Yesterday someone asked, in response to my diary entry, in which way we and our charity organization are different from those gurus or organizations that collect money for themselves, showing off a little bit of charity to make people believe they are charitable while they have millions in their own pocket. I thought answering this question would be worth a diary entry today.
I actually see my idea of charity closer to Bill Gates’ idea than to any guru’s idea. Unfortunately I don’t have Bill Gates’ funds to help us run the school but whatever we have and whatever we do is for these children.
You all know that I left every religion and tradition behind and that I don’t go to preach the scriptures anywhere. When I left religion, I decided that only love should be my God and that one of the best ways to serve this God would be to help children. I had been doing charity for a long time already and I decided to give more to these children.
We, my family and I started sponsoring more and more children in schools in Vrindavan and a dream started to grow in my mind. I had the wish to open a school myself. In this school all children should be equal and none should be able to tease any other child because they did not have the money to pay for school themselves.
Most importantly, no child should be beaten or in any other way physically punished.
In 2006 my sister died in a car accident. Obviously this was a blow to my family. In the following year we decided together to use the money that she had saved for buying another property, one on which we would start our school. In 2007 we opened a Kindergarten and in 2008 could extend it to a Primary School and both were free of any cost for poor children of the neighbourhood. By now we have two Kindergarten classes and four school classes.
Of course we started asking people to donate and support our projects. One can sponsor a child, sponsor the food or simply make a donation to our charity organization, here in India or the one we founded in Germany. I am very thankful to everyone who helped us in this way. All the support that we get however would by itself not be enough to run the whole school. It needs my support and the support of my family.
This is what we are working for. When I travel anywhere and give meditations or workshops, when my youngest brother Yashendu teaches yoga and Ayurvedic cooking and my wife Ramona translates what we say or writes it down for the website, we do it also for these children. My second brother Purnendu is even more directly involved, managing the teachers, all employees in India and taking care of the Ashram, the food, the school supplies and more. My parents and even my grandmother do what they can to support these projects. I am truly happy and very proud that my whole family is working for this goal and that all find their happiness in the aim of helping children.
Every activity at the Ashram also serves this purpose. We are happy that people come here and can relax and enjoy. They spend weeks here in this beautiful place on Ayurveda Yoga Holidays and Yoga Teacher Trainings and thus have a benefit for themselves as well as they support our projects. They can directly see where they help: the children are just here!
You see, we started the business because we want to do charity. Those rich gurus who I was talking about started charity because they had to present a reason to the public why they need more money. We work to provide as much as we can to these children.
If anybody has a doubt, just have a look into my life, my home and my heart. It is an open book for everyone. Even if someone would like to have a look into my bank account, he could because there are no millions to hide.
Maybe now you can understand that I see myself closer to Bill Gates’ thinking than to the thinking of any of those gurus. I like to work and earn more money so that I can support these children and we, my complete family and I, do this with our whole hearts.