About Earth Trust

The Earth Trust is a Not-for profit /Service Organisation established in end 2004 in the Nilgiri Hills of South India. The Nilgiri Biosphere was declared as a Bio-diversity hotspot by Unesco’s Man and Biosphere(MAB) committee in August 1986.The primary agenda of Earth Trust is to enhance the Environmental health of this  important resource for mankind. We have a mandate to support the Tribal and rural population of the Nilgiris to create livelihoods, particularly for those trapped in poverty, so that they can live with dignity and pride.

We have been quietly, efficiently and consistently spearheading the movement towards the Wholeness of the Nilgiris over the last decade. Our holistic, integrated approach makes it effective.

We are primarily a knowledge and service provider. We run four programmes.

Core values of The Earth Trust: Transparency, walking the talk and democratic/inclusive functioning 



 “That there will be clear water flowing from the streams of Nilgiris without poison… that everyone will have their place; animals will have their place, and people will have their place.” I smile and tell her it sounds good. She says, “It is possible, you see, it’s possible.” - Vanya Orr (Founder, the Earth Trust), 2004  


If Earth Trust had a soul it would be Vanya. In true visionary fashion, she did not let her age, her lack of Tamil or her newness to local culture prevent her from diving right in, nearly eighteen years ago, and create the conditions for what eventually took shape as Earth Trust. To quote her, it was as though every single disparate job she ever had, all came together in setting it up. Pulling together people who could help her translate this passion, she had the ability to coax them to deliver more than they ever thought they could. She would always begin any staff meeting with the words,” Remember, none of us are here by chance, we have all been chosen”. Well, The Nigiris has chosen Vanya .


 Around 1987, our Founder Ms Vanya Orr accompanied her mother who was on a nostalgic trip, revisiting her childhood homes in India. She came to Dodabetta, Nilgiris. This visit became the catalyst for a second visit. The Forest Department requested Vanya to act as an interface between them and the people of Doddabetta village who lived on the periphery of a State Reserve Forest. She set up H.O.P.E. at Dodabetta and trained villagers to grow herbs and distill essential oils. It is a thriving co-operative now. Vanya’s deep concerns over environmental health spurred her into setting up EARF (Environment and Agri Research Foundation). On a small piece of leased land, she set up a nursery. Training programmes for farmers were held to demonstrate different methods of Organic farming. This over the years evolved into an integrated project for Organic farming (men), Health and Skill Development Programmes for women and the Eco-club programme for middle school children. The Earth Trust was formally registered as a not-for–profit entity in end 2004.