Beginning of Nandi Bazar community
Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar community is located a village, near Kozhikode on the west shore of south of India.
The community started in August 1977 by welcoming Jayamithran as the first core member (who came from the mental hospital) in the first house called Prabhalayam (Home of Illumination). The idea of opening a new community in Nandi came originally from Mr. Premanand, an influential businessman in Quilandy who was inspired by Asha Niketan in Bangalore and was willing to donate his land to begin a similar community in Nandi Bazar. His sole aim was to give the poor and rejected of society a place where they could learn, grow, find peace and space for themselves. Chris Sadler, a British lady living in Tamil Nadu, became the founder of the community accompanied by some of her friends and people who came to serve God and the poor. In the words of Swami Vivekananda, in speaking about begging: “You should see God in the Poor, and it is for your salvation that you go and worship them”.
The ideal and vision of the community was to live as a family based on the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and L’Arche spirituality. In the beginning, life was not easy, with no electricity, running water and even a tarmac road. Gradually, many people came from surroundings offering generously their time, money, wisdom and above all friendship: architects, masons, carpenters, doctors and spiritual guides of all religion were very much involved in the build-up of the community.
As they grew, more core members were welcomed. Some arrived from mental hospitals; others came from their families who requested that their child be taken care of because of social circumstances and the little support they received from the society along with their limited resources. Every individual who has come to Asha Niketan has become a sign of hope for other families and for society. They also brought the gifts of their humor, their creativity, spirit of welcoming, their prayerfulness and their resilient spirit in the face of their suffering. They have tauught us gentleness, forgiveness and acceptance of each other, and patience.
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