Frequently Asked Questions
When was Shanti Bhavan founded?
Shanti Bhavan is a non-religious 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 1997 by professor, entrepreneur, and author Dr. Abraham George.
Where is the Shanti Bhavan boarding school located?
Shanti Bhavan’s current boarding school is located in Tamil Nadu, 1.5 hours southeast of Bangalore. We are currently raising funds to build a second school. You can support our efforts here.
Is Shanti Bhavan a registered non-profit?
Yes, Shanti Bhavan is a registered nonprofit in the United States and India. The Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in the United States. In India, the Shanti Bhavan Educational Trust is registered under the Indian Trust Act. The Shanti Bhavan Educational Trust has 80-G tax exemption status and is FCRA approved. You can access the 501(c)(3) approval document here. Our financial documents are available here.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes! Your donations are tax-deductible. Please note, online donations are tax-deductible only in the United States (when you use the USD form) or in Canada (when you use the CAD donation form). To make a donation that is tax-deductible in India, please mail your check to our Indian office (address available here) or contact us directly via email.
Where does Shanti Bhavan get its funding?
Originally, all costs were paid by the founder, Dr. George, and a few close personal supporters. Shanti Bhavan has since expanded its funding base through grassroots campaigns, grants, and corporate sponsorships. Shanti Bhavan continues to look for new supporters, investors, and partners.
Where do Shanti Bhavan’s children come from?
Children recruited to Shanti Bhavan come from families that earn less than $2 a day. 60% of the children come from rural villages and 40% from urban slums. 95% of the children also belong to the Dalit caste (formerly known as the “untouchables”).
How are Shanti Bhavan’s children selected?
Children are selected by a veteran recruitment team using the following criteria: 1) the family must be under the poverty threshold of $2.00 per day, with preference given to single-parent households, 2) The family must be committed to keeping the child at Shanti Bhavan for the duration of the program, and 3) the family must pledge not to withdraw the child early for marriage or work purposes.
How much does it cost to support one child for an entire year?
One year of 24/7 care, food, clothing, shelter, top-level education, mentorship, medical care, and access to arts and athletics programs costs roughly $1,950 per student at our residential school. During our students’ college education, costs are approximately $3,750 per student per year.
How does Shanti Bhavan differ from other schools serving the poor?
No other program offers this level of education, this length of intervention, or this amount of support completely free of charge. Our focus is achieving results through top-level education, long-term mentoring, and professional guidance. You can read more about the Shanti Bhavan model and our core values here.
How long does Shanti Bhavan provide support for its children?
A student typically joins Shanti Bhavan at age four. Shanti Bhavan continues to provide support until the student graduates from college.
Are children involved in helping their communities? If so, how?
From day one, Shanti Bhavan instills within its children the importance of fighting against social discrimination and poverty. Shanti Bhavan students are passionate about uplifting their communities, whether it is by conducting classes in their villages, serving as role models for younger brothers and sisters, or educating their families on hygiene and health. Post-graduation, students seek prestigious leadership opportunities and jobs to bring about positive change in their communities. Additionally, many college students and working graduates regularly return to Shanti Bhavan to teach and mentor younger students.
Who helps run Shanti Bhavan?
Shanti Bhavan maintains a highly competent and dedicated team of full-time faculty, administrative staff, and support personnel. This team includes full-time Indian teachers that work at the school year-round, administrative staff that oversees the day-to-day operations, caretakers, maintenance, kitchen staff, and security. Shanti Bhavan also recruits qualified international volunteers to help carry out the institution’s mission. You can read more about the Shanti Bhavan staff here.
Can I visit Shanti Bhavan?
We receive an extremely high volume of requests to visit campus. Though we love to hear from our supporters, we are unable to accommodate most requests, as our school schedule is highly structured for the benefit of our students’ learning. In some instances, we can accommodate a half-day visit to campus. Please note that we require at least 4 weeks’ notice in order to coordinate a visit. If you are interested in visiting campus, please contact us at [email protected] to share your request.
Is Shanti Bhavan looking to build another boarding school in India?
We have raised $2.4 million of the projected $2.5 million required to complete Phase 1 (PreK–2nd Grade) construction. We have acquired 25 acres of beautiful land and are in the process of converting it. Our ultimate goal is to implement Shanti Bhavan schools all across the world. You can read more about Shanti Bhavan 2 here. You can support our efforts here.