THE HELPAGE-VISHOKANAND SOCIETY

 

The Vishokanand Ashram offers a unique rural retreat for urban dwellers.The Ashram premises, spread over ten acres of land, is an ideal temporal and spiritual destination. Here History and Nature come together in a spiritually vibrant retreat easily accessible from Delhi. It is also an activity-hub for healthcare and rural development in the district of Bijnor and adjoining areas of Meerut, Haridwar and Kotdwar.

The Ashram, originally established in the early 1900's at Daranagar Ganj by the late Shivanand Maharaj ji, is located on the banks of the river Ganga, close to Vidur Kutir, a revered place of mythological significance in the epic Mahabharata. In 2009 the Ashram was handed over to the Society by the original Trustees, and has been redesigned as a secular rural resource institution, with focus on 'healthcare, rejuvenation therapies, rural-livelihoods and nature education'.

The Ashram,located in western Uttar Pradesh, is around one hundred and Sixty kilometres from Delhi, and is also in proximity to the foothills of Uttarakhand state. It is an attractive destination for visitors from Delhi and nearby cities with basic overnight stopover facilities. It offers a tranquil retreat cradled in vast expanses of orchards with a profusion of mangoes, pears, jackfruit, floriculture and medicinal plants.

Nearby places of heritage value and cultural interest, within a few hours by road from the Ashram,are the towns of Meerut, Hastinapur, Haridwar, Rishikesh and the idyllic hill stations of Lansdowne and Pauri, which offera panoramic view of the Himalayan snow peaks. Natural heritage sites are the Ganges River-Dolphin Sanctuary, Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajaji National Park and the Corbett Tiger Reserve. In season, the barrage on the river Ganga near Bijnor, is a bird watchers' paradise.

Since 2009, significant ongoing activities, reaching out to around 125 villages, are:

• Free Healthcare to more than 20,000 persons in 25 villages: Mobile Healthcare Services, Physiotherapy Treatment, Speciality Health Camps, Cataract Eye Surgeries (in collaboration with Shroff Eye Hospital) and Ayurveda clinical services.

• Micro Credit & Savings through Self-Help Groups in 125 villages involving 14,000 group-members: Rs 12 lacs total savings, Rs 7 lacs money in rotation (intra lending and borrowing), numerous individual and group entrepreneurs and enterprises established.

• Recreation Tours for Active Ageing & Emotional Care for Senior Citizens: For Senior Citizen Groups and Residents of Old Age Homes from Delhi NCR, Meerut, Kolkata and Puducherry.

• Cash & Kind Support to around 50 destitute persons

The HelpAge India-Vishokanand Vridhashram Society, is a secular, independent and autonomous Society registered in Moradabad, with Tax Exemption under 80G of the Income Tax Act with an annual turnover of around Rupees sixty lakhs. The Society is promoted and supported by HelpAge India.

The Society is professionally managed and has a governing body which comprises of eminent members retired from Government, academia and the development sector.