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Shanti Bhavan


Even though India is today synonymous with a fast growing economy and fast growing middle class, 42% of India’s 1.25 billion person population lives below the World Bank’s defined international poverty line of $1.25 per person, per day. Life for “low-caste” villagers is a vicious cycle of repression kept in motion by illiteracy and lack of education or opportunity.

The idea

Located in Tamil Nadu, an hour drive from Bangalore, India, Shanti Bhavan is a home and an exceptional school for economically and socially disadvantaged children. Convinced by the idea that leaders in society are not born, but developed, Shanti Bhavan’s mission is to develop children of deprived backgrounds into leaders of society through excellent education and holistic personal development.

Children admitted to Shanti Bhavan are well below the Indian poverty line -- Rs. 2,600 ($50) per month for a family of 4 or more. Approximately 95% of the children who fit this criterion also belong to Dalit, or formerly termed “untouchable”, communities. Shanti Bhavan provides these children with a comprehensive high quality education, the promise of a professional career, and the ability to reach their full potential and take on a role as change leaders in their country.

Founded in 1997, the 1st batch of 14 young adults graduated in 2010. All of them joined colleges in India and the first have been offered jobs by the most prestigious multinational companies.

Our contribution and relationship

While living in Bangalore for 3 years Anke Mess visited the school a couple of times, met the children who live there as well as the founder of Shanti Bhavan. Impressed by the children and convinced of the idea she proposed the project to McKinsey-for-Children in 2012.

McKinsey-for-Children now covers yearly school fees for 20 of the 200 children living in Shanti Bhavan and we hope to see them develop and grow into responsible, successful, inspiring leaders and happy well-rounded individuals.