Operation Shanti is a grassroots charitable organization doing good work in Mysore, India. Mysore is the home to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and its founder and Guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Operation Shanti was started by a former Ashtanga practitioner, who went to Mysore in 2003 to practice yoga and decided to stay to try to give street and slum children the basic needs and opportunities in life that most of us take for granted.
Operation Shanti, founded in 2004 in the U.S. and in 2005 in India, has three programs in Mysore, the largest of which is its children’s home, Karunya Mane “House of Compassion for the Poor”. Karunya Mane, located on the outskirts of Mysore (approximately a 15-minute drive from Gokulam), houses 44 former street and slum children – some have a parent and others have no parents. Karunya Mane opened in February 2008, and the kids have changed and grown tremendously. All of the kids attend private school and receive excellent food and nutrition, medical and dental support, counseling and guidance, and opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities (karate, yoga, art, dance, singing) – most of all, they have lots of fun just being kids. Through mutual friends in Mysore, we learned about Operation Shanti’s efforts to help street and slum children change their lives and their futures. The charity engages yoga students in Mysore to help out, and immediate plans include building a new home for the kids. Approximately 91-95% of funds donated go directly to helping the kids, with the balance paying for basic administrative expenses. The directors of Operation Shanti in the U.S. cover such administrative expenses, so effectively all of your donations go directly to helping Operation Shanti’s kids!