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Newsletter Extracts from Raman's Garden School and Sister Projects, Rishikesh, India September 2005

Our kids are doing great! We had a lot of happy events the last few weeks. On August 15 we celebrated Indian Independence Day. The children set up a complete programme on their own: There was dancing, singing and other beautiful performances. They also made their own flags and paraded them through the village. Everyone came out of their houses and gave the children sweets. It was such a wonderful experience.

Thanks to the organic apple-harvest from the mountains, the children made their own Organic Apple-Ginger jam. They sold more than thirty jars, and the money they earned has been put in their own bank accounts. It is nice to see how successful they are.

At the moment we are busy creating a beautiful play for the celebration of the Dushera's festival in our village. When the evil demon Ravana and his army of demons kidnapped Sita and were threatening to keep her by destroying all Ram&Mac185;s armies, Ram finally was able to kill the evil demon, not with a sword, but with a disk of light. It will be performed on October 12 during the festival of Dushera, to honor the goddess Durga. Ramana's children are famous for their Dushera performances! We have already made monkey masks and soldier costumes.

We are very excited because this play is the event of the year and carries a powerful message for us all in these troubled times when our political leaders fail to understand the fact; that violence only creates more violence..

Japanese Encephalitis Outbreak

A terrible epidemic is spreading over North India. Local newspapers report that the virus Japanese encephalitis has killed approximately 5000 children in India with up to 300 new cases are reported every day.. The virus, which can be prevented with a vaccine, has come very close. Right now a 2 yr. old child in Rishikesh, 5 kilometres from Ramana's garden, is dead from this disease. The government is hiding figures and maintains they are not able to provide the vaccine against this epidemic. They say the monetary cost to vaccinate the children at risk for the disease is too expensive. Currently, no vaccines are available for purchase in India.

At Ramana's garden, we await a medicine donation from abroad, while Prabhavati fights with the local authorities to gain permission to bring it into India.. Meanwhile, we keep the children healthy with good food, plenty of clean drinking water, exercise, and a herbal anti-viral medication donated from the Energy Group in Czech Republic.

Our Sister Project at Ambiya Mountain also continues well...

We are very happy to have welcomed many quests to our paradise in the mountains. Both Indian, and foreigners visit our resort. They come to experience a new way of living through mediation and yoga. The ambassador of Poland and his sons had their first vegetarian meal in their lives with us which they thoroughly enjoyed. All our visitors have been very excited about the silence and peace they found our Mountain Paradise and about the food, which is all organic, fresh and homegrown, so of course extremely healthy and tasty!

Thanks to a large donation from a Spainish Foundation we are building a greenhouse in our garden. This is a very important project, as now we will be able to provide fresh vegetables to our kids in wintertime! Last week we were happy to discover that thanks to the vermiculture process our compost turned out to be excellent soil for our garden plots. We will have enough for the fields in Mountain Paradise as well as down in Ramana's Garden.

Ramana's Garden website is at : http://www.sayyesnow.org