Summary

Amrit Sagar (Ocean of Nectar) Environment Center is a working model of the best environmental practices and a teaching center demonstrating traditional and innovative sustainable techniques. Already under construction, the proposed ten-acre facility is situated in Ramnagar directly accross the River Ganga from sister project Bal Ashram in Varanasi.

Varanasi faces problems of overpopulation and environmental degradation. By restoring land along the Ganges River and improving the environmental literacy of the city's residents, Amrit Sagar will help preserve and promote the city's cultural heritage and motivate others to take action to address the city's pressing problems.

Pollution is overwhelming in Varanasi. While centrally planned reforms, clean up initiatives, and appeals for environmental awareness are a national priority, there is a large gap between these objectives and the daily activities of the average citizen. The situation of Varanasi is particularly grave due to a poor infrastructure coupled with increasing tourism, rapid population growth and unregulated shanty development.

Amrit Sagar seeks to address these problems by inspiring people to take action. The Center will serve as nectar for a city in need of environmental education. People of all ages and social-economic backgrounds will learn how their personal daily habits impact the environment and will get hands-on experience with new methods. The Center will provide the following:

  • Teach recycling, resource conservation, planting and sanitation.

  • Demonstrate both low tech and advanced green technology, such as solar, windmills, animal driven pumps and methane production.

  • Operate an organic dairy.

  • Grow organic vegetables and a comprehensive Ayurvedic garden, and increase awareness of these plants.

  • Grow indigenous trees and shrubs and promote their propagation.

  • Demonstrate sustainable farming practices.

The Center will host up to 20,000 school children a year for day-long visits, and will reach out to local families, farmers, and universities to disseminate broadly. Entrance to the Center will be provided free of charge.

Amrit Sagar is funded and founded by Aghor Foundation, a non-profit organization with a proven track record of leading successful social service programs in Varanasi. Seed funding of $500,000 has already been raised for the Center, and an additional $900,000 is required to complete the land acquisitionand to build facilities. Timing is critical for the land purchase because a new bridge is being constructed in the area.

Amrit Sagar has roots in Founder Baba Harihar Ramji's teaching that taking care of the environment isa powerful spiritual practice. People come from all over the world to visit Varanasi and realize their inner nature. The Center will show how our outer actions can be consistent with our inner aspirations.

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