Sunday, April 30, 2017

Azim Premji Workshop

Azim Premji Foundation has organised a four day "Govt School Principal's workshop" on current perspective on Education at our Vikasnagar campus. The group is headed by Shri Mohammad Naseem of the Foundation. There are two batches of seventy teachers each. SMTA's role is to provide logistics and a space, conducive to a serious discussion on education. We have requested Mr Naseem for his feedback at the end. Overall, participants seemed happy, on day one. Here are some pictures:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Old Faithful...

This sturdy old Mahindra jeep has served SMTA very well for many decades. We all have sat in it at sometime or the other and traveled all over Jaunsar. It has done much service. Many memories are associated with it. And the day, it leaves the campus, it would certainly leave behind an empty space, a reminder. Running it is no more cost effective. Few of us will be able to cope with it, I guess. But it is in working order. A miracle! We will be saying good bye to it, as soon as a buyer can be found.. Do vehicles have a soul? an afterlife? Just wondering..

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Communication Workshop at Vikasnagar

! Sunset seen from SMTA campus !
A three day communication workshop is being organised at SMTA campus (see pictures in the first post below) on 6-7-8th May 2017 (Sat, Sun, Mon) for people who stammer/ stutter. If you have tried many therapies and are not happy with the outcome, this workshop may benefit you. It is based on principles of self-help, acceptance (of our diversity) and activism. Medium of discussion will be Hindi.

Minimum twenty participants are needed (Max 25). Old and new members of TISA- both are welcome. Age is no bar. Women also are invited. But please register early. Cost of board- veg meals, lodge, training hall - all inclusive, will be a nominal fee of Rs 400 per day per person. You may register by sending Rs 1200 to SMTA account as follows, and confirm with our Accountant, Mr Kundan, (9412152249) between 10 am to 5 pm on any working day. He can also be emailed at .

Send your registration fee to:
SMTA,  PNB Vikasnagar (Dist Dehradun)
Acc: 0886000100129649
IFSC  PUNB0088600

After you have transferred the amount (or sent the cheque), please send a brief email about yourself, your therapy history, and your purpose in coming to this workshop to Dr Sachin at

By the way, this is the same venue where TISA had their FIRST communication workshop in 2010 (link)!! And yes, the workshop will be facilitated by Sachin, Sumit Chilkoti, Pawan, Parmanand and other local TISA "experts"! Activities will be selected on the basis of your experience and needs but these will certainly be challenging. You will also be interacting with SMTA team- Sultan, Kundan and Ms Dhaneshi and others. At the end, you may go for a day outing to Chakrata mountains, which is only 55 km from here.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Farewell to Maggi and Ruben

On 22nd October 2016, Maggi and Ruben were given a warm, heart-felt send off by friends, community, old and new staff, local leaders and many children in Vikasnagar. Many eyes were moist. Still, youngsters went ahead and gave them a beautiful cultural evening- songs, dances and many speeches. Their services and their love for this region could not be acknowledged enough by the plaques, shawls and gifts.. Still, we tried. Their work and contribution is an unfinished tale..

Currently they are in Banglore, in spite of vicissitudes of age, they both continue to enjoy good health and life, in company of Nishant, their youngest son.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

SMTA story

Students from Mac Master University having a picnic

SMTA is a voluntary agency, which began in 1986, having drawn inspiration from SWRC. It is operating predominantly in the Mid Himalayan ranges of Chakrata, Kalsi tribal blocks of Jaunsar Bawar and Vikas Nagar of District Dehra Dun and remote areas of Mori, Purola, Naugaon and Dunda blocks of District Uttarakhand.

SMTA is presently working in seven blocks located in the districts of Dehra Dun and Uttarkashi. In the former, SMTA is working in Vikas Nagar, Chakarata and Kalsi blocks of District Dehra Dun and Mori, Purola, Dunda and Naugaon blocks of District Uttarkashi in the State of Uttarakhand. Of these Chakrata and Kalsi are tribal population inhabited blocks. (This is to be updated soon)

It was founded by Ruben and Maggi - and other dedicated citizens of this region: Late Shri Gulab Ramchandani, Mr Mohan Joshi, Shri Kripa Ram Joshi, Late Ms Devika Chauhan, Shri Tika Ram Sharma, Shri N D Joshi, Shri JPS Rana, Shri Rachit Gupta and many friends and well wishers, too numerous to name. 

SMTA has implemented many programs; Education remained one of its most popular and successful initiative in remote mountains. Then, watershed interventions, solar lights, water filters, student summer course etc etc.  

Currently, the team consists of Shri Sultan Singh Rawat, Mr Kundanlal Sehgal, Ms Dhaneshi Rawat, Kedar Singh and Dr Satyendra (sachin) Srivastava, as Director/ Secretary. We are hoping to expand this team and get many more programs off the ground in coming days. 

We are ready!

We have just begun this blog! Please bear with us! As we go along, we will provide more information- especially about how SMTA came so far..
What we want to say now is this: We have a beautiful residential training Facility near Vikasnagar (40 km from Dehradun - on Chakrata Road). One km away from the town, this is an ideal place even for a get-together or a meeting. Here are some pictures. Feel free to send inquiries at (or