As already mentioned in “Who W Are” the Sristi Foundation is a NGO founded by the Indian psychologist G. Karthikeyan, widly known as Karthik. He has been working with disabled people for the last 15 years now and before that grew up in an orphanage, together with disabled and non-disabled children. Through this experience he realised the limited chances disabled children and adult have in life, especially in India.
Soon he realised what he wanted to do in life: To find a way to enable disabled people to find something they can do in their lives, to teach them skills to make them become self-sustaining and lead a life in dignity and respect. Soon, the idea of how this should come true, was developed: A community where “normal” and disabled people could and should live together, where each one of them could and would contribute his or her part.
The cosequence of this was the founding of Sristi Foundation, exactly the above mentioned NGO which’s mission it is to
“Establish an inclusive, self-sustaining and Eco-friendly village where intellectually disabled and marginalised individuals can reach their full potential.”
It is the idea of our Sristi Foundation to promote a strong sense of community where everyone feels valued and is given the opportunity to lead a happy, dignified life. The word “Sristi” comes from the ancient language Sanskrit and means “creation“, because it is our aim to create a world where everybody has his place and is treated with respect.
Karthik’s and therefore the Sristi Foundation’s vision is today being accomplished in various projects.
The first of them is the Sristi Special School. The actual idea was to provide education for adults with disabilities. But one day a man came to the of the then newly founded Sristi Foundation. He asked Karthik if he could educate his disabled child since he had experience with disablities. Then he just left, leaving his child at the office. And so our school started. At the moment we are educating 10 students but we hope that we will be able to reach more children in remote villages near Sristi Village soon and impact more lives.
Another project, fulfilling the main objective of the Sristi Foundation is the Sristi Vocational Training Centre. Here, disabled adults can learn valuable skills, enabling them to produce various items for selling. Through this, they can earn their own money, something that is impossible for most of india’s disabled. At the moment, we are producing door mats, cleaning products, handmade paper items, candles, incense sticks, cloth flowers, greeting cards and paper bags at our centre.
Our last and probably unique project is our Eco-friendly and inclusive farm, that ensures the self-sustainability of Sristi Village. We own 8,39 acres of land on which our community cultivates various agricultural products including corn and millet. We are very proud to say that every member of our community is involved in the different steps of cultivation. Through this we all learn a lot new things about agriculture and can see what we are doing: It is really satisfying to see the changes in land and people with every new seed that is planted. And: shared success is double success! Since everybody was involved in the planting of our seeds, we all were more than happy when we where finally able to harvest our first crops last month!