Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The mission of Shraddha is inspired by Anandwan (आनंदवन in Marathi), an ashram and community rehabilitation center for people with leprosy founded in 1948 by social activist Baba Amte (1918-2008). Influenced by Gandhi’s ideals of simplicity and truth and his fight against injustice, Amte was active in the Indian independence struggle and organized lawyers to defend the Indian freedom movement’s jailed leaders. He was arrested and imprisoned by British authorities in 1942. Baba Amte envisioned Anandwan, literally Forest of Joy, as a model of social and environmental justice. Using organic farming techniques and micro-water management, residents are self-sufficient in terms of basic subsistence through agriculture. Anandwan generates income to sustain the community through home-based, small-scale industry run by the residents. Anandwan today is spread over 200 hectares and has two hospitals, a university, an orphanage and schools for the blind and the deaf; more than 5,000 people are dependent on it for their livelihood.