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Students and staff

In 1997 when Divya Jyoti was created, we started our centre with one student. Today, thanks to our friends and sponsors, the family has grown and we are now 22 students and 6 special educators.

Before they joined Divya Jyoti, the students depended entirely on their parents and family members. They had no special educational background or any sort of training and most of the parents had no idea or any knowledge about how to deal with mental retardation.

Now, at Divya Jyoti, they have become productive members of their family by earning a monthly income from their contribution in the production of handicraft. Their presence implies working and learning but it is also the experience of freedom, joy and celebration. In spite of their different disabilities and backgrounds, they are very much united by love and solidarity and are thus gradually realising their dream of building the Divya Jyoti family, a model family or inspiration for others: a frame in which everyone is accepted with respect and dignity, regardless of his or her difference.


sas2-nouvNathan, originally from Tamil Nadu in Southern India and Sheela from Calcutta on the eastern coast, are a married couple with two grown up sons. They have been working together as social workers with people with mental retardation since 1990 and with people with physical disabilities since 2005.

In 1997, they founded the Divya Jyoti training and work centre to welcome students with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. This was the first NGO for adults with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities in Varanasi.


In spite of continuous financial difficulties and other struggles, they have been pursuing this task with dedication and commitment by providing services to the disabled, and training of social workers, thanks to their experienced knowledge of special education and vocational training for differently-abled people.