Our journey begins
How the idea of HEM Ashram Foundation Inc (in the USA) was born?
The twist in our philanthropic journey began during a 2019-2020 trip, when my husband and I, Varsha, were introduced to an enthusiastic couple, Babal and Sheetal Gadar in Jagiri. This dedicated couple run an English medium school and hostel, on what seemed like a shoe-string budget! They are located in a remote, mountainous, tribal region, on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat, India and they cater to some 270 kids.
In Jagiri, we encountered kids that were happy and cheerful and very appreciative of what little they had, despite the tough location, the challenging environment, and their circumstances.
Like other remote regions, Jagiri suffered from water shortage, communication issues, and a lack of proper infrastructure. So, we agreed to coordinate and finance all efforts in tackling the problems, one project at a time. They also enlisted the support and help of like-minded friends in India and the USA.
Everyone had the same goal in mind: Improve the conditions, so that the environment is more conducive to learning, and the basic needs of the kids and the staff, can be taken care of.
Thus, the idea of expanding the donor base became a necessity!
In 2020, the ground level progress slowed because Covid took its toll on the momentum. One option to raise awareness, and more funds in the USA, was to form a charitable foundation and get approved as a tax-exempt organization.
Fast forward to March 2022 and the sister Organization -HEM Ashram Foundation Inc was formed and got approved as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.