The UCSD chapter of Project RISHI (Rural India Social and Health Improvement) was established in September of 2009 as an extension of the program started at UCLA in January of 2005. The purpose of this chapter is two-fold: 1. to provide for the needs of rural Indian villages, more specifically those started by Baba Amte in rural Maharashtra. 2. To provide UCSD undergraduates with exposure to international philanthropy, rural healthcare and the challenges faced in the third world. Project RISHI is a non-profit student organization.
The UCSD chapter’s target sites for improvement are Anandwan, Hemalkasa, Mulgavan, and Somnath, all of which were started by Baba Amte and are currently maintained by his family. For several decades the Amte family has provided a shining beacon of light in the darkness of rural India at these sites. With their help, these locations have blossomed and made incredible strides in the areas of education, healthcare, social problems and agriculture. Anandwan is a leprosy colony hosting more than 5000 residents and providing food, shelter, honest work and modern health care to lepers and the disabled. Hemalkasa contains a village hospital that treats more than 45,000 patients per year, a village boarding school with more than 600 tribal students and an animal shelter with many of the rarest animals in India. Somnath is an extension of Anandwan and is making great progress in agriculture, providing food for people in a large surrounding radius. Mulgavan, the newest project, strives to provide support to tribal villagers that have had very limited exposure to modern society, medicine and agricultural techniques.
During the school year, UCSD Project RISHI will meet weekly and focus on fundraising and finding sponsors for the projects that we plan on completing in India in the summer. Once Spring quarter starts, in addition to continuing fundraising efforts, RISHI will work with the Amte family and our contacts in India to design and plan projects at the four locations. Funding that we raise will be used solely for our operational costs and projects. Those attending the trip to India will be required to pay for the trip out of their own pockets.


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