A retreat’s gift

Fazlani Natures Nest, tucked away in a tranquil hamlet called Takwe near the popular hill station towns of Lonavala and Khandala in Maharashtra, India, is well known for its integrated healing treatments built on recognised alternative healthcare principles like naturopathy and ayurveda.

But look deeper and one will discover that the resort is also home to a school that provides free education to 150 homeless children, many of whom have gone on to excel in various areas of studies.

There are opportunities for students and resort guests to interact in meaningful ways

The Fazlani International School is registered with India’s Central Board of Secondary Education, and was started in 2006 by Abdul Kader Fazlani, a respected philanthropist and chairman of Fazlani Group.

School operations are managed by a trust. While there is no boundary to separate the school and resort areas, both co-exist with little interference.

Speaking to TTG Asia, Fazlani said the school aims to prepare students for admission into reputed institutes for higher studies. Students residing in the dormitory abide by a school curriculum and enjoy activities in areas demarcated for them.

However, there are opportunities for students and resort guests to interact in meaningful ways.

For example, resort guests can register to visit the Hobby Studios where they can participate in craft activities with the children. They can also join in sports activities with the children during game hours.

An even more valuable form of interaction involves resort customers who volunteer their knowledge as guest lecturers, subject to the school’s approval.

Fazlani remarked: “The school has become an important part of the retreat’s day-to-day activities, giving our guests who come for healing experiences an opportunity to engage with the children in different ways.”

Fazlani: committed to preparing homeless children for higher studies

Reflecting on the success of the school’s mission, Fazlani said many students have been successful in competitive exams set by famed Indian engineering, medical and architecture colleges. Some have also gone abroad for higher studies.

“We have trained a few children and provided them with employment in the resort. A number of our students have also excelled in sports like equestrian and skating on a national level,” he added proudly.

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