For those not familiar with us, we are a community organisation that has been active since 1976 despite the passing of our revered founder Ibu (madame, mother or Mrs in ‘bahasa’ Indonesia) Gedong Bagoes Oka (1921 – 2002).
It is now being run by the trusted confidants of Ibu with the support her six sons, particularly through their generous consent for the continued use of the Candidasa land for Ashram’s purposes.
This was a commitment, in line with the wishes of the late Pak (short of Bapak for father or Mr in bahasa) and Ibu I Gusti Bagoes Oka (pictured around the time the Ashram was founded, courtesy Ms. Charlotte Borggreve, then a young guest of the family), given to Ibu during her last days before her passing.
The Ashram is pursuing its stated vision at many levels. In the local community the focus is on delivering actual health and education services through its well established Nature Cure Health Clinic (acupuncture and traditional herbal medicine), introducing Gandhian ideals to the Ashram run kindergarten and to its own cadres of Ashram’s young members. At the regional and provincial levels the Ashram name is still respected from its principled stands back to Ibu‘s days and has recently been enhanced by the election of Pak I Nyoman Sadra – her protege, right hand man and former long time Chair of the Ashram since her passing till 2009 – to the parliament of eastern Bali regency of Karangasem. At the national and international levels it is more about the promotion of Gandhian ideas and values by working together with a network of similar minded Gandhian, inter-faith and peace organisations.
The Ashram has hosted numerous symposiums and workshop on these over the years and its leadership is actively engaged in the all critical inter-faith initiatives in Indonesia, largely through its close cooperation with a much respected Indonesian interfaith organisation called Interfidei. Ibu was a prominent co-founder and former vice-president of World Conference of Religions for Peace and a trustee of Sarvodaya International Trust (note a picture of Ibu in the middle of the group photo), to name a couple. In the latter, after she passed away she was replaced by Pak I Nyoman Sadra who has been with Ibu since the Ashram’s inception and a village and community activist in his own right.