After generations of looking upon the earth as something to be used and controlled, the world and we have now become deeply conscious of the vital necessity to witness to the integrity of all creation. It is foundational to our call to heal and make whole. Unless the Earth yields pure water, clean air, rich soils for food, healthy trees, vibrant ecosystems, there is no possibility for the human community to go forward into the future full of vitality and good health.
From very early we valuedthe gifts of the earth whether in hospital campuses, centers, rural involvements and MMS Training houses. We tended the earth with care and received fruit and flowers, fish and healing herbs, vegetable, rice, wheat, lentils and pulses.
In 1959 we
moved to Bibwewadi hill in Pune. A barren, rocky slope, leading to a dry dusty
hilltop surrounded by hills equally dry and bare. With great pains and much
care we broke through rock and rubble to green our whole hill, calling it
Sandipani, which means radiating light. We want to affirm the
sacredness of the land and envision the entire hilltop-slope becoming a sacred
place devoted to healing and maintenance of health, strictly in accord with the
norms of organic and natural farming and promoting an eco-centric spirituality.
Over the years the adjoining hills and land have sadly been turned into a
chaotic concrete jungle. Our hill alone remains the “green lung” of Pune,
providing an ambience that promotes healing to the people who come to us.
In Kasiadih, Hazaribagh Unit, the cry of the earth is linked with the cry of the poor. The ecological movements of Jal, Jamin, Jungle, Jantu (water, land, forest, creatures) and Bharat Jan Andolan (Peoples’ Movement of India) have mobilized women and children to resist the eviction of forest communities and their habitats. The struggles bore fruit with Government legislation facilitating the process of returning ownership of forest lands to tribal communities. The problem of displacement of people by coal mining Multinationals is another area of intense struggle for land.
So we look to a future as a journey into the mystery of God linked to the journey of all Earth’s people where our yearning for God is one with our hunger for the transformation of the world.