"The Home of Friends"

(A Non Profit Education project in India)


``Organization in special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council Since June 2023``

In the mountains of southern India, there are many rural communities where people still struggle to support their families. Since 1956, Mitraniketan has worked to help these communities break the cycle of poverty, exploitation, and lack of opportunities. Its work has had powerful impacts over the decades, and today Mitraniketan’s work in supporting community development and individual empowerment is a model to other NGOs around the world.

Mitraniketan’s founder, K. Viswanathan, was inspired by the precepts and practices of Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Arthur E Morgan of USA and NFS Grundtvig of Denmark. In 1956 he started Mitraniketan: “The Home of Friends”, at his birth-place Vellanad, 25 kms from Thiruvananthapuram, the Capital of Kerala. The focus of Mitraniketan has been in providing development oriented education projects to empower disadvantaged children, youth, rural women, and marginal farmers.

Education of children, particularly those from socially and economically disadvantaged tribal backgrounds, is Mitraniketan’s primary focus, as those children will in turn serve and support their families and their communities.

Mitraniketan’s core educational principle is that rural communities and society as a whole can best be promoted through the total development of individuals, and all of Mitraniketan’s programs seek to support this vision.

The Children of


Mitraniketan´s aim is to give disadvantaged children a chance to get a proper education. Most of the boarding school pupils (1st – 10th form) come from the tribal District of Wayanad – about 600 km to the mountainous north of Kerala.

Vision of Viswanathan

58 Years of Leadership

“Progress of society through the total development of individuals is the avowed mission of Mitraniketan” –  K.Viswanathan


Mitraniketan is a Gandhian based organization that has pioneered people centered rural development. It is Viswanathan’s vision to encourage community based education with holistic development of people and society. He believes humanistic growth is essential to survival in this rapidly changing world.


After his studies at Viswabharathi, Santiniketan, elsewhere in India, United States of America, United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries he formed this organization that focuses on the alternative education as a model for development, aimed especially at empowering the marginalized sections of society.


For five decades Mr. Viswanathan has launched trail-blazing projects that have gained international recognition.


Today Mitraniketan has grown in the form of a rural university, imparting development education to a large section of the disadvantaged people including tribal children, rural youth, marginal and small farmers, women, social workers, and rural artisans. Student volunteers and researchers from India and abroad visit regularly to learn, support and strengthen the Mitraniketan family.


The founder Viswanathan believes that, “We have a social responsibility to take care of the poor.” He demonstrates this, by working for equal opportunity and improving the quality of lives starting within the Mitraniketan community and joining hands across the globe.


It is Viswanathan’s ongoing vision that Mitraniketan should be used as a model for other communities and he believes Mitraniketan students will help shoulder the vision in the coming future.






Clean Water



Mitraniketan is a residential community, engaged in a variety of educational activities .It has an unmistakable international presence, but located in a casual tropical setting .The impressive sprawling campus is located on 50 acres of undulating terrain, with evergreen trees throughout. It lies in the lap of nature with natural footpaths, lush palms, singing birds and busy chipmunks .The buildings at Mitraniketan are strikingly simple with a rural character which blends with the locale. Many of the classrooms, meetings and workshops take place in natural outdoor gazebos and amphitheatres.

The campus houses a residential community of 500 members who are engaged in the above projects, each supporting one another keeping the emphasis on education, the community works together, lives together and participates equally in teaching and learning.


The 50 acre campus spreads with the following projects

  • Kindergarten
  • High School
  • People’s College
  • Rural Technology Centre
  • Farm Science Centre
  • Dairy Unit
  • Outdoor & Indoor stadiums
  • Library & Computer lab
  • Open Air Auditorium
  • Guest House
  • Health centre
  • Weaving Unit
  • Fruit Processing Unit
  • Hostels
  • Staff quarters
  • Vocational Training Workshops
  • Marketing centre
  • Bakery (training cum production centre)

The Mitraniketan fund

By supporting the Mitraniketan fund, you will join us continue to serve the next generation of disadvantaged children, and expand our capacity to support rural livelihoods and community development. In particular, donations help sustain Mitraniketan’s scholarship fund. Students are not charged and are exempted from payment entirely. You can consider sponsoring a child; a full year’s expenses for a student, including tuition, educational materials, room and board, clothing, and other expenses, is only $250.

Support Mitraniketan: https://www.every.org/mitraniketan.india