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Who was Basti Ram?

Our organization was named after ‘Basti Ram’, who was an ordinary Indian man. Based in the Indian Punjab, Basti Ram was a successful farmer and the head of the village. During his lifetime he built schools, hospitals and water tanks for local people.  Basti Ram closely followed the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and with patience and perseverance achieved extraordinary things for his community before his passing in 2008.


At the heart of all our activities is a belief that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things and that you in your role as a Basti Ram volunteer will make a genuine contribution to helping improve the lives of those that really need help, and in doing so you will self develop more than you can imagine at the start of your volunteering journey. 


Our logo depicts how we as ordinary people are following in Basti Ram's footsteps to try to achieve extraordinary results for those less fortunate than us.

The Journey of Basti Ram Charity

2007 - Rachael Kumar (a social worker from London who worked with children in care) took a sabbatical in India to work with tribal communities in Rajasthan. Rachael joined an NGO that was headed up by Neeraj Kumar and was hugely inspired by the whole experience. Rachael and Neeraj shared a strong belief that all children in care should be given the same opportunities to travel as everyone else, to see the world and to realise the benefits of giving their time to others. 

2009 - After much planning, and a big Indian wedding! the name ‘Basti Ram’ was born. Basti Ram was Neeraj’s grandfather, an ordinary farmer, who during his lifetime had built schools, water tanks and medical facilities to help his community.

2010 - Basti Ram was officially inaugurated as a UK charity (1137644) and commissioned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham under the Inspiring Communities Fund to take 12 participants to India on the cross cultural journey of a lifetime – Beyond Boundaries.  Watch our project video here

2014 - By 2014 a further 46 young people in care had taken part in our Beyond Boundaries Project, from the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Lewisham and Medway Council.    Basti Ram delivered launched and delivered two ‘Participatory Photography projects’ involving 20 UK photographers who travelled to India and worked with orphanage children in India giving children a platform to show us their world through their eyes.  This calumniated with an exhibition at the 3space Gallery Oxford Street in 2015.  Basti Ram also became an approved activity provider for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme running two successful expeditions in India. 

2015 - Basti Ram, were funded (Comic Relief, National Lottery and Redbridge Council) to co-plan and deliver a community Festival of Colour project in the London Borough of Redbridge alongside NEET young people.  Details of the event can be seen in our project video.   Also in the same year this 10 young people in care from Medway Council participated in Beyond Boundaries in India.

2017 - In 2017, a further 20 young people participated in Beyond

Boundaries from the London Boroughs of Hackney and Lewisham.

2018 - In 2018, 18 young people participated in Beyond Boundaries from

the London Boroughs of Havering and Newham.

2019 - 12 young people have joined our Beyond Boundaries Project from

the London Borough of Hackney

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