The origin of the Tharu tribe dates back to a few centuries ago. It began during a Mughal invasion in Rajasthan when a Rajput king decided to keep the women in his family safe by sending them eastward to a safe haven, escorted by royal guards and slaves. This safe haven which was, in reality, a swamp riddled with malaria, tigers and snakes in the forests in Terai, in Southern Nepal, became the home of a forgotten people.

Isolated and left to fate, the royals ‘made do’ by marrying their keepers and the Tharu tribe was born. One of the reasons why a Tharu wife feeds her husband by placing a plate on the floor and kicking it towards him. That said, the Tharu tribe is a gentle forest community, with a unique culture and language. It is also a tribe known for its ability to cultivate a resistance to malaria as well as rice, mustard, corn, vegetables, fish and hunt deer, rabbit and wild boar.

At Ventours, we now refer to the village at Kasara as ours. And against the backdrop of the forest is a neat and clean community of twelve homes and a population of forty-eight. Homes are plastered using mud and cow-dung and there is art in the most banal things. Clothing is colourful and embroidered with scraps procured from traveling fabric merchants. The tribe also makes their own clay pots, cook stoves, woven baskets and fishing nets that look like butterfly wings. We intend to provide the village with a water pump and a well, adequate toilets, medicines and health care and resources for educating children. You are welcome to come visit this unique and artistic tribe during your stay in Nepal.

Across the world, Jaipur is known for being more than the pink city. Most people who are unfortunate enough to live in strife-torn areas also know it as the birthplace of an extraordinary prosthesis or artificial limb known as the Jaipur Foot, thanks to the effort of its founders – the Late Honorable Dr. P.K. Sethi and his collaborator an artisan named Ram Chander Sharma. The Jaipur Foot has become a second lease of life to millions of landmine amputee victims. We sincerely recommend a visit to this inspiring institution that provides free care to many poor patients from around the world.

On the busy, mean streets of Mumbai, you can sometimes find that ever-elusive thing: a ray of hope. The Bombay Pavement Club is an elementary school run with the help of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Colombia giving street children the right to education. Begun in 1978, the Pavement Club offers nutritious meals, bathing, clothes, games, entertainment, medical care and above all a sense of belonging. Mr. Lawrence Hardinge, its principal, has been conferred with the Mahatma Gandhi Award for Social Justice.

This slum-upgradration project was initiated in August, 2005 with support from the Agra Nagar Nigam and U.S. Aid. It aims at mobilizing low-income communities, with a focus on making women and young people participate in the planning and implementation of sanitation services and livelihoods. Other initiatives include the development of a Mughal Heritage Trail to enhance tourism-based livelihood opportunities and educating communities to improve their environmental conditions through better practices for solid waste management in partnership with local agencies.

An institution for the hearing-impaired that is sponsored by a German NGO and the Government of Bhutan, this school teaches Bhutanese sign-language and runs vocational programmes that look after the communication, social and psychological needs of deaf children.