IHRF’s free education initiatives include four residential gurukul/orphanages as well as standard day-school programs for impoverished boys and girls.

The Gurukul/orphanages include the following essential components: (1) a standard academic education in reading, writing, arithmetic, computers and other subjects, (2) training in Sanskrit and the ancient Vedic knowledge and traditions, (3) a moral and value-based education which is crucially needed in modern society. In the “Dust to Diamonds: Culture to Computers” program, the ancient and modern are bridged so that the priests and religious leaders of tomorrow will be anchored in both the religious traditions as well as modern scientific technology.  Our gurukuls/orphanages provide hundreds of young, impoverished, disadvantaged boys with a basic academic education, as well as study in intensive Sanskrit and ancient Vedic texts.

Currently there are more than 500 students studying in the four gurukuls, based in Rishikesh, Kotdwar, Uttarkashi and New Delhi.

Their days are filled with yoga, meditation, Vedic chanting, reading of scriptures, mathematics, seva and special programs designed to infuse their lives with essential values and ethics. They are not only getting an academic education, but they are also being trained to be cultural ambassadors, carrying with them — wherever they go — the deep values and culture of honesty, integrity, purity, piety, dedication and selflessness.

Once a child comes to the orphanage/gurukul, a rapid, divine transformation takes place. Looks of hopelessness become looks of great optimism and hope.  Lightless eyes become bright shining eyes. Feelings of destitution and despair become feelings of pride, of faith and of enthusiasm.  The rishikumars travel on yatra to the Himalayas, perform yoga, yagna and prayers on the banks of Mother Ganga, study academics and computers as well as the scriptures, perform dramas based on Indian spiritual history and — of course — have time to run and play!

IHRF also runs free schools in Rishikesh and surrounding Himalayan areas that provide quality primary education to many hundreds of local impoverished children and IHRF also sponsors schools in Uttarkashi and other areas. These schools provide basic academic education, including computers and English, as well as value-based education.

Additionally, IHRF is supporting a large school for impoverished blind, deaf and mute children. The school is residential and provides food, shelter, all medical provisions as well as education so these children can stand a beautiful chance at being self-sufficient members of society. IHRF is financially supporting and sponsoring the food, education, supplies as well as building repairs, renovation and beautification.

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