About Us

ShantInternational Onlus

ShantInternational Onlus is a non-profit organization that sustains father Sibi Puthenpora’s Vanaprastha project, a school for 990 children and a home to 163 children in Bangalore, India.
Vanaprastha was founded as a non-governmental organization in 1999. Since then it has devoted to the poor with the commitment to contribute to the creation of a better future, especially for children, young people, women and older people of this Indian village located in the countryside southeast of Bangalore in the state of Karnatakaal, at the border with Tamil. The area is very poor. The land is dry and the soil is clay and a deep red color. Rainfall is seasonal, and the level of criminality extremely high.

Vanaprastha and Shanti’s goal is to

  • Ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of the children;
  • Provide education, food, and shelter;
  • Introduce a culture of coexistence regardless of religious belief;
  • Follow a holistic approach to life and education;
  • Realize the projects by employing local people;
  • Continue to be a secular community;
  • Care for natural resources.

Both in the House of Children in School, we live together with children of different religions. Therefore we teach the scriptures of all religions, but in our school we do not teach a particular religion. We have a meditation room where guests all scriptures along with an empty notebook and a pen (if a child wants to compose their own sacred writing). Without offending any religious affiliation, we offer to the people around us simple universal prayers and spiritual tradition, we call Shantimarga. We believe that prayer, the practice of yoga and meditation are important means to overcome the obstacles of life. The knowledge of the different scriptures and a universal spiritual practice also can help children develop their spiritual profile.

Shantimarga is to follow a peaceful life in which you are invited to love everyone and let others live in peace. Shantimarga does not belong to any religion. People of all faiths are invited to live a peaceful life. The man is spiritual in nature, because it was born as a spiritual being. Therefore every individual has spiritual potential and can develop a spiritual profile to living a simple but well-rooted. Many have forgotten that they are spiritual beings and do not dare to develop their personal center.

*Shanti Om is our greeting. We salute this everywhere and every time saying “Om Shanti”. Shanti means peace and love and is represented in our symbol of a dove. Om is the universal sound (according to the theory shabda), the Word made flesh (Logos).
A Vanaprastha the expression “Om Shanti Om” is used as a universal prayer. We teach our children to repeat this prayer while breathing in and out.

Father Sibi

Father Sibi, the founding father of the hosting house, grows, educates and inspires all children. There are no words to describe him, you just have to see him in the midst of the children to acknowledge his loyalty, courage, and charisma. Always dedicated to social causes, Sibi is in charge of running the entire organization and social home, and thanks to his constant and affectionate supervision that children grow up healthy, educated, trained and motivated. He sets a clear example for them and they have grown with a culture of dividing everything without fighting, and helping each other as brothers. Sibi was able to create from scratch a real, efficient and lasting social structure. With the help of ShantInternational we aim to go ahead with the dream of Sibi.

Villagio di Mugulappalli

After an extensive search for a suitable place, in 2003 we purchased 16.15 acres of land in the village of Mugulappalli.
On June 6 2005, after finishing the basement, we opened the school, with a small ceremony officiated by Mr Joseph Gomes. The ground floor was completed in 2006 and in 2008 we added the second floor. Today the school is fully completed and equipped with specialized classrooms: computer labs, technology, chemistry, physics rooms. There is also a large courtyard that was equipped as an outdoor theater for school performances. In 2014 we enrolled 975 children and preteens. Under the laws of India, the middle school has 10 classes, to which we added two elementary school classes. The first classes have three sections, and two years ago we had the first graduates who have completed their high school with the tenth year that corresponds to the first two in the Italian high school system. All the classes are taught in English. In addition, the program follows the directives and is controlled by the CENTRAL BOARD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION (Ministry of Education).

The courses offered include

  • Yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques;
  • Sport, music, dance and art;
  • Agriculture and cooking.

At Vanaprastha the expression "Om Shanti Om" is used as a universal prayer. We teach our children to repeat this prayer while breathing in and out.

No Profit

The operation of our facilities is not based on volunteering.
Our personnel choice is based on the requirement to hire local people and to ensure continuity in service, professionalism and expertise, while creating job opportunities locally. However volunteers are welcome. We have always had a number of volunteers who give us a hand in our daily work with the children.
It is also important to simply ‘be’ with the kids. It is an experience that is deeply touching.
Normally we prefer volunteers who can stay at least two months, and who can develop a certain preparation in taking care of the children, both with educational, and with medical or paramedical preparation.


Well drilling

We need to drill two wells of 1300 feet of depth because of water shortage and the foothills dry out quickly.
It is necessary to install a pump and all the materials needed (tubes, cables, switchboard).

5.440.000 rupie = 80.000 €

Bambi home expenses

Includes room and board for 160 children, electricity, water, gas, food and wage for personnel.

5.760.000 rupie = 87.273 €

Solar Panel

We invested to install solar panels that guarantee electricty and water for all buildings. For this reason we need to support the contract.

5.440.000 rupie = 80.000 €

School bus

We need to buy a second hand school bus

1.200.000 rupie = 17.650 €


Ho deciso di intraprendere questo viaggio per due motivi che si mescolano in un connubio tra il desiderio di fare del bene e la fotografia, mia passione e lavoro.

Andare a Vanaprastha Childrens’ home è stato un vero viaggio interiore, stimolato dalla personalità incredibile di padre Sibi, un uomo enorme grazie al quale tutto è iniziato ed è stato possibile, e da 50 bellissimi bambini, che attraverso un semplice sorriso o un semplice pianto fanno scaturire sentimenti di gioia e tenerezza, ma sopratutto riflessioni. Riflessioni di grande e profonda intensità che portano a domandare a te stesso che tipo di persona vuoi diventare e a desiderare di crescere secondo ideali veri di bontà ed altruismo.

Questi bambini insegnano e trasmettono molto, eppure si esprimono solo con il linguaggio del corpo. Sono dei veri maestri di vita.
E’ difficile descrivere il cambiamento avvenuto in 7 giorni dentro di me, è un percorso che auguro a chiunque di avere la fortuna di intraprendere, è una ricerca dell’amore verso il prossimo e verso sé stessi. Spero di esserne all’altezza e di certo porterò sempre con me questa esperienza emozionante e di crescita.

Colgo l’occasione per ringraziare la persona che mi ha portato con sé, Ginevra, grazie alla quale Vanaprastha childrens’ home, rappresentato da Padre Sibi, riceve fondamentali aiuti attraverso cui donare ai bambini un futuro luminoso e migliore.

Elena Senti