Dãna means wholehearted contribution. Sharmishtha founded Dãna Coaching in the spirit of drawing out the best in people- their talents, callings, and unique contributions to this world- and she wishes for her work to reach all corners of society. In this spirit, Dãna Coaching engages approximately 30% of its resources (money, time, effort) on pro-bono workshops and coaching with members of the Santal tribal community in northeast India.
Santals comprise the largest indigenous tribe in India and its people are some of the economically poorest in the country. The Santal culture, in contrast, is extremely rich, with an ancient oral language, a deep connection to nature and its rhythms, a long tradition of music, dance, art and storytelling.
Sharmishtha has lived closely with Santal people and has developed a deep heart-felt bond with them and their culture. She feels that they are an invaluable gift for her and this world, and she wishes to help integrate their wisdom into the mainstream mindset, while at the same time support them to face their challenges in an authentic, balanced and creative way.
Dãna Coaching conducts pro-bono workshops and individual coaching with the children and teachers of a Santal village school in West Bengal (http://www.dorfentwicklung-indien.de/en/home/) as well as with “animators”, who are social workers for basic human rights, healthcare, and children’s education and welfare in tribal villages in Jharkhand. Sharmishtha works with the children to help them express their creativity and find their callings and contributions to society. Her work with the teachers and social workers aims to help them move beyond self-doubt,
learn communication and negotiation skills, and to discover and trust their inner resources so that they can do their work in the villages more effectively. Santal songs, dances and innate connection with nature set the theme and rhythm of all the work Sharmishtha does with their community. She does this work either in Bengali (in West Bengal) or in Hindi (in Jharkhand). She is gradually learning the Santali language, through singing their songs and immersing in their culture.
If you wish to support Dãna Coaching’s pro-bono work, you can donate here. Donated funds will be used to cover Sharmishtha’s travel and living expenses incurred for these projects, for booking venues, to buy workshop materials, and cover food and travel expenses of workshop participants. At the end of the year you donated, you will receive an email with a breakdown of how the donated funds were used. If you have any questions, please send Sharmishtha an email.