About us

The "Freundeskreis Ghosaldanga und Bishnubati e.V. " (Friends of Ghosaldanga and Bishnubati) with headquarters in Frankfurt was called into being in April 2007.  We are the successors of a multinational circle of friends and sponsors of the same name - without the status of an association - which was led by Mrs. Roswitha and Dr. Mandaresh Mitra, starting in 1992. In 2004, Mandaresh Mitra wrote a report on the formation phase and the start of cooperation.

What we do
We are committed to village development in Ghosaldanga and Bishnubati, two villages in West Bengal (India) roughly 150 kilometers to the north-west of Kolkata (Calcutta).  In these villages live indigenous people (Adivasi) of the Santal tribe, one of the largest indigenous tribes in India.

Aims and assignments
The aim and purpose of our work is both the material and non-material support of the villagers in these two indigenous villages in West Bengal. Our intention is to safeguard the ongoing maintenance of the hitherto successful work of village development and to assist with its further enlargement.

Santal Village in West-Bengal

Our partners on the ground
We cooperate on a partnership basis with the organizations of the two villages which have been developed by the villagers themselves. They regularly receive financial assistance for their work, especially for the non-state-run primary/elementary school, the Rolf-Schoembs-Vidyashram (RSV).

On-site work is inspired and supported by the German author Martin Kämpchen, who has lived in India for over 40 years.

Our motives
The Santal villagers possess both the will and the commitment to free themselves from their disadvantaged situation and at the same time to keep up their own way of life and culture. This attitude demands our solidarity, and we are more than prepared to provide help for self-help.

Our circle friends is however not only interested in ensuring financial support for the project; the interchange between our association in Germany and our friends and colleagues in India is also of great importance to us. Regular cooperation and friendly encounters aid us in making a positive contribution to intercultural and interreligious understanding.

Visit and encounter in a Santal court