ARSHABHARATH, meaning ‘the India of the Rshis/Sages’ was founded in 1987 by a team of socially enlightened youth of Wayanad, led by M.M. Augustine of Puttad, as a civil society response to the deteriorating socio-environmental situation in Wayanad. ARSHABHARATH became a formal organization in January 1987. With a view to ensuring legal standing and government approval, the organization was registered under the 1860 Indian Societies Registration Act. The name of the organization ‘ARSHABHARATH’ is suggestive of its appreciation of the Indian tradition of respect for eco-social harmony. More than 25 years have elapsed since ARSHABHARATH initiated its sustainable development interventions. The organization has a history of continuous and creditable service in a number of fields, including environmental protection and eco-restoration, women’s development and empowerment, food security enhancement, individual and family counseling, community health, child development, STD/HIV mitigation etc. The modest organization, that started functioning from a small rented building and with a couple of activists, has today land, buildings, equipments and a competent team of qualified social workers. The organization has also received approval and accreditation from important government departments and agencies. ARSHABHARATH has proved its effectiveness in a number of fields of rural development, including watershed development, women empowerment, food security and community health promotion.
Everything is nature. Nature is both matter and energy. Man, product of nature, is part of nature. Forgetful of his status and position, arrogant man tries to control and exploit nature indiscriminately, leading to disorder and violence and adversely affecting individual as well as community life. Understanding and loving nature and returning to its rhythms- this is eco-spirituality. Eco Spirituality is the sum total of ARSHABHARATH’s philosophy and agenda of action. All projects and activities of the organization spring from this source.
Nature is the matrix from which emerge all life and all resources, including human. It is our sacred responsibility to respect and support the entire realm of living and non-living entities. The human being has no superiority over other life forms. ARSHABHARATH takes care to disseminate this message through all its initiatives. ARSHABHARATH’s campus is a demonstration of different flora and fauna in an ambience of harmonious co-existence.
Women and man are two complementary polarities of human existence. There is a fundamental equality and reciprocity between the two sexes. But this has been forgotten, neglected and violated by the male gender. There can be no genuine human development without gender equity in all spheres of life. ARSHABHARATH is committed to upholding this principle and applying it in all situations. Our endeavors to protect women’s rights and ensure their security is part of this commitment.
To experiment and demonstrate its eco-spiritual vision, ARSHABHARATH has started a community living initiative. Women and men committed to this vision live together in the spirit of sharing and mutual support. This community has no religious, political or communal underpinnings whatsoever.