Program Highlights

Girivalam Seva

Trash collection helps everyone experience more fully the sacred atmosphere of Arunachala. Villagers and pilgrims alike are inspired by the work Shanthimalai continues to do every day on the Girivalam Road circling the Holy Mountain. Many projects are begun by others, but then dropped for one reason or another, so Shanthimalai's dedication makes a deep impression.

The Tiruvannamalai Collector is making a real effort to install a better municipal system. In town, more volunteers now help clean up.

Working with the villagers, Shanthimalai repeatedly tries to separate trash for recycling, but this remains challenging.

Shanthimalai has installed 140 new benches along the Girivalam Road where people can rest and behold the Mountain. Sparked by this gift, others are now donating benches, too, at intervals along the road all the way around Arunachala.

It costs $1,000/month to run the project. Help us honor this ancient place of pilgrimage, and nourish all who participate in Arunachala's holy atmosphere.

Benches

It costs $1,000/month to run the project. Help us honor this ancient place of pilgrimage, and nourish all who participate in Arunachala's holy atmosphere.

Om Shanthi Project

Younger widows:

As word about the Om Shanthi Project spreads, many more widows and other destitute women come to Shanthimalai asking for help. Nearly every day someone comes. There are many heart-wrenching cases of need, and also many beautiful cases where, just through the simplest help, Shanthimalai can make a real difference. This is a joy when it happens.

Most of the women want help for their children: backpacks, books and school uniforms. These small gifts give them the courage to go on.

Sometimes the women need help repairing their house or finding a job. Jobs within the handicraft societies are limited by production needs, and outside the center it is difficult to find a safe workplace where a woman will not be victimized in some way, and where the salary is adequate. A Closer Look at Finding Jobs for Young Widows.

Getting to work can be quite expensive, since bus fairs are much higher than they once were. The long hours required at most jobs are also a hardship, because many of the women have children at home.

Shanthimalai is still looking for a supervisor for the program for the younger widows. This would need to be someone with the intelligence to write reports, the managerial skills to supervise several coworkers, and the heart to look into the women's needs with sensitivity. Shanthimalai doesn't want to make compromises in filling this position, so they are still searching for the right person, where they feel a wholehearted YES. The interview process is ongoing.

Elderly Widows:

Om Shanthi Project

The Om Shanthi Home continues to be a joyful place, with a beautiful atmosphere that touches each and every visitor. A total of 32 women now live in the three houses, with a staff of 8 women to care for them.

14 women have moved into Kati Home, the third house, built last year. Although these women are fragile and need more help than the others, they do not yet require full hospice care. But the Om Shanthi team is prepared! Now, when someone is brought in needing 24-hour care, they're grateful they can care for her right there at the Home - instead of having to send her to the hospital.

Mr. Manoharan, head of the Shanthimalai Handicrafts Development Society stops by to see the ladies each day, and is really like a son for them. His loving care means so much to these women, who have so little.

Although no new construction projects are underway, the ongoing costs of maintaining and running the Homes are high.

Your support is a vital part of the success of this beautiful project!

School Sponsorship Program

Morning group

Construction of the new auditorium for the Sri Ramana Maharshi School is progressing well. The downstairs assembly room will accommodate 800 people and will have a stage with AV wiring. Upstairs, there will be 6 classrooms and 2 bigger yoga rooms. The exterior will be completed in January 2019, and work will continue on the interior through the spring.

Auditorium

Six new teachers joined the teaching staff of the SSA Primary School and the Sri Ramana Maharshi Matriculation Higher Secondary School this year. They were selected for their fluency in English, knowledge of the subject matter, ability to teach moral values, and classroom managemt skills. Looking through the list, they are a quite impressive group!

Mr. A. P. Arumugan, M.Sc., B.ED., M.Phil, Ph.D. (Chemistry)
Mr. K. Karthikeyan, M. Sc., M.Ed. (Chemistry)
Mr. C. Vijayakumar, M.A., B.Ed., M.Phil (Tamil)
Mr. K. Arunraj, M.A., B.Ed., D.T.Ed. (English)
Mrs. M. Sathya, M.A., B.Ed. (English)
Mr. M. Velu, M.A., M.Phil, B.Ed. (History)

Auditorium

In addition, Mrs. Lavanya, who had been teaching both History and Yoga, has now shifted to teaching Yoga for Girls at the SRM School full-time. Mr. Manikandan will continue teaching Yoga for Boys in Standards I - XII. Mrs. S. Vimala has been hired as a Post Graduate Teacher to coach PTP (college) students in English.

For information about sponsoring, please contact Robin Walden: sponsor@arunapartnership.org.

Professional Training Program (PTP)

There's a growing momentum in the Professional Training Program as more and more employers look for good job candidates and PTP helps create them. Through their success, PTP is gaining a reputation for excellence.

In addition to placement in institutions of higher education and vocational training programs, Shanthimalai offers students supplemental Sunday classes in Spoken English, Computers, General Knowledge, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and Accounting. Business and academic leaders are invited to come and speak to students about how to succeed in school and beyond. Successful graduates of PTP also return to share their experiences with current students.

Job fair

On June 23, 2018, the PTP held a job fair in association with Equitas Trust. Some of the companies that participated in the job fair included:
Eureka Forbes
Joy Alukkas
Apollo Pharmacy
TVS Group
IDBI Federal
Techno Training
Wind Care
Saint Gobain

Job fair

The day was a huge success:
Participants - 514
Shortlisted for jobs - 394
# of Companies - 23
Appointment letters issued on the spot - 112

In our district, it's a tremendous challenge for students to find employment. You can help make dreams come true by supporting PTP.