India Taj, India Sushi, tripwellness

India. It evokes so many impressions in my heart. OK, Sushi isn’t usually one of them but read to the end for the connection. I haven’t traveled to India yet but will one day. My connections though are deep and long. When I first graduated from college and began doing Transcendental Meditation, I was introduced to this gentle culture, the wonders of Yoga and a lineage of great masters.

While I’ve admired so much about India there are some cultural aspects that tweak this heart, especially the extreme poverty and a caste system that is foreign in experience to this westerner. Mother Teresa responded by dedicating her life to helping the poor and suffering. I wish I had her fortitude. What I do have is the ability to help in one small way and you can too.

This year I’ve joined other bloggers in the Passports with a Purpose fundraiser for the LAFTI Foundation. The foundation helps the rural poor, the outcasts, many of whom are women with no resources and little hope. Krishnammal Jagannathan and S. Jagannathan, who once worked with Mahatma Ghandi, are the founders of Land for Tillers’ Freedom (LAFTI).

Born into extreme poverty and called a Dalit (“untouchable”), Krishnammal has never lost sight of her goal to improve the living conditions of India’s rural poor, especially women. Her life-long dream of providing an acre of farmland and decent housing to every impoverished family in the region continues to fuel her efforts.

Please take a moment to look at the Passports with Purposes website. A word-wide team of bloggers has banded together to try to raise $50,000 to build a village in India. Last time I looked, we were getting close to the goal.

The project on its own is quite worthy, but each $10 you donate gets you an entry ticket for a great prize. Donated items include everything from plane tickets and hotel stays to upscale travel gear, an iPod, an iPad and swanky vacation packages.

As for the Sushi India connection: My prize partner for the project is CatalinaOP.com, this sustainable seafood company will express ship overnight, a Sushi Kit (Fish included!), and turn you into a Sushi chef for your next party.

Thank you.

Copyright 2010, Elaine Masters, RYT, Trip Wellness Educator and award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga.