The PRASAD Project, a philanthropic initiative of the SYDA Foundation, offers unique programs of sustainable community development, health care and education that improve the lives of thousands of individuals annually.
The charitable work of PRASAD began in the 1930’s when Bhagavan Nityananda, a Guru of the Siddha Yoga lineage, offered food and care to villagers of the Tansa Valley, in Maharashtra, India. His successor, Swami Muktananda, continued this great work through the 1960s and 1970s. Between 1973 and 1982, volunteers rebuilt over 1,000 dilapidated homes for poor families in the Tansa Valley. In 1978, volunteers began offering medical services through a mobile health clinic, known today as the Shree Muktananda Mobil Hospital.
In the early 1980s Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Swami Muktananda’s successor as the spiritual head of the Siddha Yoga path, increased the number and the scope of these initiatives to include nutrition, community development and specialized medical programs. In 1992, Gurumayi brought all these projects together under a new entity, The PRASAD Project.
The PRASAD Project has evolved into an acclaimed organization, and is now a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. In India, PRASAD touches thousands of people every year, through its general and specialized health care programs, business and agricultural Self-Help Groups, and academic, sustainable and community development programs. This holistic approach is giving families and communities the tools and guidance they need to free themselves from the cycle of poverty and illness in India’s Tansa Valley.
In the United States, the PRASAD Project established the award-winning PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Program in 1998, to provide treatment and dental health education to children in rural, upstate New York. The PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Program, with its mobile dental clinic, provides dental care and dental health education to more than 4,000 children every year.
PRASAD de Mexico was founded the same year, to provide eye surgery to remove cataracts and correct strabismus (crossed eyes.) Each year, PRASAD de Mexico’s volunteer surgical team provides corrective eye surgery to hundreds of adults and children in rural Mexico.