'Financial prosperity must be accompanied by Social prosperity and that is best provided by education'.
To facilitate economic, environmental and social development, we work with local communities to open up new livelihoods, empower women economically and create access to education.
We strongly believe that education is the single largest tool for socio-economic change in the life of the individual, family, and the country. Our plants are located in geographically remote areas, where access to quality education was a significant issue. We thus took an active role in creating education infrastructure in these areas by building schools with a social purpose.
Today, more than 5,000 students study in these schools. These schools are managed by Somaiya Vidyavihar (also founded by Padma Bhushan Shri K. J. Somaiya, our founder) and we provide administrative support to Somaiya Vidyavihar to help manage the schools.
Jetavan - An Outreach Program In Collaboration With The K. J. Somaiya Centre For Buddhist Studies.
K. J. Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies, a Somaiya Vidyavihar institute launched Jetavan, a non-sectarian centre for spiritual practice and holistic development at Sakarwadi, Kopergaon.
The project is inspired by the compassion of Ven. Dhammadipa, a Buddhist monk from the Czech Republic and is built in partnership Godavari Biorefineries Ltd, the flagship company of the Somaiya group.
Jetavan is a non-sectarian centre that encourages spiritual practice and physical wellness among the local community at Sakarwadi. In addition, vocational training programmes are conducted to assist youngsters develop livelihood skills and achieve financial independence. Jetavan reflects our commitment to underscore citizenship and community service, even as we provide avenues for career building to young students.
Godavari Biorefineries Limited, the flagship company of the Somaiya Group, has provided land and funds for development of Jetavan and will continue to support the project as part of its community development program. GBL supported the Buddhist community in the area by providing space for a library and earmarking a compound for community gatherings.
For us, Jetavan, is our way of giving back to Society. The aim of this initiative is to respond to the twin needs of the community at Sakarwadi – that of spiritual guidance and the need to improve economic well being. Education in spiritual knowledge and human values provides people of all backgrounds an opportunity to inculcate positive thoughts and attitudes. The spirit of inclusiveness, co-operation and warmth at Jetavan will make a qualitative change in their lives. We are very happy to make this available to the people in and around Sakarwadi. The construction and architecture represents our commitment to the environment.
The complex was built by artisans from Hunnarshala Foundation from Bhuj in collaboration with the local construction teams. It has been constructed using natural materials and waste materials, so as to reduce the carbon footprint to the barest minimum possible. The constructions materials represent several innovations – such as use of quarry dust and fly ash (which is waste from the factory) to build the walls. 16 tons of old, used wood from the ship-breaking yard at Alang, Gujarat was used for the roof under-structure, over which mud-rolls have been placed. Old, used Mangalore tiles were then placed on top. The mud-rolls will ensure comfort in terms of temperature in the interiors. The roof is inverted, so that light comes in at an angle from the top and those inside the building can only see tree tops and the sky outside.
With an aim to contribute towards the development of the community at Sakarwadi, it hosts a variety of programs and gatherings - from diverse spiritual teachings to vocational training workshops.
Activities Planned At Jetavan
1. A large hall will serve for meditation practice and for religious ceremonies. Ven Dhammadipa will travel to Sakarwadi once every couple of years to personally guide meditation practice and deliver teachings from Buddhist texts. K J Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies will draw upon its connections in diverse Buddhist traditions to invite members of the Sangha to Jetavan for Dharma teachings.
2. Buddhist Centre faculty and students from the various courses will help conduct courses on Pali language and texts as also introductory courses on Buddhism that explain the history and philosophical aspects of this great Indian tradition.
3. Faculty and students from K J Somaiya Bhartiya Sanskriti Peetham and the K J Somaiya Centre for Studies in Jainism will read and explain texts and encourage discussion and debate on spiritual development in a supportive environment.
4. Recognising that economic growth is a primary concern, Somaiya Vidyavihar will support training programs for local youth in vocational skills –such as carpentry. There will also be training provided in matters of simple hygiene and health care.
Self Employement Training Program (Tailoring classes)
When women are empowered, it has a multiplying positive impact on the health and progress of their families and communities. We run 18 tailoring centers in different locations in Bagalkot and Belgaum district of Karnataka. Every year around 325 women in the age group of 15 to 30 learn the art of tailoring and get the opportunity to become self-employed and earn around Rs 3000/- per month. This allows them to take care of their children while supplementing the family income thus making a better life for her and her children.