and facilities of the arboretum that is scheduled to be partially opened to public by 2020 for education, research and enjoyment of nature.

Water Lilies at the Dharma Vana Arboretum

Visit to Dharma Vana Arboretum in Hyderabad by IDRF Supporters/Volunteers
Reflections of the visit: December, 2017

On a bright, sunny and cool day in December 2017 in Hyderabad, our small group was given an up-close and personal tour of Dharma Vana Arboretum by the founder and the heart and soul of the organization, Mr. Fred Durr. DVA is a non-profit society that emphasizes nature, environment and its sustenance through biodiversity conservation. In short, it’s all about ecosystem restoration. Located in the heart of India on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Bhongir, it is an expanse of 450 acres dedicated to the conservation of trees and shrubs of arid zone regions worldwide.

The land exhibits several microclimates with their respective flora and fauna on natural vistas of hillocks and rock formations typical of the semi-arid Deccan Plateau region. Seeing the park through the founder’s fertile mind, we were blown away by his imagination, creativity and just plain hard work for his life’ passion. He painstakingly researched plants and brought the best specimens from growers and would spend many days in Indian forests at the time of the seed formation to collect them before the forest creatures would! He then nurtured them in a several acre nursery where he invented and built machinery to grind up coconut husks for compost which was used to bring health back to the land. He even offered the compost to the city municipality!

The plan for the Arboretum calls for discrete areas to showcase different flora and areas to represent major religions with sculptures created by the founder himself. These can be used as places for meditation in the years to come. Since it is becoming increasingly difficult for the general public to access India’s forests, many of the wild tree species planted at the DVA would serve as a major showcase of true representatives of the jungles. The arboretum can be integral to teaching respect for forests and even function as a seed bank for replenishing wild flora as the need arises. Mr. Durr’s dedication and the amazing way in which he manages the intricacies of India’s myriad regulations just makes me even more certain of the fruition of his dream!

Drs. Krishna and Nilima Jayaraman (Maryland, USA)

Please click on the links to know more about Dharma Vana Arboretum project.

Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS)

NGO: Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS)

Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (SVRDS) was set up to empower 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

Students attending night school in a temple compound

A Single Teacher School in one of the villages

Solar Panel on rooftop providing electricity

Please click on the links below to know more about Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society.


NGO: Society to Create Awareness towards Life and Environment (SCALE)

NGO: Society to Create Awareness towards Life and Environment (SCALE)

Society to Create Awareness towards Life and Environment (SCALE) was established in 2002, as a non-government organization by a team of experienced professionals. SCALE aims at providing easy access to primary health care, quality education and check environmental degradation in the Kumaon region, Uttarakhand, National Capital Region of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. So far IDRF’s partnership with SCALE has been limited to Uttarakhand with a vision to strive to improve the quality of life of the underprivileged.

IDRF partner since: 2013

Training & Awareness Workshop for Solar Products

Solar Lamps Production Unit

Solar Lamps Production Unit Provides Employment to Local Youth

Please click on the link below to learn more about SCALE’s eco-friendly projects.

NGO: Samerth Charitable Trust

NGO: Samerth Charitable Trust

Samerth is a non-profit organization, founded in 1992, that works towards development of a humane, sustainable and equitable society. The focus is on improving the conditions of marginalized communities and to that extent Samerth helps vulnerable communities to gain access to their social and economic rights and their programs are developed as per the requirement of the respective communities.

A safe and sustainable water supply, basic sanitation, and good hygiene are fundamental for a healthy, productive, and dignified life. And yet, many of India’s poor rural people lack access to an improved water supply and improved sanitation facilities. Samerth Charitable Trust, has been working on these issues in the Kutch District of Gujarat and Kabirdham District of Chhattisgarh, which are characterized as most arid and drought-prone regions of India.

IDRF partner since: 2009

Click here to watch the success of water harvesting program in Rapar.

Water Harvesting Program: Nakhatrana Block, Kutch District, Gujarat:

IDRF and Samerth have also been greatly successful in developing Water Harvesting Structurers in the villages of Nakhatrana block, District Kutch. READ MORE….

Dug Well at Kidiyanagar Village, Gujarat- Provides Safe Drinking Water to the Villagers

Drinking Water Harvesting and Security in Bodla and Pandariya blocks of Kabirdham District, Chhattisgarh:

With the success of water harvesting project in Gujarat, IDRF has expanded the program to the most impoverished and backward hilly areas of Chhattisgarh, where rainfall is inadequate & erratic. Local tribes are often excluded from infrastructural and government services. People are not able to use water as per their requirements and needs. Scarcity and poor quality of drinking water force women to walk daily for 2-4 kms to fetch drinking water. Gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses, especially among the children, have been a widespread health problem here.

The problem in this region is not only the absence of water, but also the poor quality that hinders life and livelihoods.

Absence of water has also lead to a reduction in agriculture which has increased malnutrition cases and infant and maternal mortality rates. IDRF and Samerth are constructing rain roof-water structures, earthen check-dams and water tanks to harvest rainwater and conserve existing spring water. Rain Roof Water Harvesting structures are cost-effective, easy to construct, operate and maintain.

The youth in these villages are being trained as Jaldoots on principles of participatory ground water management. Villagers are being made aware about the causes of water contamination and efficient ways to store it. This program will create water secured villages and address safe drinking water related issues for 1,021 tribal families.

Rain Roof Water Harvesting Structure being constructed at Sivnikala Village, Chhattisgarh

Please click on the links to learn more about Samerth’s Water Harvesting programs in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

NGO: Shiksha Bharati

NGO: Shiksha Bharati

Shiksha Bharati is an educational institution that is devoted to the cause of the empowerment of girls. Shiksha Bharati runs and operates a Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E.) accredited senior secondary school (up to Grade 12th) on a 20-acre education campus. Tribal Girls’ Education and Hostel Facility, Vocational Training Centermpus, some 65 kilometers east of New Delhi. This school provides innovative and holistic education by utilizing a rigorous curriculum. The program combines academics with physical, moral, spiritual, and cultural development to empower these girls and prepare them to become financially independent to lead a life of dignity.

IDRF partner since: 2001

After completing their education some of the girls have returned to their native places, where they teach local girls, thus, contributing to breaking the cycle of gender discrimination and poverty in their communities.

The education of tribal girls at Shiksha Bharati can be supported through two distinct funds:

  1. Endowment Fund: a one-time donation of $ 10,000 endows one permanent educational seat, in perpetuity
  2. Annual Support: an annual donation of $ 550 per girl

Your donation will provide food, clothing, lodging, school supplies, medical expenses, utility charges, etc. The tuition, educational expenses, and counselors will be supported by partner Shiksha Bharati.

At present, 66 students are living at the IDRF Tribal Girls’ Hostel. To fill the hostel’s capacity of 100 students, and to educate girls belonging to economically disadvantaged backgrounds, we need your support! Your donation for educating a girl will give her financial independence allowing her to lead a life of dignity and self-respect.

IDRF also supports the higher education of these girls once they complete their schooling. The girls are also helped by IDRF volunteers with language skills, counseling, and guidance for college and higher studies. 

 Skill development and vocational training for IDRF-hostel girls and marginalized women

To improve their employability skills, students at the IDRF Hostel and other local marginalized women, are offered free computer and tailoring courses at the “Monica Gautam Vocational Training Center” named in memory of the late sister of an IDRF donor.  The training center is located on the education campus of Shiksha Bharati in Hapur.


Students at the IDRF Tribal Girls’ Hostel

Hostel students are also provided computer literacy

Girls learn various vocational activities while living at the hostel

Please click on the link to learn more about Shiksha Bharati