Untitled - Isha Outreach


Untitled - Isha Outreach

Welcome to Isha Outreach

“There is only one business in the world

and that is of human wellbeing.”

- Sadhguru

Although ranked among India’s five most “developed” States,

one-fifth of Tamil Nadu’s population struggles to subsist, facing

urban-rural disparities in key social indicators. Rejuvenating

the rural lifestyle for 10 million villagers requires a sustained

people’s movement. Beyond poverty alleviation, we enable

rural communities to flourish. Since 2003, simple yet innovative

projects designed by Sadhguru, our founder and visionary, fuse

traditional systems with modern know-how. Our dedicated staff

is reinforced by more than 10,000 active volunteers throughout

India and the globe.

Looking back on 2009–2010, our 20 mobile and 3 static rural

clinics provided reliable primary healthcare for 433,000

patients at low cost. Isha Vidhya schools continued to foster

highly marketable levels of English and computer proficiency

among 2,000 village children. Project GreenHands planted half

a million trees to generate additional income for more than

9,200 farming families and help mitigate the effects of climate

change. On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu who have cared

for 8.2 million tree saplings since 2005, Isha has received India’s

highest environmental award, the prestigious Indira Gandhi

Paryavaran Puraskar on World Environment Day 5th June 2010

in New Delhi.

Our mission is to mobilize rural populations and marginalized

social groups to transform their communities by providing

holistic health care, building sustainable livelihoods, empowering

children with quality education and promoting life in harmony

with our environment

Looking ahead to 2010–2011, we are pleased to partner with

the Indian Ministry of Health to promote naturopathic and

siddha systems of medicine and wellness, as well as the Indian

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to establish community

sports in over 50 Panchayat villages.

In the pages that follow, you’ll find the kind of stories that

inspire us on a daily basis. I invite you to join us in leveraging

efforts and resources to transform rural India!

K. Sekar

Project Director

Action for Rural Rejuvenation – Health

Isha’s Vision…



A transformation of public health through emphasis on

disease prevention and lifestyle modifications addresses

the root causes of illness and strengthens the body’s own

healing mechanisms.

Access to allopathic & traditional systems of medicine is

equitable and affordable.

The mobile clinic is a boon for people of my age.

I suffered from severe knee

pain for last two years. With no

government or private clinics in

my village, I had to go 20 to 30

kilometers to see a doctor for

medication. It got so bad that I

was making weekly trips, which

was tiring and expensive. A

member of our village’s health

committee told me that a free

[Isha] mobile clinic stops in a

neighboring village every two

weeks. On the scheduled day, I

met a doctor there who examined

me. The nurse in the van gave

me free medicine. I’ve seen them

three times now, without the

torture of travelling in jam-packed

buses and spending lots of money

on doctors and medicine.

Mr. Ramasamy, 60


Reality in the field…

Rural communities lack access to adequate health services close

to home. Care is disproportionately focused on disease and cure

rather than prevention, and largely ignores indigenous health

systems. Many villagers neglect minor ailments due to the

financial burden of travel and lost wages - risking complications,

decreased productivity and loss of income.

How we helped…

Ë Our awareness campaigns inspired beneficial lifestyle

changes in nutrition and hygiene practices, and warned

about the effects of alcohol and tobacco.



20 mobile health clinics offered free primary care in 815

villages every fortnight and facilitated 430 medical camps

throughout Tamil Nadu.

Four Isha Rural Health Clinics provided 220 villages with

24-hour access to physicians, laboratory and pharmacy. The

clinics are 100% self-sustaining over a three-year period

thanks to nominal patient fees - less than half the cost of

most private clinics.

Isha’s intervention has supported…



The expansion of Womb of Compassion, a community care

center offering free treatment, counseling and community

outreach to 500 persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Hundreds of economically

disadvantaged families to

enroll in the Government of

Tamil Nadu’s no-premium,

free medical insurance plan.

Our mobile teams and static

clinics cared for 433,517

patients, including over 81,500


Isha Vidhya: Educating Rural India

Isha’s Vision…

Rural children across India blossom as individuals and

realize their full potentials to lead joyful, productive lives.

Reality in the field…

Rural children have the latent potential to contribute to and

share in the economic growth of India, yet without access to

quality education, this potential goes unrealized. According to

the 2009 Annual Status of Education Report, less than 50% of

3rd through 5th standard students in rural Tamil Nadu can read

simple sentences in their own language, and less than 20% can

read simple sentences in English.

How we helped…


In the 2009-10, Isha Vidhya’s six schools served nearly 2,000

rural children, 60% of whom are first generation schoolgoers.



Isha’s intervention has led to…




Students benefit from multiple-sensory learning methods

and advanced audio-visual materials, quickly gaining

fluency in English and competency with computers.

The rich and diverse Indian cultures are recognized and

celebrated within the schools, allowing students to stay

in touch with their heritage while gaining the skills and

knowledge for success in today’s world.

The establishment of a scalable school model that delivers

high-quality, affordable education within the constraints of

local resources.

Rural children who are confident, English-speaking and

computer-skilled; eventually capable of participating in the

IT sector, service industry or higher education.

Increased awareness and value for education within rural



70% of the students were supported on full-tuition

scholarships, awarded entirely on a need basis.


Successful bridging of social and religious differences within

the current generation of children.


Students from all castes, creeds and backgrounds (including

tribal village children) are welcomed and successfully

integrated into the school system.

I like this school very much. The

teachers don’t beat or scold me if I

make mistakes. The teachers are very

friendly, and we learn easily this

way. My friends and I speak only in

English. I will be sad to go home for

holidays because I like the school.

Anuprabha - Class 4,

Isha Vidhya


Project GreenHands: Conserving the Environment

Isha’s Vision…

A society that develops a deep culture of care towards

the environment to keep this planet liveable for future


Reality in the field…

Climate change and rapid desertification have wiped out the

agricultural livelihood of thousands of rural families in Tamil

Nadu. One reason is because Tamil Nadu’s forest cover is 15%

below the national ideal of 33%.

How we helped…

Ë Last year we joined hands with 9,200 farmers to generate

income through agro-forestry, guiding intercropping of

429,046 trees for fodder, lumber, fuel, medicinal and

nutritive products.



We distributed 509,951 saplings to increase green cover

and beautify common and residential areas in rural


We invited government officials, corporate employees and

thousands of school children to join Isha’s Green Cities

movement, planting 54,037 trees in Chennai, Tirupur and

Karur; three of Tamil Nadu’s most polluted cities.

Isha’s intervention has led to…



An impressive 65% sapling survival rate, thanks to awareness

campaigns engaging large numbers of volunteers in care

and replanting.

Recognition from Indian Ministry of Environment &

Forests: Project GreenHands was selected to receive India’s

highest environmental honor, the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran


Over 8 million saplings and 220,000 volunteers since 2005

Action for Rural Rejuvenation: Community Mobilization

Isha’s Vision…

People full of joy and enthusiasm become actors in the

transformation of their communities.

Reality in the field…

Especially in the last two generations, rural villagers increasingly

struggle for day-to-day subsistence. They have become bitter in

many ways, having lost hope for the future.

How we helped…

Rural Sport: We coached 329 women on 47 throwball teams

and 1,221 men on 164 volleyball teams. As the players took

to the inter-village courts, their smiles and laughter were

oblivious to caste, creed and age.

Psychosocial Assistance: Our yoga classes imparted tools for

individual wellness to 570 villagers; and 154 peer support

meetings reached over 1,000 people in 26 communities.

Celebration: We organized six major events to celebrate rural

India’s livelihood and heritage. Drawing over 10,000 people,

the festivals honored Tamil Nadu’s rich seasonal calendar

through folk music and dance, traditional cuisine and games.

Isha’s intervention has led to…



The formation of volunteer committees in 15 villages to

self-govern livelihood, health, and agriculture initiatives

supported by Isha and its partners.

138 men’s and women’s teams converging on

Gobichettipalayam for a district-wide Rural Olympics that

drew thousands of spectators over four days.

“If human beings are very spirited towards their life,

they will somehow find a solution for everything.” - Sadhguru

Isha Outreach Geographical Spread

Isha Vidhya School

Medical Camp

PGH Nursery

Sapling Distribution

Rural Sport

Mobile Health Clinic

Rural Psyhosocial Support & Yoga

Agroforestry Plantation

Regional office

Head Office

Rural Health Clinic

Emerging Initiatives:

Isha Agro-Movement: Addressing the need to restore organic

farming and market linkages, we teamed with 30 farming

families to pilot low-cost inputs, water conservation and value

addition techniques on 100 acres.

Livelihood: Partnering with Suzlon Foundation and Project

Concern International, we began promoting life skills for

improved economic security and personal growth…

With two acres of land and four

cows, my monthly earning is only

2,000 rupees (~US$40). Through

Isha’s animal husbandry camp,

I learned how to identify good

breeds, prevent diseases and

insure my animals. The expert

identified some mistakes I was

making in caring for my cows. I tried a high-yield fodder,

and within a week each cow gave ½ liter more milk! The

seeds are free, so I planted and will harvest in 80 days. This

training will increase income for my family and neighbors.

Mayilathal, 55, Kittampalayam

I never thought people in my village would accept women

driving cars. But I was curious to get behind the wheel and got

over my hesitation with the support of my husband and friends.

Step by step, the instructor helped me to learn. I practiced for

six weeks and just received my

non-commercial license. I am

very proud and wish that all

women have an opportunity to

challenge themselves like this.

S. Selvanayagi, 42,



Over 80% of our expenditure went toward charitable activities.

Annual audited statements were prepared in accordance with

Indian Law and are available as part of the Isha Outreach

2009-2010 Annual Report at www.ishaoutreach.org

Where our funding came from




1% 2%

Indian Government







How we spent the money





International Organisations


Indian Organisations/Foundations

Indian Corporate Sponsors

International Corporate Sponsors

Private donations

Isha Foundation Contribution





Community Mobilization

PGH Nursery

PGH Plantation

Administrative costs for fundraising

and governance

*Excludes Isha Vidhya figures

(available in Isha Education’s annual report)

“From a rural lass to a society change-maker”

Mrs Kavitha Boopathy is currently co-ordinating the Yoga and

Community Games programs of Isha Outreach.

Kavitha’s biggest hurdle has been the reticence of village women

to play in front of other community members. Through Isha,

she uses the Isha Inner Engineering program which helped her

to overcome her own inhibitions, encouraging girls and women

to realize the joy of playing together. The success has been

unprecedented. For the first time in Tamil Nadu, girls, their

mothers (and even their grandmothers) are playing in public


By forming the teams and coaching, she has been able to

gradually introduce male coaches and to help organize intervillage

tournaments and Isha’s State-level “Rural Olympics.”

In preparation for such events, she also promotes indigenous

games like “Kabadi” and cultural events to the amazement of

the elderly and the interest of the village youths who cherish

their traditional ways.

Wherever she goes, Kavitha is welcomed as a relative and a

mentor. She has become their “Akka”- an elder sister irrespective

of their age. When she is not able to make a visit, her phone

continues to ring with invitations to share in the lives so many

who have been touched by her genuine presence. For her part,

Kavitha says she is fulfilled to contribute to the revival of the

joy and pride in rural communities.

Her life reflects the

Tamil poem which

says “Yathum Ure,

Yavarum Kelir” (‘every

place is my hometown

and everyone is my


Our Donors

Our sponsors are our partners! Thank you!

Action for Rural


Tamil Nadu State

Aids Control



Aachi Masala

Project Concern

International, India

Isha Foundation

RK Foundation

Sankara Eye


Get Involved



Yves Rocher

Foundation, France

Suzlon Foundation,



Give2Asia, USA

Coventa Energy,


DATO Low Tuck

Kwong, Indonesia

Dinodiya Welfare

Trust, India

Isha Vidhya

Asha for Education

Life Insurance

Corporation of


Agility Logistics

Pvt. Ltd




Great Delhi Run

Royal Bank of


To designate Isha Outreach as your charity of choice,

become a corporate partner or


contact resources@ishaoutreach.org

Make a donation at: http://www.ishaoutreach.org/donate

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