Arunachala Ashrama
in NY & Nova Scotia

Joe Beninati
Ramón García-Tamaran
Guru Madhavan
Martin Wolff
Maitri's Artworks
Hershell Norwood
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Paul Saphier

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Koalpara Rural Development Project

The final count according to Pinaki (Engineer) in a little over 1 year:

  • 75 new houses, some built right over the old ones so tenants were not "displaced" then the old ones torn down.
  • There were at least 5 "crews" working and the home owners, wives and kids working with the crews.
  • Innumerable new roofs and house repairs. Durgananda handed out money for this. He also financed a few new, small business ventures to very poor individuals (like bike repair)
  • 6 or 8 deep bore (75' +/-) tube wells which we dowsed very successfully
  • Maybe a dozen toilets whose responsibility we turned over to a local Koalpara/Kotulpur NGO(?)
  • and Sonja's most important work: teaching over 200 Koalpara women crocheting/knitting & sewing;
    10% of these women became financially independent.

This project, which was staunchly supported by Swamis Atmasthananda, Smaranananda, Lokeshwarananda, Shivamayananda, Bhajanananda, and others of the Ramakrishna Math & Mission was funded by a 'Flow Fund' grant, a philanthropic arm of the Rockefeller family.