For those who do not know me a little Intro:
People call me Mika. I was born in Germany, near to Munich.
I studied Business because I didnt know what else to do, ended up partying all the time and hating my studies (except for entrepreneurship)
I always felt that Germany is not the place where I wanted to stay, so I went to many places in search for better.
Not so long ago I lived in Brazil and had a mostly uncomplicated life, little responsibilities and a lot of party.
I had a little online business that I liked but it was not completely fulfilling me. I also got to dive into the very interesting world of music and event business and became a DJ and Co-host to underground Dance-Events.
But something was calling me to India.
So last year in May I came to India for the first time, I fell in love with Abhiram and his Eden Garden.
It all went very fast. Now we have a little son called Adityas. He is almost 4 months old.
He is truly a Sun in our lives, despite the sleepless nights regarding our financial situation.
What is Eden Garden?
Eden Garden is the first Ayurvedic Resort in Varkala, a small beach town in Kerala, South India.
It was built and maintained for over 20 Years by Abhirams Family.
It lies in the valley of Varkala, in between North and Southcliff.
Visit our current website --> it is outdated but will soon be renewed by a dear friend
Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems. It was developed more than 5000 years ago in India.
It’s based on the belief that health and well-being depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. It's main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.
Eden Garden offers such treatments in form of personalised Ayurvedic Retreats according to each persons health condition and constitution ("doshas").
Abhiram's Father Viju, a Visionary, who put into effect many of his ideas, caringly designed most of the buildings using recycled materials to make the buildings "float" on the humid, swamp like soil.
His mother Sandyha is a master in her field: Ayurveda ! She can diagnose you simply by looking into your iris. She is a real "Amma" (Mother) to everyone that she treats and she is widely known for her skills and heart.
Together they were the perfect team to lead this wonderful idyllic Resort in the green.
Many years this place was bringing joy and happiness to everyone who came across.
Due to the good economy the staff was having salaries above average and Eden Garden could be properly maintained.
The land that we own currently gives space to our Ayurvedic Treatment building, reception, consultation room , kitchen and the Garden View building (6 Guest rooms).
In the middle of it lies a square pond with 3 huts where the guests can eat and relax.
4 Luxury cottages and a Yoga-Hall are build upon another owners land. The agreement with him is stable and we are able to hold it for years to come.
Agreements with other neighbouring buildings (8 bamboo cottages and White House: 2 houses with 4 rooms each) are not possible to hold due to the insufficient maintenance on landowners side. Both are now trying to sell their properties.
What happened (Status quo):
Life. Everything changes and nothing lasts forever.
Viju and Sandhya wanted to spread their Ayurvedic knowledge and left the Resort in hand of extern managers to build new places. In the end all of them failed and the extern managers turn out to be unreliable.
Dispute over the Eden Garden land brought even more headaches. And slowly but steady the buildings have started deteriorating due to the atmospheric conditions (humidity).
The money earned during high-season (Ocotober-March) became insufficient to pay the staff leave alone to do proper maintenance during low-season.
Loans over loans had to be taken, making the situation worse.
Guests started to get more and more unhappy about the deteriorated infrastructure and service, leaving bad reviews and making business even worse.
How to come out of this slippery slope?
Viju and Sandhya wanted to give up on the place. But Abhiram, who grew up in the Resort and spend most of his teenage and adult life learning about Ayurveda, is not going to abandon it so easily.
Abhi and I see the large potential of this unique place.
All it needs is proper renovation and a renewed concept.
Why are we raising money:
This question needs to be divided in different sectors.
First if all: Yes! It is a business.
We, as a family, want to continue to make a living with this Ayurvedic Resort. Providing a good life for many - in different ways:
Employment for locals:
As you might know, India is a low income country . When the business is stable we can make sure our employees have also more stability in their lives. Currently we are running on low flame. We could only secure the job for 3 people of our staff. We cannot afford to give them a full salary at the moment,
When business is blooming we can go back to give around 20 people a well-paid employment !
Guests and Patients often come with (serious) illnesses to us seeking well-being. When our facilities are at its best, we are able to provide better results making their stay more comfortable and even accessible to wheel-chair drivers. Safety and cleanliness in India are big issues and having a save and clean hotel is expensive.
The plastic problem:
Over the years the waste situation in Varkala (like all over the world) is becoming worse and worse. As a health provider, we see it as our personal responsibility to create a positive impact and to be an inspiring example for others.
Proper waste management and recycling of plastic are part of our new concept of becoming an ECO Ayurvedic Resort.
Along with the process of renovating we are going to include a sustainable waste management system.
Once our business is stable and secured we want to use our capacities to raise the awareness of plastic pollution in this area. We want to prevent further pollution of the ocean, beaches and surroundings.
See some videos of the current situation at Varkala Beach.
Endless Waste and entrance to Eden Garden.
How will we proceed:
For the coming High-Season I was able to get a 15000€ loan from Germany. This loan will be just enough to keep the resort running for one more season.
High interest loans have to be paid back, licenses have to be renewed, taxes have to be paid, debts have to be cleared and landowners are waiting for last years rent.
With what remains we need to make the high priority maintenances: new roofs, electricity issues, gardening, painting, ...
the list is long and the money will probably end sooner than expected.
This loan will not secure our living in the long run.
It is a short-term fix that leaves us with one more debt to pay back.
We need your help to cultivate Eden Garden!
For the long run we need to get out of this sinking ship.
This is only possible with your donations - Only 5 Euro and spreading the word is enough!
To make our work really efficient we need to able to sell at least 20 rooms in the high-season (October-March)
1. Fix what can be fixed:
Since the Garden View building is already more than 20 years old, it needs a lot of attention to get it back to a decent state.
The bathrooms are mouldy and the roof is leaking (see the blue tarp on the picture)
The 3 huts at the pond are in dangerous shape and have to be rebuild as soon as possible.
To repair Garden View building and the huts: 8000€
2. Renew the concept:
Eden Garden needs to adjust to the present and become an ecological sustainable resort.
Therefore we plan to grow our own vegetables in our own organic farm, continue using recycled materials for building, collect and recycle plastics from the surroundings and reuse them.
We are going to build special machines to recycle plastic: https://preciousplastic.com/en/machines.html )
To implement our recycling station including the machines : 5000€
Pond, huts and Garden View building in the back
One of Garden View's bathrooms
When these two priority goals are met, we will continue with the third step
(the money herefor will be raised in the future)
buy/rent more property:
As mentioned before, currently the neighbours are selling their properties: bamboo village and white house. As soon as we have enough funds we will buy one of them and proceed like this:
Bamboo village: The old cottages will be removed. With half of the land 5 two-store cottages with 2 rooms each will be build. Furthermore the other half of this land could be used as our organic farm.
White House: The two buildings need to be renovated: new doors, windows and bathrooms.
A permanent roof has to be built on top of the houses as well as all the furniture has to be replaced. The rest of the land can be used for the growing of vegetables and fruits.
Make the first advanced payment and build/renovate: 22 000€
The land behind the Ayurvedic treatment building can be rented.
The owner of this land is currently letting us have our Ayurvedic oil manufactory there.
Once we can afford to rent it, we also want to use it for the recycle station and build a house for our staff.
Rent property, build home for staff: 9000€
become a decent Ayurvedic Resort again :
every donation that reaches us will only be used for the purpose of cultivating our Eden Garden.
what is in there for you as donator:
Every donator will get a discount on the stay.
For large donations (<500€) we want to offer an Ayurvedic Treatment in return -->
please get in touch with me before donating so we can discuss the details ;)
Your help will mean more than the world to us, since it will secure the living of many people and it will give us the means to be able to combat plastic pollution big time !
Thank you for taking the time to read through all of this.
Please feel free to send me a Whats-app or Email if you have further questions.
I will upload soon more pictures and videos. And updates are going to follow :)
Even the smallest donation will be of high importance to the project and every word-spreading and sharing of our story will be dearly appreciated <3
- Débora Mello
- Verena Gfüllner
- Magdalena Sattler
- Renate Engelhardt