Poor, rural women in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh attending a skills training programme on dairy farming by the NGO I work for, Hand in Hand. As always, their smiles, determination and the colours are simply awe-inspiring.

Supporting Dalit women to become leaders, promoting a school for Tibetan refugees, helping educate girls in rural West Bengal, supporting a children’s hostel in rural Goa, offering IT training, personal development and English classes in Nagpur, offering a retreat from the slums in Bhaja and Bordharan: these are some of the projects run by the Karuna Trust.

“Inspired by Buddhist values, [Karuna is] a charity working with local community groups to help South Asia’s poorest people escape the hell of poverty and discrimination. … We are committed to human development, enabling people to escape poverty, access their legal rights and participate fully in society.”

Hanumappa Sudarshan

Hanumappa Sudarshan

The Karuna Trust started supporting projects in 1986, when it was founded by Hanumappa Sudarshan, an Indian social worker and tribal rights activist. According to its website, the Trust focuses on education, women’s empowerment and gender equality, capacity building, advocacy, well-being and livelihoods, and its projects benefit more than 50,000 people every year.

To find out more, click on Karuna.