Big Medicine Charitable Trust (BMCT) is a public benefit NGO based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Incorporated on November 3rd 2009, BMCT evolved out of work started under the Greening India Project of Big Medicine, Maine USA. Its founder trustee, board trustees, and director are all women.
BMCT's mission is to build upon the best of Udaipur's rich cultural legacies and environmental blessings in collaboration with local/global visionaries to create a 21st century model for sustainable heritage cities.
We believe that sustainable cities acting locally and networking regionally and internationally can create ecologically sound, socially just, aesthetically rich and thriving community models that help fulfill universal human dreams and lead the world closer to a global culture of peace and non-violence.
The first three years: Our initial step towards our vision was to network with local educators, school principals, the Udaipur School Board, and the National Center for Education Research & Training/ Environmental Education Division to present an all-day seminar on green education plans for schools.
We then coordinated with several local NGO's to host Udaipur's first Green Festival for Educators. Our purpose was to raise educator's awareness of the environmental resources and experts available locally and inform them of similar work underway globally. The all-day festival hosted information booths, workshops, video shows, discussion groups and seminars. BMCT also brought to the event messages addressed to the festival from Bill McKibben of 350.org, Fran Korten, editor YES! magazine, Jerome Ringo, President of the APOLLO ALLIANCE, Sean S. Miller, Director of Education, Earth Day Network and Craig S. Altemose Co-Coordinator, Massachusetts Power Shift.
Working with organic farmers, seed savers and community activists from Australia, and Udaipur's College/Hospital for Ayurvedic Medicine, BMCT hosted John Brisbin's "Ethical Feast" to rekindle interest in the health and ecological value of the traditional vegetarian, Ayurvedic diet.
We next hosted the first ever environmental education booth at Shilpgram Utsav, India's flagship festival of crafts and performance arts. With the kind cooperation of Udaipur's Mayor and the West Zone Cultural Centre, BMCT planned and executed the festival's first waste segregation and disposal project. BMCT also assisted Udaipur NGO, Pahal, in their work to mobilize Udaipurites to create a bicycle friendly town. All of our efforts have received widespread positive press coverage; and in further affirmation of our work, numerous senior Udaipur artists have conjoined to donate proceeds from the sales of their work to our efforts in the town.
As an integral part of our vision, we also host well-attended, inspirational social and cultural events on our premises. Some of our past events include recitals by Udaipur's foremost Sufi singers, classical musicians, gypsy and folk dancers, and poets; a lecture demonstration on classical Indian and Japanese music by Japan based American musicologist, Tim Hoffman; a conversation with Argentinean film director Pepe Ozan and Indian diaspora expert and videographer Suresh Pillai following the showing of Pepe's award winning film 'Jaisalmer Ayo,' on the gypsies of Rajasthan and Suresh's films on Indians long settled in Bulgaria and the Caribbean states; a lecture slide show by American engineer and builder Mark Phillips on earthquake resistant straw bale houses; and a workshop in collaboration with sister NGO Shikshanter on how to make efficacious Ayurvedic herbal remedies.
Projects in development: Continuing to cultivate our mission, BMCT's chief goal for 2011-2012 is to set up the Shakti Academy of Dance, Circus Arts & Energy Healing, a combined education, research and performance facility that combines interdisciplinary artistic and health training with a special focus on at-risk youth. It will be the first complex of its kind in India and be designed as a replicable model for other heritage cities as well.
We are also working with colleagues in India this year to publish a Hindi translation of Dr. David Korten's seminal book, Agenda for a New Economy.
Trustees, Staff and Professional Support
Rita Dixit Kubiak is an Indian national who has lived in Japan and the US for over thirty years forming lasting networks between individuals and organizations involved in cross cultural exchanges, eco-tourism, natural health practices, and women's issues in her two adopted countries and her native India. She also teaches yoga, practices shiatsu and writes on health and the environment for US and Japanese journals.
Dr. Kusum Meghwal is a dynamic Udaipur leader involved in various local philanthropies. A noted public speaker and prolific writer, her numerous novels, essays, short stories, radio broadcasts, and film work reach tens of thousands. Known for her work in behalf of Dalits and Budddhist causes, she also edits and publishes Asmita, a quarterly magazine on Indian women’s natural and constitutional rights.
Dr. Kiran Murdia is a professor of art at the University of Udaipur, College of Art. In addition to hanging in prestigious galleries and collections across India, her work has been presented at international exhibitions in Japan, Germany, Kuwait and Italy. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.
Premilla Dixit Nag has worked for women's rights, peace, environmental and social justice causes in the US and India over 30 years. She has produced conferences, media projects and radio programs; researched and written on the global history and evolution of organic farming and indigenous medicine. Premilla also writes, directs and acts for theatre companies and is a recognized performance poet.
Raju Kabra - After many years as assistant director of the famed Sayari Gypsy Roots international performance troupe, Raju is a broadly gifted administrative, financial and technical wizard who helps BMCT get things done.
Manish Golcha – A trained nurse and forensic technician who has developed his own community public library, Manish is a champion of Udaipur's disadvantaged and helps BMCT with our press and public relations.
Sharad Kabra is broadly experienced with local, state and national tax laws, NGO accounting, and government reporting requirements. He maintains our books in collaboration with B.L Pagaria and Co.
BMCT Auditing Firm
B.L Pagaria and Co. Chartered Accountants, B-4 Bapu Bazar, Udaipur (Raj) 313001. Sri Anand Pagaria provides auditing/advisory services to leading Udaipur NGOs and businesses and oversees BMCT's accounts.
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