met this dear family in November of 2002, when I was visiting the
caves at Ellora. Sitting one evening at the small boutique of my
friend Dinesh, I noticed Sarubai and her three children living on the
floor of the absolutely stark skeleton of her closed tea shop, next
I asked Dinesh to tell me about her, and he related that a few months
her alcoholic husband had died, confirming my further questioning that
he was also of the useless and violent type. The visible
of this nearly penniless mother and her children touched my
So I asked, thru Dinesh, for eldest daughter Sita to come to us, and
she did so, I gave her a 500 rupee note to give to her mom. Of
great smiles and joy resulted. When Sarubai came over to talk to us, I
told her I was sad she was without a husband, but yet very happy for
that she is now free of such troubles, anguish and disrespect.
Sarubai was working for the government, doing simple gardening work at the Ellora Caves, for about 1000 rupees per month, which is approximately $26. The Rs 500/= which I gave her was one half-month's salary! The next few days, as I would pass by those garden areas where she worked, great smiles, waves of hello, and visits from the kids would greet me. About one week later, the night before my departure, I was again sitting with Dinesh, and asked Sarubai to come over and visit with us. Asked what she would do with Rs 2000/=, she said she would fix up her tea shop so she could do business there. Of course I gave her that amount of rupees, and received lots more warm smiles. Next morning was more fun and joy, as I arrived about 6 am for the bus out of town. The bus stop is right in front of her and Dinesh's shops, and so she saw me sitting there waiting for the bus. She made a cup of tea for me and brought it over. We only exchange smiles and vibes, because I do not speak her language. When I saw the bus coming, I motioned to her, and she came for the tea cup...next to which I had another Rs 500/= folded in my hand, as I handed her the cup. So, in a bit over a week she received 3,000 Rupees ($70), equivalent to 3 months salary for her. This is such joy for me, and I will never forget the smiles and happiness on the faces of Sarubai and her children.
Sitting on the bus traveling to my next destination, I realized that I had just adopted another family in India, and quite happily so. I also was feeling so grateful to Simone, of New Zealand, pictured here with the family, for it is she who took these wonderful photos. Thanks, Simone!
More fun followed. When I returned home from India, I had
in my purse, which I sent to her via postal mail. Now, I
very much look forward to visiting Ellora again, to share smiles,
out with her kids, see how they are doing, and see what nice thing I
do to help her further develop her tea shop business into something
Now their "shell" of a restaurant
remodeled and is operating as a business. This occured in
2003, in one month of time, and Rs 30,000/= (approx. $700).
Sarubai's income has
now improved to about Rupees 4,000/= per month (about $100). The
little fellow...Ravi...started his 1st year of English-speaking school
the December of 2004; and currently (spring, 2005) we are engaged in
building a home for the family, on a small piece of land purchased (with help by Sarubai's younger brother) also in December, 2004. Many thanks
to those who have helped with donations.
WINTER 2005-2010 UPDATE
They now have their own
home .. called Advaita Ananda
Samadhi Ashram. This not only
serves as their own home and place for a real life, but also serves as a
place where visitors can have an "Indian Family experience".
Visitors to the Samadhi
Hermitage-India will have an option to stay at the Hermitage, or
with the Tambe family at the Ashram. A truly beautiful family,
sharing their love and joy in the photos on these "Blissbook
Collage" pages. Ravi is now in 3rd class, at the English
Medium School; and precious Sita is a true Jewel, seemingly and
hopefully destined to be in service to village women and girls as a
Yogini, sadhu, social worker, etc. A great picture of her by my side
can be seen here .. Miles of
The Restaurant no longer exists as
the Lakshmi Anand restaurant. However, it does still belong to
Sarubai .. she rents it out to a very good friend, so she gets a modest
monthly income from it .. enough to feed her family .. and time to time
she still does the gardening work at the caves when they call her.
If you are traveling to India, and wish to visit the absolutely awesome ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves at Ellora, please do visit us at the Samadhi Hermitage-India and likewise visit Sarubai and her children at their family ashram, stay in the extra room at the house, enjoy the kids and Sarubai's great cooking, etc. etc. Take a bus from Aurangabad (30 minues), which is about 4-5 hours from Pune; 8 hours or so from Mumbai. Be sure to ask the conductor to let you down at the Ghrushneshwar Mandir (temple). You can ask any of the shop people at that point, where is Sita's home, the American Sadhu Baba, etc. You will walk past the Ghrushneshwar Dharamshala and one small residence, and see there home, as in this picture. My mobile phone # here is 95451-63039.
Want to Help?
If you wish to donate any funds for their well-being, please send
your tax-deductible donation to the Samadhi Hermitage,
with "Sarubai" written in the notes section of your check.
All such donations will go directly to her, for good feeding, clothing and schooling of her children.
Please send your tax-deductible contribution for Sarubai, payable to:
P. O. Box 4164
Santa Fe, NM 87502
We are a 501(c)(3)
organization, and a receipt will be sent to you for your files.
No amount is too small or too large.
Please mention "Sarubai" in the memo area of your check.
Thank you very much.
|Samadhi Hermitage, Madrid, New Mexico, USA|
|Advaita Ananda Samadhi Ashram - Ellora, Maharastra, INDIA|
|Advaita Ananda Samadhi Ashram
Ananda's Ashram and Residence,
Samadhi Hermitage Crystal
|Construction Days - 2009-2014|
Six years, on and off,
constructing our India Ashram.
Stone walls, construction folks, etc.
|Glimpses from the Past - 1994-2002
Collages and Stories of two Indian families.
Still we are with two children from each!
Jyoti & Sagar in Mishra family;
Sita & Sagar in Tambe family.
Hearts and Faces in Stone
India Ashram Stone masonry fun!
"Miles of Smiles"
Families & friends… in bliss!
Hermitage - India Trust
We are officially non-profit in India.
Kids and families
at her Ashram in Amar Kantak, headwaters of the Narmada Ganga.
The Roy Family, in West Bengal
A true Gandhian family totally dedicated to village service and uplift.
Sarubai Tambe Family Residence.
|Would you like to help with Social Work in India?
$10-20/month is NOT a hardship for most of us; yet it can do wonders in 3rd world countries!
For assistance to poor folks in any 3rd world country, no amount is too small.
Click here … for a visit to "Social Work in India"
Trekking and Touring Himalayas of India
We highly recommend Amit Bajaj for any India travel help you may need;
especially in the Himalayas.