GREETINGS FROM SRIVERM 

We are counting the many blessings over the past year as it comes to a close. We are truely grateful for your generosity, thoughts, prayers, encouragement, and service throughout the year. Villagers of the Garhwali region have also expressed their great gratitude for your support, at times with tears.

For those who are new: SRIVERM, INC. is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization which instructs the general public in hatha yoga exercises, yoga philosophy, breathing and meditation practices as given through the Himalayan Tradition as well as outreach services to 30 remote villages in the Himalayan Foothills.

SRIVERM initiatives to achieve the goals in the Uttarakhand foothills:

For Village Children – A Children's School  

Over the past year the SRI gradeschool has serviced 180 children of 30 surrounding villages. The teachers work hard, teaching on site Monday through Saturday to help children progress. Those children who are most needy are supplied through private donations with

  • uniforms
  • shoes
  • books
  • backpacks, supplies, notebooks per each subject
  • bus/jeep transportation, and
  • tuition
Note: All parents give what they can towards the education of their children but they all need help.

For Village Youth - A Vocational School 

Electrical School offering certification after 2 years to a maximum of 24 students allowed. It was relayed that all graduates were able to find jobs. Note: One boy this year told me he was happy to walk the five miles to and from school to get the chance to be offered this instruction.
Computer: One year earliest basic skills course

A Bachelor of Education School - Currently 15 certified young women and men enrolled per class

Salaries for: 

  1. Four single females at the guest house three employed as garden workers and one cleaner/washer. ($30 per month) . Each is the income bearer for the family. Three have 2-3 children each. Two young spouses have passed away in accidents and one single woman who takes care of  'mama'.
  2. 6 who serve as gardeners/night watchmen/cooks ($30.00-$40.00 per month)
  3. Two bus conductors, two bus drivers, and one accountant at varying salaries
  4. 14 teachers of classes 3yrs, to 11th class (about $50.00 per month)
  5. One headmistress (about $70.00 per month)
  6. Two teacher aides ($35.00 per month)
  7. Two widows who are employed as cleaning women for the 5 tier school ($30.00 per month)

Vehicles: 

  • One jeep
  • two buses
  • One van (We have kept the original Ambassador car but it is for the most part stored now, and able to do only very short runs if used)
  • Maintenance of the above vehicles

Herbal, Vegetable and Flower Gardens with Fruiting Trees 

A New Addition
Tucked among our garden this year is the new brick building with a cement roof. It is a 'cow house'! Giving 'joy' this year is a beautiful mother cow and her baby calf . In addition to feeding her baby the mother gives about 3-5 liters of fresh milk morning and evening. From that our cooks service all and have enough left over to make fresh ghee (clarified butter).

Mother and baby are also supplying us with good fertilizer which is very much needed here to enrich the soil for nourishing crops to grow. If you come visit in the mornings you will see mother and her baby happily grazing on the fields below the guest house. Peaceful morning sight.

Fruit Trees
Last year about 150 tiny fruit tree starters were donated to us by the Rural Development Institute. Of those about 120 have survived our harsh weather conditions. We have just finished digging fresh large circles around them and filling the area with natural fertilizer and soaking the area with water. Our makeshift hoses are put together as needed, so the staff can drag them to reach either up or down the mountain. Our challenge is water supply.

This past monsoon was quite dry. All the plants continually need water. If we do not get any rain this winter we will be facing drought conditions as the dry high heat of summer comes in mid May. As they say here some things are not in our hands, “Whatever His will, we'll deal with it”.

We are getting bananas, mangoes, lemons, gooseberries, jackfruit, and guavas. The guavas are a favorite of the green parrot that come with the whole group simultaneously making sharp 90 right and left degree turns. Due to the large number there is a whirring 'en force' sound.

Renovation
After over a decade, buildings are in need of some repairs, screens, painting, and whitewashing. We are taking bids on this now. It would include all buildings here, with emphasis on Guest House and School. We would also add and an air conditioner to at least one room.

We have a need for school furniture replacement also. Our classrooms are exposed to the outdoors and the high extreme heat of summer the rains of the normal monsoons and the cold of the winter. We have very simple wooden furniture for the children at this time which has been subject to weather. Also we have significantly more children per grade now and as they get older we need to purchase larger desks and chairs to accommodate their growth.

Medical – This aspect is primarily taken care of by HIHT Hospital about 4 hours from the school: 

Eyes
Once a year we have a team of doctors come here and offer to check eyesight at school. This includes all 30 Garhwal villages. Cataract surgeries are done at the hospital at no cost for transportation or surgery.

Gynecologist/Physicians
In the upcoming year we plan to have a medical team?/gynocologist ? take the men in one group, women in another gathering for each village and address the private issues. that need to be discussed in separate groups concerning female and male health and hygiene topics.

Monthly Visits
Villagers with health problems can have them taken care of through these big “hospital on wheels” bus that comes to visit once a month.

Resident Nina Johnson 

Many of you know Nina Johnson who is one of the long term residents here. This year on May 5 this year we celebrated her 92nd birthday! She has been coming here since 2006 and plans to continue as long as she is able. She initiates here and still teaches at the Yoga Society Center now called Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center. In August Nina helped give uniforms and shoes to 14 underprivleged children who had kept their grades up. The first chapter of the newly released book by HIHT features Nina and her life experiences. Nina teaches relaxation sessions, yoga instruction and initiates yoga students here and in America.

Guest House Welcome 

We hope at some point you can visit this project you have helped to launch and sustain.

It is ideal for meditation, self growth, for anyone seeking to simply rejuvenate and revitalize. It is an oasis in the midst of a fast paced rapidly changing world where one can “recharge” and have the gift of fresh air, fresh water, nutritious simple meals and the serene environment of the Himalayan foothills.

For those who have been able to contribute solely through thoughts/prayers/meditations and the like, we feel that very valuable and believe it has helped create an atmosphere of living in harmony with nature, caring for the well being of each other, and overall kindness which nourishes staff, villagers and visitors alike.

Whatever your contribution, we thank you for all but especially for giving
the Garhwali mountain villagers
a better life now and in the generations to come.

Notes: 

  1. Our website is www.sriverm.net and does have some new photos this year, but one needs to keep scrolling down to see them. Our address is: SRIVERM , INC. c/o Warren Garstecki, 5000 W. VLIET ST., Milwaukee, WI 53208 U.S.A.. We share this address with The Yoga Society, now called the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center
  2. Donation checks are made out to SRIVERM, INC. and sent to the address above. You will receive a receipt for tax purposes because SRIVERM is registered both as a non-profit and a charitable organization.
  3. Every penny, nickel, dime and dollar is accounted for and records are available. If you make a monetary donation and want it to go for a specific purpose just let us know and we will direct it that way.