It all began with Abha Bhaiya’s dream about TARA and then she wrote a poem in October 1995 with these words:
"Up in the mountains
In a community of women
With a little girl
Who can choose to be
A daughter, a friend
Or whatever she would like to be
Learn to heal and live in retreat
With plants and trees
Many birds and bees
Dogs and cats to feed
Grow herbs and medicines
Inviting you to be with me
When you need rest and peace
So that we can fun and feast
And create a new family
That is yet to be."
As the dream began breaking open like a rose bud, Abha sent out an invite to all friends, national and international feminists to come to this barren rocky land with a hand full of soil and few seeds from their respective lands. She wished to knit together the threads of this imaginary vision by pulling cosmic energies together. Eve Ensler and Vday Team along with 22 friends came to TARA land to initiate TARA’s foundation. They chose a corner to mix the soil from their lands, and spread the seeds they had brought with them. Abha had also asked all to send her one word that was meaningful to them. Thus these words were etched on the rock slates taken from the land and placed along in this sacred space of national and international soil poured with love on TARA’s foundation.On the day of inauguration, local community was invited to join the event and Eve Ensler spontaneously in her inaugural speech donated $20,000 as a seed money to create a safe space for women. Much later Velmoed Koekebakker from Netherlands decided to build a shrine in that space; putting all the etched words around it, as standing testimony of TARA’s history.
TARA (Training And Research Academy) is a women-centered training and retreat centre. Abha Bhaiya had long dreamt of creating one such space. However, she was certain that such a space should be in the proximity of a village, close to nature where life could be lived on different feminist principles. A kind of space where it is possible to unwind and listen to the inner vibrations, where people do not fight nature and all living creatures, flora-fauna, birds, mountains and rivers function as a co-operative, listening to and understanding of each other.
Today, TARA’s 18-member team is an extremely capable, efficient, industrious and sensitive group of women and men. Everyone works here as the place is their home and has constantly learnt and improved their skills. They give all visitors to TARA a warm and inviting environment. They treat all their guests the same, be they village women, men, young boys or girls, NGO workers or upper-class foreigners. There is also a small and charming farm that is built on the principles of organic agriculture so as to attempt growing different organic vegetables, fruits and cereals.
TARA’s team work is complementary as they give and take from each other. Along with this, they have also integrated a feminist aesthetic and creativity in their lives. Their constant smile, empathy for each other’s pain and their anticipation of the guests’ needs are their special characteristic. This is how this team comprising of people, have their own distinct identities yet complement each other and are the future holders of this dream..