Devi Ma Kunja

Imagine a place where quality Ayurvedic care is available to all, in a healthy natural setting and at a cost according to their means.

“Kunja” means a holistic, serene place filled with positive energy, and “Devi Ma” is the Universal Mother.

Current & Upcoming

Devi Ma has two small clinics – one in Bhaktapur city and one in Sipadole, a rural setting three kilometers outside of Bhaktapur.

In 2003 Devi Ma was able to purchase a piece of land in Sipadole that is fully paid for and in 2019, Devi Ma will open the first two of several planned structures to create a new health and retreat center.

Our Vision

Imagine a place where quality Ayurvedic care is available to all, in a healthy natural setting and at a cost according to their means.

Expand this vision to include a thirty-bed Ayurvedic center with an Ayurvedic approach to family planning and birthing, traditional health modalities, gardens where medicinal herbs are grown, an herbal pharmacy, and a place which serves as a cross-cultural educational and retreat center for an international community of holistic healthcare practitioners and students. Include also the vision of a center focusing on sustainability an all levels by maintaining the integrity and diversity of the cultural heritage of Ayurveda.

The seeds of such a place now exist in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal, the traditional birthplace of Ayurveda. It is called the Devi Ma Kunja, and is the manifesting dream of Dr. Sarita Shrestha. A “Kunja” means a holistic, serene place filled with positive energy, and “Devi Ma” is the Universal Mother.

Dr. Shrestha is well qualified to be the force behind a center with such an ambitious name. She faced discrimination while pursuing her medical degree. She was told by the principal of the university, ” Women are not able to become Ayurvedic doctors. You should quit now before you begin.” Her response was, “I will try”. She tried and succeeded. Today she is considered a national treasure and has received national and international recognition for her exceptional services and was Nepal’s first woman Ayurvedic MD physician and the first Nepalese Ob/Gyn in Ayurveda. Her accomplishments and dedication to selfless service have inspired other Nepalese women to follow in her footsteps and succeed in becoming doctors themselves.

Dr. Shrestha saw a lack of compassionate care available to many in Nepal, as well as a heavy emphasis placed on allopathic medicines even though Ayurvedic herbs are abundant through-out Nepal. There are only 2 government Ayurvedic hospitals and a few private hospitals in all of Nepal, so they are often poorly supplied and staffed. Dr. Shrestha’s dedication is a response to a growing need. Frequently she does not accept payment for her services. On rare days off she travels to remote villages, giving free health camps, education and medicine or free clinics in Kathmandu. In the past she has also traveled to India to volunteer her services to the children at Sri Ram Orphanage in Haridwar as well as local residents and help to train a group of doctors to provide healthcare there on a regular basis. She regularly travels abroad, teaching Ayurveda, consulting and raising support and donations to build the hospital to supply Nepal’s poorest with medicine and care. She is truly an inspiration.

The Devi Ma Kunja is a unique approach to meeting the extensive healthcare needs of Nepalis. While providing profoundly needed healthcare, it will also function as a unique laboratory illustrating “Ayurveda in action”, for an international community of practitioners and students who will be welcomed to work and learn within this Nepali-run center. The clinical program of the Kunja officially opened its doors to patients in December, 2002. As of now, the clinic is housed in a 6 room rented building in Sipadole, near Bhaktipur, Nepal – a rural community of about 8,000 people, 22 km from Kathmandu. The clinic contains 2 outpatient rooms, two rooms for management and a small garden to supplement the wild herbs collected, and a pharmacy. It provides greatly needed and previously unavailable healthcare services and educational self-care programs to local villagers.

The Devi Ma Kunja is pregnant with possibilities as a holistic model of Ayurvedic healthcare. Very simply, the mission is to provide sustainable healthcare to the people while supporting the natural environment on which their continuing well-being depends. In the words of Dr. Shrestha “Playing is healing, singing and dancing are healing, being in nature is healing. All of these healing ways will be found within the community of the Devi Ma Kunja for all people.”

So little goes such a long way! A contribution of ANY amount will help to support these important on-going services, and will be fully tax deductible. Please participate in the development of its future!

How can you help?

We appreciate all levels of support for the following:

> Land & Building Project
To initiate next steps (fencing, architect and engineering fees, permits) and provide for all future development.

> Medical Equipment
Microscope, portable x-ray and ultrasound machine, diabetic diagnostic tools.

> Hopsital Operational Costs
Funding to support ongoing activities and increase services.

> Pharmacy
Equipment such as dryers, processors and furnaces.

> Scholarships
Support Nepalese Ayurveda medical students.

> Outreach Programs
Funds for medicine and supplies (one health camp costs $450 U.S.)

Giving to Devi Ma Kunja…

To make a donation, please make checks payable to “The Growing Edge” a 501(C)3 California non-profit organization that supports the work of Dr. Sarita Shrestha. Your donation is fully tax refundable and 100% of donations will go to Devi Ma Kunja. Download the Donation Form here.

Please mail your check with the completed donation form to:
The Growing Edge
445 Summit Road
Watsonville, CA 95076

For more information contact:
Kay Brownfield at kaybrownfield@gmail.com
or call 831.402.7577

Finances

The DMK Rural Ayurveda Hospital has been housed in a rented building in Sipadole since 2003 and financially supported since 2000 through The Growing Edge For Sustainable Peace and Healing – a California non- profit 501(c)(3) organization and by the generosity of Dr. Shrestha, her staff, friends, family, and many generous donors.

Today, the operational cost of keeping the hospital open at its current level of service is approx $2,000. per mo / $24,000 US annually. Additional financial support comes from health education and Panch Karma programs.

In spring 2009, a new 4-wheel drive Tata truck was purchased ($30,000. US) and is now fully paid for. This much needed vehicle allows the organization to provide transportation of supplies and people along a dirt road between town and village, and to have access into the remote villages to serve health camps, offer disaster medical support, and doubles as an ambulance if needed.

A seven acre parcel (14 Nepal ropani) of land purchased in 2005 for $55,000 will provide DMK a permanent home in Sipadole. Payments were completed in 2009. The initial foundation for building has begun, with the first two cottages expected to be competed in 2019 which will allow us to move from our rented space. Three to four more cottages are needed to accommodate an increasing number of patients, students and staff along with a primary building for the 30 bed hospital. We need an additional $250,000 USD to complete phase one of the building project.

Our intention and vision for DMK is to be a green, sustainable and ecological center – setting an example for the community and incorporating natural building and land management principles.