Mukti Trust is a British charity that gives girls and young women in India a better start in life.

Unlike larger charities, our minimal overheads are more than covered by Gift Aid. So every penny you donate goes directly to the girls’ food, shelter, healthcare and education.

In 2004, our founder Shobhna Shah – a chemist and counsellor who lives in England but travels widely – met Muktanand Bapu, a guru living in Chaparda, Gujarat, India.

Initially wary of working with a spiritual sage, she soon discovered that this humble, uneducated man spoke eloquent Gujarati and was supremely organised and forward-thinking.

He was passionate about educating rural children and had already set up a registered charity (Bhagvatinandji Education Trust, or BET) that had built schools and boarding-houses for local boys.

Knowing how tough life is for girls in rural India, Shobhna discussed with Bapu the idea of providing accommodation and education specifically for girls. He was very enthusiastic.

With BET’s long-established experience and understanding of the local area, and several determined trustees getting things moving in Britain, the possibility of building a 100-bed hostel and providing an all-round education for girls became a reality.

In 2005 we registered as a charity, and Mukti Trust was born.

Muktanand Bapu

Muktanand Bapu

By 2006, we had built and opened our hostel, Rishna Girls’ Home, next to the existing boys’ school. We started with 35 girls. Within six months, all the rooms were filled, and 100 girls were receiving food, shelter, healthcare and a high-quality education.

Now they too could experience ‘Mukti’: freedom and self-knowledge.