The entire 17 acre project known as pointReturn was meant to be given away to institutions that add value to India. Long time followers may recall, the project was to be driven by a small community of young people who live and work on the land and on ideas they believe as being suited to advance India's prosperity. Education, was one of them. An education grounded in India’s traditional values was to be offered at pR.
But that’s not the way things unfolded.
After four years of exploration, the volunteer-driven model was discovered in 2014, to have failed. Ensuring the future of pR returned to me as an urgent anxiety. Uppermost in my mind was to ensure the land was given to only those that met the following criteria:
- An organisation with at least 5 years of operational experience
- It had the ability to financially sustain itself
- It valued rain water harvesting, afforesting, biomass recycling and natural farming
- It’d avoid exploiting the land for money, beyond its sustenance needs
- It had staff that believed in the organisation's mission
I believe the above would ensure a future for the pR acres where its ecology would be preserved. The search has not been easy.
In 2015, I decided to donate 8 acres to the Vivekananda Education Trust. They envisage a high school and a teachers’ training centre, with supporting infrastructure.
Construction began for the first stage of the school. Starting
June, this year 105 children have joined the elementary school. They come from around 20 km area of the school. All teachers are local ladies as are the supporting staff.
I hope the school will inculcate waste management and environmental concerns as part of its curriculum.