Welcome to Friends of Camphill India
Camphill India
The Camphill-Idea

The Camphill idea developed out of the belief that each human being, with or without disabilities, is a unique being with the right to a purposeful life in freedom and dignity. It is the task of Camphill to create an environment in which people with disabilities can learn to live with their limitations rather than suffer from them and in which they can discover, develop and realise their abilities to the fullest extent. This is what is called Social Therapy.

The Viennese physician, Dr. Karl Koenig, founded the first Camphill Community in Scotland in 1939 .Today there are more than 100 such communities in Europe, North and South America, in Africa and now the first ones in Asia.

A Home with a Difference

“Friends of Camphill India” Residential Community was inaugurated in March 1999. The community includes two family houses, Antaranga and Santvana , and a workshop building, Panchanga.

Within each house a group of 12 men and women with different mental and physical disabilities share life with house parents, several co-workers and volunteers. Together they form one large family. All household activities, meals and cultural events are shared, according to the abilities of each individual.

The workshop has sections for weaving, paper and candle making, a small pottery and a bakery. Here, again according to their abilities, all residents take part in the different activities under the guidance of co-workers.

The buildings are surrounded by a large garden where vegetables and fruits are grown. Work in the garden is an important aspect of community life. Since the community is strictly vegetarian, the organically grown produce is very welcome in the kitchens. A few cows and chicken add to the picture of a “farm house” and preparing organic compost is an important activity.

A novel addition to the garden is a “sewage treatment plant”, where wastewater from the community as well as from the neighbouring houses is cleansed in a natural way and then used for watering the garden. Since we face acute water shortage in our area, this is a boon to our gardeners.

Apart from working in the house, workshops or garden, our residents are encouraged to take part in cultural activities: short dramas are performed, singing and listening to music plays an important role, regular Yoga classes are held and painting, story-telling, going for walks, attending cultural performances in town, and holidays with the whole community are all part of life here. Festivals and birthdays are celebrated throughout the year and the families of our residents are encouraged to take part in these events.

Many of the residents need help in their personal care and it is part of the co-workers’ responsibilities to help with bathing, dressing, going to toilet, going to bed, eating, etc.

Great care is given to the medical needs of the residents and they are taken for regular health and dental check-ups.

Our co-workers as well as parents and family members have observed that our residents show a definite improvement in their behaviour, social skills and health after joining our community. A variety of activities provide a well-planned programme throughout the day and they make friends amongst each other – a very important factor, as this would not be possible within the normal family setting where a disabled young man or woman usually leads a very secluded life.

Through the way the days are structured, we try to achieve a life of interdependence and mutual respect for all members of the community, whether disabled or not. This is what we call Social Therapy.