Karuna Trust helps some of India’s poorest people lift themselves out of poverty, including low-caste (Dalit and Tribal) people. This Triratna institution began in very grassroots fashion but was legally constituted as a charity in April 1980 - which means Karuna is officially 35 years old this year!
Karuna is largely funded by Triratna teams conducting door-to-door fundraising campaigns, mostly in Britain. In this latest NewsByte video from Clear Vision, we see another of their teams at work on a telephone fundraising campaign (5.5 minutes).
Patrick Harper is Karuna’s Supporter Care Officer. He writes: “Karuna’s work is based in the teachings and ethics of Buddhism. We believe this gives us a uniquely radical critique of caste and an ability to act as a fearless and compelling voice for people affected by discrimination, helping people from ostracised communities in India increase their choice and opportunities through education, women’s empowerment and training for improved livelihoods.
In our work with our Indian partners, we aim to break down the traditional roles of funder and beneficiary to exemplify an attitude of equal partnership and mutual respect. In 2014/15, we supported projects across 9 states directly impacting more than 90,000 men, women and children and more widely benefitting a further 600,000.
In our 35th year, we have set out our new goals and strategy for the future: over the next 5 years, we want to directly transform the lives of more than 375,000 people from the most marginalised communities in India and Nepal.
By continuing to build greater independence and sustainability, as well as beginning to work with partners across four new states in India - and, for the first time, expanding our reach into Nepal - we are confident that this ambitious goal is achievable.
Karuna believes that lasting social change can only happen when prejudice and ignorance are transformed and people are seen as truly equal. With the help of our supporters, we want everyone, regardless of caste, gender or background, to have the opportunity to meet their potential, so that it will one day become the norm for Dalit and Tribal communities to work and live equally alongside everyone else.”