“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. “

—Rabindranath Tagore

The challenges

Agriculture and milk are the main occupation in the villages of Alwar district of Rajasthan. Farmers keep goat and buffaloes for milk, milk products and meat. Since buffaloes yield more milk, the cows are often abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

The villagers from the nearby villages had been cutting trees precariously for firewood since LPG is expensive. This led to deforestation in the area. Which in turn reduced the flourishing wildlife which existed there. 

The illegal mining in the foothills had led to the climate change in the zone. Entire hills have been mined. Alwar has a dry climate all throughout the year and gets very less rainfall. Scarcity of water has always been a challenge.

The Aravalli hills are known to be one of the oldest mountain ranges. The animal herders often roam the ranges and often unknowingly scribble and damage the ancient rock paintings, that have been there for almost 30,000 years. 

Our Intervention

Gaushala

The foundation had decided to adopt the abandoned cows and build a sustainable model around it. Milk and milk products are used by the children living in the Advaita Garden School hostel and will be used in the proposed Home for Abandoned Children in the future. Cow dung is used to make Bio-gas for cooking and the manure for kitchen gardening. There are currently 35 cows in the Gaushala. The cows apart from the fodder they eat everyday are also taken to the surrounding hills for grazing.

Reforestation

Trees are planted after the monsoon season and until the rain lasts. The foundation has employed gardeners ( local villagers) to plant
trees and build a kitchen garden, fruit garden and a garden for medicinal plants. Over 3000 trees and more have been planted already.

Rain water harvesting

Three Johad’s (pond) have been dug and several check dams have been built for rain water management and
harvesting in the school because of the water scarcity. Animals and birds come from nearby to drink water.
The johad has been extremely helpful to the villagers also. The johads help in recharging the ground water source.

Shramdaan

The foundation conducts Shramdaan on the 22nd of every month. Volunteers, staff and children participate in
this hands-on program. Everybody contributes and takes part in this activity from digging holes for planting trees,
building check dams and ponds, to making compost pits. This activity brings people together

Sacred Spaces - Ancient rock paintings

The Aravalli Ranges are one of the oldestest mountain ranges in the world. Nirvana Bodhisattva happened to discover these paintings on one of his evening walks. After consulting a historian, it was found that the paintings are more than 30,000 years old.  The foundation is documenting and has been involved in the conservation of these ancient rock paintings.