WHO ARE WE?
Founded in 1995 by Shri Brajnath Goswami, Gaura International is a nonprofit NGO that aims to alleviate the suffering of elderly widowed women, single mothers and children through spiritual empowerment and practice.
There are an estimated 46 million widows in India, which makes up more than 9% of the population and Vrindavan is home to more than 10,000 of these widows. Shunned by their own families, thousands of widows make their way to the holy city of Vrindavan in search of shelter and salvation.
Those who make it to Vrindavan come from a broad cross section of society, but they are also one of the most neglected groups in the country. Following the death of their husbands, widows are often driven out of their homes by relatives who want control of their property and land. Similarly, India's single mothers face huge struggles in raising their children in an environment where earning a living, providing an education and finding suitable shelter is a significant challenge.
Approximately 4% of India's child population of 20 million are orphans and the UN has highlighted India as the most dangerous country in the world for a female child. Abandoned by their parents and often neglected by governments, there is no end to the suffering of these children.
Recognising the plight of the female gender in Vrindavan, our founder was motivated to take action. Gaura International aims to help this marginalised group by providing them with shelter, food, clothing and medical care. A central component of this is to promote self- development through spiritual knowledge and practice.
Our mission encompasses the following principles based on the teachings of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
• Nama Ruchi: Developing an enthusiasm for, and always chanting, the holy name of Krishna.
• Vaishnava Seva: Serving the lords dear devotees. We are unable to approach the lord directly; however by serving those dear to him, we attract his mercy.
• Jiva Doya: compassion to the fallen jivas (souls). This ultimately means spreading such mercy by helping living entities to engage in devotional service to Krishna, and thus become Krishna Conscious.