Janapada Seva Trust



Janapada Seva Trust (JST) is a voluntary organisation established in 1960. Its activities are in and around Melkote, a small town in Mandya District of Karnataka, India. Inspired by the ideals of swaraj (self-rule) envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and his associate economist J C Kumarappa, the Trust has been striving from the day of its inception towards creating a non-violent social order.

Sri. Surendra Koulagi and Smt. Girija Koulagi, a young couple established JST with support of their friends.  In last six decades the Trust has seen sweeping changes in society in general and Melkote in particular. However, it has stood in thinking and action to its original objective of creating a non-violent social order. It has emerged as an organisation driven by ideology rather than by projects or activities. Over the decades the Trust has responded to the needs of the community and initiated several activities which have lasted from years to decades. This approach has ensured that even after decades no activity of JST has become stale, ineffective, or rigid in its approach.

To know more about our six decades long journey, please watch a short documentary below


Adoption Placement Centre

The Karunaguha, the ‘home of compassion’ was started in 1963. First four decades it worked with hundreds of rural disabled children particularly polio affected. It provided shelter, food, education, and medical rehabilitation. By the turn of the century the number of polio cases drastically came down, thanks to polio eradication program. From 2009 Karunagruha began to work as an adoption placement centre. Child Welfare Committee of state Govt transfers abandoned children in the age group of 1 day to 5 years to the home. Children are provided care and protection and placed for adoption after fulfilling all legal requirements.


Janapada Khadi

The production of Khadi fabric under the brand name of Janapada Khadi is an important activity of the Trust. The activity is recognized by KVIC, Govt of India with the certificate number KNT/3452. Janapada Khadi seeks to resuscitate Khadi not only an aspirational choice of clothing, but as a tool for creating a non-violent social order for a sustainable and equitable future. Janapada Khadi evinces the spirit of swaraj (self-rule), a philosophy that centers freedom of individuals to regulate their own lives without harming one another. With human energy (the energy expended by the human body that enables manual work) at its core, Janapada Khadi ensures negligible harm to the environment and the humans in its supply-chain. The brand also strives to rearticulate the fabric in the form of versatile, contemporary and timeless pieces that are non-violent in letter and spirit. You can now wear this spirit on your sleeve by purchasing our products at https://janapadakhadi.com


Centre for Non-Violent Living Alternatives

Hosa Jeevana Daari a distinct centre was set up by the Trust in 1980. Hosa Jeevana Daari means ‘a way to new life’ in kannada. The broad concept of the centre is to create a place which is in complete harmony with nature, and inspire people who are in search of non-violent living alternatives. Throughout the year various camps, seminars and workshops are organised on different issues related to environment, development and life style.  Low cost eco-friendly housing, rainwater harvesting and organic farming are part of the centre’s initiatives.


Fair Food Initiative

Today, agriculture is in crisis. In other words, we are in the middle of a civilizational crisis where farmers are losing their life due to the lack of fair remuneration and consumers are losing their health because of unsafe food. So, there is a need for collective action by farmers and consumers to establish a swaraj food system that frees farmers from uncertain income and frees consumers from unsafe food. Such an effort requires both of them to understand the lives of each other and discharge their respective dharma or duties – dharma of ensuring safe food by farmers and dharma of ensuring fair price by consumers. The Janapada fair food initiative is an effort towards setting up such a replicable swaraj food system.


Forest of Reminiscence

We in Melkote over the last three decades have seen the forest around us disappear at a dreadful speed. Many native species were lost before we understood our precarious situation. Most of the trees disappeared because of the demand for firewood and for timber. To meet the increasing demand the government began introducing exotic species like Eucalyptus and Acacia to the area. Although the new species helped to meet the demand to some extent, over the last three decades they have taken over the entire area and led to monoculture with little space or scope for native species to survive and reduced ground water level. At this context, trust is striving to convert 15 acres of its land into forest that supports rich local flora and fauna under the name of  ‘Nene Bana’ (forest of reminiscence) where each saplings are raised by the support of individuals in the name of their loved ones.


Janapada Payana

Janapada Payana, a unique program that is carefully curated and designed for one to experience unalienated life. It encourages to realise interconnectedness of life and recognise good of a person is embedded in the greatest good of all. This experience makes the janapada payana worth a try for everyone. The two days program involves activities such as delightful nature walks in the farm and nearby hillocks, bread labour, understanding organic farming and food, visit to Janapada Khadi weaving and natural dyeing unit, documentary watching, visit to the historical town of Melkote – its temples, structures and tanks, and self reflection.



JST is cruising valiantly solely due to the unstinted support of friends and well wishers. Over the past six decades, this was source of strength and inspiration. The commitment to swaraj values has never been compromised even once and on the contrary the resolve has deepened with each passing day. It has emerged as a reference point to many new initiatives. It has carved a distinct space since it is driven by ideology and not by programs. It has cast away a few programs, embarked on a new set of activities in tune with the changing times, but responding from a strong ideological base. ST has several dreams to realize its goal of helping to usher in an era of sustainable living and ethical practices. Your help and contributions will go a long way in creating a non-violent social order.

Legal Status and Tax Exemption details

Janapada Seva Trust (JST) is an organization registered under Socities Registration Act. It is also recognized under:

  • Section 80G of the IT Act 1961 (No.PRO.718/10A/BOL/BI.J20, dated 31 Jan 1976) – where any Indian donor is entitled to claim deduction from their taxable income to an extent of 50% of the donation amount.
  • JST also has a permanent registration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi to receive foreign contributions under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act. (No.: 094580018—Educational and Social, (NO.II/21022/69/ (834)/85-FCRAIII, dated 6 Sept 1985).

You can also support JST’s efforts by letting others like yourself know about its work.




Janapada Seva Trust  
Kalyani ST, Melkote – 571431 
Pandavapura TQ, Mandya Dist 
Karnataka, India 
Email: janapadasevatrust@gmail.com 
Phone: + 91 / 08236 299854 / + 91 9900537434

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