“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.”
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 return 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.
Vanya came to India with her aged mother who was on a visit to her birthplace and childhood home in Ooty. On that trip, Vanya cemented a strong connection with the Nilgiris in general and the local farmers in particular who encouraged her to return and assist with their efforts to sustainably and productively manage their lands. She utilized her substantial expertise gained in England and other parts of Europe to create The Earth Trust in 2004. Her long-term vision about the key issues facing the Nilgiris as a result of climate change and increasing population pressures are reflected in the programmes that she set up, with a focus on reviving traditional healing practices and medicines, farming knowledge and methods and imparting that knowledge to future generations. She once said-“ it is as though that every single thing I have done in my life, every job I undertook all came together to set up The Earth Trust.
The Earth Trust, Registration No:115/2004/BK4
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