Now in its 15th year, the Ravi and Naina Patel Foundation continues to do work that has helped the planet, one day at a time.
The ancient Sanskrit quote, “Vasudeva kutumbakam,” meaning the whole world is one family, is the essence of the foundation and its work, according to a news release.
The foundation was established in order to increase the happiness, health and satisfaction of all beings, from humans to the animals and plants we share this planet with, it said.
The Indian American husband and wife had the firm conviction backed by their own experience as long-time meditators that ultimate lasting happiness comes from spiritual depth; however, they also were practical enough to know that in order for people to pursue spirituality they must have at least basic education, proper nutrition, secure housing and infrastructure, and a healthy planet, it said.
“With all of this in mind, we built the foundation upon five interconnected pillars: Environmentalism, Nutrition, Housing, Education, and Spirituality,” Ravi Patel said in a statement.
In India, the foundation implemented innovative solutions for housing, nutrition, infrastructure and education. It built a school for underprivileged children who otherwise would not have access to regular education.
Additionally, the school provides many after-school programs for the students as well as free nutritious food. The foundation provided clean toilets and sanitation to three villages as well cancer prevention education and early detection to over six hundred villages, according to the news release.
In the U.S., the members of the foundation have worked tirelessly to build communities and programs based on all five of its pillars, it said.
For nutrition, the RNP Foundation has established the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center’s Health and Wellness Café, which sources organic, healthy, environmentally sound food to the local Bakersfield, Calif., community along with cooking and nutrition classes.
To tackle housing, the foundation has undertaken a large role along with many other members of the community in establishing a veteran’s village: a group of “Tiny Homes” for the purpose of housing homeless veterans, the release said.
To improve the environment the RNP Foundation is in the process of creating an outreach program on protection of the local endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox population as well as endangered species and environmental protection as a whole, it said.
For spirituality and education, the RNP Foundation is establishing a program amongst the schools in Kern County.
Naina Patel said, “We teach meditation and yoga to at-risk youth to increase their educational success as well as their spiritual and mental well-being.”
The RNP Foundation is an example of how just a small idea by one visionary couple can grow to impact thousands and eventually maybe even millions of lives, it boasts.
It should be an inspiration to all of us to try our best to leave this planet better than when we arrived on it, the release concluded.