Mamaji - Mamaji comes from a humble background, she was born in Thane, youngest in her family with the biggest dreams. Her dream was to be a teacher and run a school from a young age. That dream kept brewing while life went on. She got married and moved with Mr. Puranik to Houston, TX.
Houston was a completely new world for Mrs. Puranik, with learning a new language, helping with the running of Mr. Puranik’s business WOM and taking care of her first born. Mrs. Puranik not just managed but thrived in organizing the company’s finances as well as raising her children all the while learning English though her daughter’s school syllabus.
Years went by and the company became well established and was able to run on its own merit, Mrs. Puranik was now looking for ways to give back to society away from the hustle of the city where people truly needed it.
Mrs. Puranik moved back to India after serving about 20 years in the business, she was soul searching when she came across the now known as Samarthagad site in Katraj, Pune. Deep in the hills she found her solace and decided she wanted to buy the land and live in peace and harmony amongst nature.
Samarthagad site is unique in its discovery. (Samarthagad story)
Mamaji realized there was a great need for education, as she noticed the children of the workers that were helping her build the ashram roaming around, helping with labor with no solid future plans. Mamaji began to teach the workers children under a tree. She started with basic stories and eventually used her granddaughters’ school text books to teach school syllabus. Her dream of running a school came back in a flash with the right environmental setting.
Mamaji set out to build a school in 2003 and eventually started teaching certified state board syllabus but in English. She believed that this language that helped her grow so much will also help her students communicate better and with the world. Mamaji tries to incorporate holistic method of teaching, focusing some parts on music, dance and theater. Sports is inspired by a large ground with a skating rink, basketball court, volleyball and a football (soccer) field.
Vision International learning Center is a residential school for underprivileged children from villages around Maharashtra, we host about 100 students on campus. Students live with us throughout the year, except holidays 3 times a year where they go back home to visit their families. We bring in students from the US for a cultural immersion program where they speak/teach in English and in return our Vision Intl. students help them immerse in cultural activities.
Mamaji is very keen on sustainable living, since the 24 acre property is off grid, it is not accessible to electricity power lines or water pipes. Mamaji being of an non-engineering background has tried and tested many methods of rain water harvesting over the years. Today we have three main wells on the property and every roof, surface that can collect water in the monsoon gets directed and stored in our underground water tanks.
Electricity is a necessity, so Mamaji has placed solar lights all over the property that provides enough light to use during dark hours. Although, when we have our workshops and large camps where we host 50-100 people, we have to run our generators and use them for times when we need to run the AV room for programs or provide air-conditioned rooms for our guests.
Mamaji’s love for plants and animals is clear all over the property. We have three gardens, one for vegetables that we grow and consume, fruits that mostly get eaten by the birds, and a partial indoor/outdoor Osho garden, that has a lawn and beautiful trees and flowering plants all around the walkway.
We also have 20 cows on site that provide manure for biogas, and provide us with fresh milk products to consume. We also have a surplus of wood, which we collect from fallen branches or trees. No trees are cut in the process, we only use that which has fallen on the ground.
We use wood for cooking and heating up hot water.
Water is also recycled and reused, first for drinking, cooking and bathing and washing. The waste is reused to water the plants or used to clean out the sewage tanks.
Accommodations are set up very generously all over campus, we can accommodate up to 150 people comfortably. People can choose to stay in a variety of housing options. We have private cottages for a family or group set up that can fit 4/5 people comfortably with attached garden and bathroom. We also have dorm style living that people enjoy during workshops a small dorm can fit up to 12 people while the large dorms can fit up to 50 beds with common bathrooms and wash basins attached. We also have exclusive rooms for guest speakers and host then at our bungalow with helping staff to assist and 4 bed 2 bath a terrace, kitchen and large hall.
The foundation is a gated community for security and is open to the mountain side. We have our own security guards that have night duties and a family doctor on call if needed for emergencies. Our staff is trained to provide immediate first aid help until the doctor arrives.
from an early age, from helping raise her siblings to being the right hand of Mr. Puranik and WOM. She is now the Global CFO of the company. The Puranik family is dualistic in nature, they are great business professionals but also very passionate artists.
Revati from a young age was trained as a classical vocalist and in Kathak and Ballet. While raising her first born she began to train other girls in contemporary dance and started her own dance production company. She went onto to becoming a dance therapist and a life coach and uses her knowledge of dance, music and Indian culture as a base for her coaching.
Raised at the foundation, Bhakti has a unique perspective of the inner workings. She has seen things grow from ground up. Bhakti’s school text books were donated to the foundation every year class she advanced.
Bhakti takes keen interest in growing the foundation. She focuses on outreach programs for the foundation as a way to gain the foundation and Vision International school exposure for their efforts over the years. Bhakti organizes activities and brings students from the US for a study abroad trip to India every year, where students are interacting with Vision International students and learn about Indian culture and heritage. Revati coaches the students for 10 days, while Mamaji shares her knowledge and experience with students to provide wholistic education.